I recently had a discussion with someone (an artist) about what separated “good art” from “bad art” or “junk”. From his viewpoint, “good art” was art that represented something. “Bad art” was just “squiggly lines” on a canvas that didn’t have any meaning. I begged to differ with his opinion. I contend there isn’t any such thing as “good” or “bad” art. The real art is in the passion that it evokes. This really made me think about the reason I teach.
I try to encourage everyone to find their passions. For years, I can tell you that I didn’t know what my passions were. I was one of those people that went along to get along. I would never have countered someone else’s opinion in the past. As I have become more connected to incredible teachers around the world, it is becoming clear that my passions have awoken. I now find it important to help others find their passions. I love when one of my students discovers a strong desire to learn more about a topic. To see that spark ignite is amazing.
I have come to understand that I am an artist, too. I am given canvases each year on which another artists have painted. I add my layers of color and pass them along to another artist. Of course these canvases are my students. Some come into my class ready and eager to accept the paint that is my curriculum. Others come with jagged edges, rips and tears that must be mended before they meet the paint. Some need more than others. My job is to provide each with just the right amount of care to let their own passions rise to the surface.
I hope that one day my students can see in themselves what I see in them now. I pray they are able to see past the simple “squiggly lines” to see a variety of paths that converge to create an inspiring lifetime of passions. I hope they see those passions as the light and shadows that make life amazing.