I don't consider myself a writer. I am a 'pictures' person and usually scan-read sentences, skipping long wordy sections until something visual catches my eye. So, as I begin a written (!) blog, I wonder how I got here, do I have anything interesting to say and will anyone read it? On second thoughts maybe this blog could be comprised of a sequence of drawings rather than written in words?
Anyway, as this is my first blog, I am taking the opportunity to introduce myself to those of you I do not know (yet)... I am Rhiannon, an artist and art teacher. I worked as a Head of Art in Secondary Education, teaching Art, Graphics and Photography to students aged 11-18. Before that, I worked in Events and my BSc degree is in Architecture. From this range of professions, you can see that I did not start out as an artist as I believed that drawing would not take me far in life. But now I wonder, where was I trying to get to? Why would it not have been ok to have 'not gone far' and were those beliefs justified?
Spoiler alert... I do think those beliefs were not justified. I used myself as an example to my students all the time. Do what you enjoy - For The LOVE Of ART! Not what you think will give you a better and more stable path in life. We have all recently experienced that life can throw some huge curveballs our way, even when we think we have it all mapped out, so perhaps this mindset will shift. As a member of the National Society of Education in Art and Design (NSEAD), I strongly value the place of the visual arts in education, in our economy and as a powerful tool for good in society. Through my art classes for children, I will hopefully provide some much needed art exploration, mess, experimentation and a healthy dose of failure to learn from happy accidents, whilst equipping them with impressive skills so they can go far (or near) in life.
Children have 'minds like sponges' - I think that's the phrase. So changing their frame of mind is easier than converting 'the unwilling' - otherwise known as adults! If someone paid me a penny for every time that a friend/family member/colleague said to me 'I am not good at art' or 'I can't draw' or 'I am not at all creative', then I would have no need to start my own business! I would be sunning myself somewhere in the South Pacific. There are a lot of intimidating 14 week media-specific courses out there that claim to be for all levels, but I know this can be daunting. I hope to offer something a little different, teaching all the foundation skills, theory and art history in a supportive and friendly atmosphere (with tea?); project by project you will be wondering if you are the same person as the one who said they 'could not draw' a few weeks ago.
As for the intention of this blog? To keep you updated on what I and my students are working on, thinking about and finding inspiring - in connection to art, of course. Instead of just reading about my opinions on the importance of art though, hopefully this blog may treat you to local artist interviews, tips and techniques for beginners, some art history, art in the news and art as therapy. I plan to write something once a month (ish) - but no promises.
Phew! That's the first blog done. Here are 2 interesting TED Talks to finish (if you are interested). The first is from Mae Jemison, former astronaught at NASA and the first black woman in space about science and art. The second given by Ralph Ammer, a professor at the Munich University of Applied Sciences about how drawing helps you think.