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>I feel that copying is a necessary part of learning a craft. A
>cabinet maker doesn't always generate his or her own design.
>They begin by copying another's work. Only when they have
>polished their craft can they move on to their own work.
>When I was in a fashion design class, we had to buy a ream of
>tracing paper and trace three figures from catalogs on every
>single sheet. When I was done, I knew how to draw quick and
>effective fashion figures. I was able to distort and stylize as
>I grew intimately familiar with the correct proportions, which
>the tracing exercise etched into my brain. Forever!
>I teach a lot according to a model by Williams. (I teach visual
>art to gifted kids and we have a whole OTHER set of hoops to jump
>through!) It includes fluency (lots of ideas), flexibility (the
>ability to change), originality (ideas that are unique) and
>elaboration (being able to improve on the ideas of others). I
>also know that many composers have elaborated, in their works, on
>themes by others. It is completely accepted.
>We don't live in a visual vacuum. We can't expect kids to
>completely disregard the images they encounter that "belong" to
>others. (including the kid sitting next to them) But we CAN
>help them understand the difference between originality and
>Visual Arts Resource Teacher
>The Academic Resource Center