I'd like to weigh in on the "practicing artist" aspect of this conversation.
Teaching is my ART. I dabble in all others. What does an artist do but hone,
craft, reflect, create,express produce and share? My energy for the last 30
years has been thrown into teaching. I am known as the 'artist' in school,
for a variety of reasons, including "perception". I do MAKE art, and to that
end, since I started a new puppetry program at my school, I now consider
myself a Puppetry artist, having designed and redesigned puppets, stages,
props, etc. (Oh, and over the years I was commissioned to make puppets for a
video, and did two theatrical productions with puppets included--but I
consider that 'dabbling'). I am one of the first teachers in school and one
of the last ones out. I run two clubs, and have over the years been class
adviser, yearbook adviser, etc. When would I find time to be "practicing
artist" and still have a home life that was satisfying? There just isn't
enough of me or hours in the day. But am I a "practicing artist" with shows?
with a recognizable style? with a following? Nope. But just wait....I
retire in 3 years, and boy do I have plans. I plan to be the first one on
the floor loom in the morning, and the last one off the loom.
Also, in terms of teachers' portfolios, when applying for jobs I NEVER
included my own work. I didn't want to be judged on what I produced as an
artist in a 20 minute interview...afterall I was never sure how savvy a
principal might be in terms of aesthetic judgements.