This is an interesting question. I like to think of myself as a
teacher-artist, but as the list has been discussing it's awfully difficult
to balance teaching and art-making, even when you're a part-timer like me.
However, I share the sentiments of some who wrote in - if I go for long
stretches (and I have) without making anything of my own, I start to feel
down, and start to feel like I have less to offer my students somehow,
without my own tangible joy of the art-making process at my fingertips. I
think it's very possible to be a wonderful teacher without making art
constantly - there are many great teachers in that situation - but for me
personally I feel I need to find a teaching/art-making balance for my own
mental state and what I bring to the table. What a difficult balance it is,
though! But it can be done...the other art teacher in my school (the dept.
head) leaves school every day and goes right to her studio for a few hours.
She's a successful working artist, who has her own shows and still manages
to be an incredible teacher, run the art department and be an active part of
school life. She's got it down to a science so that she gets to make her
own stuff every day of the week. She's amazing. I'm hoping that once I'm
more in the swing of things, I can find a balance like that. My GOAL is
part-time teaching, part-time art. Tricky to get there, but I'm working on