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That has been my basic tenet for over 20 years with my students as
well. For a variety of reasons, the least of which are the following:
1. It is within the process that we learn by failure, learn to take
risks, and learn what we are made of. Everyone's grandmother praises
the exact replica of Mickey Mouse when copied, and that is the beginning
of the danger of relying solely on "product".
2. How long did it take you to learn to speak, walk, and write? So it
is with process, as well. One must practice, exercise, develop a
language and style of own's own. This can only be accomplished by
process, with the product as conclusion.
3. If product were all, then why do artists keep going?
4. Here's a question I ask students when I critique them, and they are
discouraged about their "Product". How many watercolors (acrylics,
pots, etc) have you done in your life? Usually they say 1 or 2. I then
say "wow, isn't this a great milestone in your travels of watercolors,
your first. Use this experience and watercolor as the first step in the
journey, it's a marker, keep it to look back on to see your progress,
your development of the language of watercolors." I also insist that
they sign and date their work for that reason. We are a society of
commodity, and our students are part of that. It is hard for them to
"see" what hard work, and dedication, and blood sweat and tears were put
into anything they consume. The emphasis on process helps them to
understand the thought and "bits" that make up the whole.