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I had one teacher in art school, however, who used to walk
by and put a line through your figure drawing if he didn't like it. The
first time it happened to me, I was in utter shock, but his philosophy
was, if you can do it once, you can do it again, so start over and make
it right. I learned to not put so much emphasis on the piece I was
working on, making it so precious...but in the long run, as traumatized as
I was by the experience, I can say I learned to most from him as a
Which is to say something about making lemonade from lemons...
and that in the end, one person's style will stimulate some and stifle
others. Were these "bad" teachers? Or I was too timid and vulnerable?
There were perhaps bad methods; erroneous beliefs; mistaken
I've come to think that even these traumas are somehow necessary to
learning how to "co-create" an experience; what I mentioned earlier as
our need to "reimage the box."
Spending the last five weeks in former communist countries, when I hear
the stories of oppression and see the results in the work that people
still did in secrecy in threat of their livlihood and safety, their
careers, and even sometimes their lives - I don't think these things were
so bad afterall. It's all relative, isn't it?
What should be mentioned is that no matter how abusive the situation, art
cannot be killed unless we are. Even in Auschwitz, people drew pictures.
The art survives because it is part of our spiriit, our souls. And
ultimately, hopefully, we are facilitators of its expression. And we all
had a few shitheads in our lives along the way.