Friday, February 18, 2011

The Uniqueness of YOU

"It’s only with the heart one can see clearly. It’s what is invisible that is essential."
                                                              The Fox in "The Little Prince"

Have you ever spent time with someone who is constantly cracking jokes about themselves that imply their ineptitude?  At first it's usually funny but soon gets to be a bit much after the 4 -5th slam? 

In my classes I find that it is not unusual to hear negative comments from students as they attempt to cover up their insecurities.  Normally I ignore it knowing that once they gets further into their work they'll drop this false safety net.  There is though, from time to time, a student who will continue to knock him or herself verbally to a point that it can't be anything more than an ingrained personality habit.  This I find very disturbing and, I believe,  the biggest block to creative self-improvement and growth that exists.

I care greatly about each of my students and highly respect their uniqueness.  In fact, this is often a topic that I expound on in my classes. However, I sometimes suspect I may have more respect for their uniqueness  than they have themselves. There are times, out of frustration, I end up reacting negatively to their negativity.  It happened again earlier this week.  After demonstrating a technique in one of my classes  I said something to the effect that "try this and see if it helps you in your work".  The immediate response from one student was "... nothing is going to help me". 

This kind of verbalized self doubt, often repeated, soon  becomes a way of life...a way of thinking about one's self.  Because I care, I shudder every time I hear a student talk this way. 

As I said earlier, I believe each of us is unique and as artist's, that uniqueness is evident in our visual expression.  We should glorify in this knowledge.. not denigrate and destroy it. We artist's have a wonderful opportunity to express our inner feelings and beliefs in ways that are not possible for others. We should embrace this and use it to its fullest, not demean it and put it down.  What is within us is a beautiful thing. 
In conclusion, I say to you.....

...hold what you are in great esteem, you are the only one in the world that owns this invisible essential. Glorify in your uniqueness and share it honestly.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

I would so love to have you as a teacher. I have a feeling I would learn a LOT.