Shepherding New Artists to Tell Their Story

Every life is a story. Our stories are ever evolving. Along with our ever-evolving lives, our creative endeavors evolve the more we learn and the more we do. As we engage in art you’ll probably run across those who are just beginning their creative quest. How can we as artists support people who are looking for a way to enter the realm of creative self-expression?

Dr. Maya Angelou said, “If you get…give, when you learn…teach”. Why should you, an artist, teach? You should teach because you know the joy of making art. You’ve personally experienced the freedom and release that accompanies making art. You’ve shown the world that your voice needs to be heard, and by teaching you can help us bring for their own stories.

I’m a textile artist and one of the challenges that quilters often have is with color. Unlike other mediums, those who use commercial fabrics, they buy their color instead of making their color. This leaves many novice textile enthusiasts fearful of choosing fabric inhibiting their creativity and limiting their enjoyment.

Last night I taught a color theory class at one of the local quilt shops. I love to teach because I thoroughly enjoy telling stories. I find it easier for people to hear your message when you tell amusing and personal stories. The other aspect of teaching is engaging the participants to join in with an activity. I know I learn best by doing, not just listening or watching.

The participants left with a new level of self-confidence with their ability to select colors. They were inspired enough to ask for a follow-up class to continue their own artistic journey. It feels like giving birth to the next generation of textile artists. As teachers we provide those entering the arena with hope and possibility that they can create works that are not only beautiful but also meaningful.

I hope you take the role of teacher, mentor, or catalyst seriously. We have an opportunity to shepherd those with the creative urge and talent to bring forth their worldview!

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