What We Make, Makes Us

classes energy over image process over product teaching

This past Wednesday I began one of my favorite classes: An Intro to 2D art materials for adults. Inevitably the January class fills with people courageously tackling creative resolutions. I’ll meet retirees who haven’t touched art supplies since their childhood. Skeptical Middle Agers who got the class as a gift from an encouraging spouse. Millennials who are exhausted from a grinding 9-5 (or more like 7-6 these days). I’m ridiculously inspired by the people I meet in this class.

I met a woman who is an accountant (I honestly love accountants, they are often dormant volcanoes of creativity.) We started the 7 week session with intuitive drawing, and her sketches blew me away. I found myself taking note of her style as inspiration for my own drawing. I could tell she was having a blast, and was truly uninhibited. That was thrilling to me. It’s my primary teaching objective. When I tried to share my positive impressions with her however, she sweetly but actively resisted the compliment. I was surprised. Something about my words shifted her from having fun, to searching for problems in the piece. I quickly realized, the mistake was mine. I shifted her attention from process to product. *
What if our goal isn’t (always) to make a great thing, but allow the things we create to make US. Y’all, she was doing it! She was glowing! The drawing was transforming her! Stress melting away! Joy springing out of her hands. I almost wished I hadn’t said anything. Lesson learned. We aren’t always making things. Sometimes (often times), what we make is making us.

 📷: @alineforastieri *

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