Monday, September 27, 2010

I just got back from teaching not so long ago.
I don't want to mislead you, I didn't work right up until 11pm - I grabbed some dinner afterwards.
It was an incredibly exhausting, but wonderful class. David Drake who is my co-instructor at MICA and Director for The Snow Queen production was present today to help flesh out the direction of the production. The way the course is split up is that I will act as Art Director for the first half of the semester, while David will arrive mid-way to the end to finish up the visuals and begin the staging of the production. It was such good timing because we need all the time that we can get to resolve the visuals and make them cohesive within the production. Very difficult to accomplish since there are about 15 students in my class ranging from Sophomore, Junior, and Senior, all of whom have different points of view; however, I'm incredibly confident that it can be done.
Class discussion today was again very productive, much of the class seemed driven and enthusiastic to participate. I find that typically class revolves around critiques which are lead by the instructor and seldom inspires dialogue amongst the students whose work is not being analyzed - this is something that I have never really enjoyed, as both a student and as an instructor. Although I see the value in listening to and engaging in the critique of someone else's work, I also understand how it can quickly become mundane, and yes, I admit, uninteresting. But today's class did not feel that way at all to me.
Perhaps part of it has to do with the fact that this experience is equally new for me, as it might be for most of the students, and even though I understand how similar the process of creating the visuals for a theatre production can be aligned to the process of illustration, there is still a great amount of knowledge to be learned. I wrote about change in the previous entry, and I probably will do so again in future entries. Change in this case means challenge for me, to position myself humbly within a new situation and truly become open to new ways of approaching image making. As much as I can see the similarities between theatre design and illustration, the translation from the latter to the former does not happen as quickly as I would like for it to. Still, I conceive that I've tried enough new things that lay outside of my discipline to know that nobody was ever born an expert, and that it's the trying-and-failing, and trying-and-questioning, and trying-and-trying that will lead to a person success. Passion, persistence, sincerity and humility might not ensure me a gold medal within my profession, but it does make my heart feel good.

* The image at the top of the page is done by Alexa and Danielle, two of my students from MICA; the images were two illustrations for The Snow Queen production that I pieced together, and adjusted in Photoshop to create a digital collaboration.

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