Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mickey: Dedicated Artist, Talented Educator

Mickey is so much fun, yet so even tempered. She has a clear sense of who she is and what she needs to do. Not only is she an accomplished art educator, but she is an incredible artist. It's clear that Mickey loves life and loves what she does. She answered the "Women Artist Educator" questions on a hand written sheet, and her answers are so great that I do not want to edit them at all.

How do you define yourself?
"As a creative person, love people (all kinds), animal lover. I have a positive outlook; almost always happy. I am a good friend."
What makes you unique?
"I think everyone is unique. I would say (if I have to) my personality, because I think that is what defines a person."
Do you feel limited by any of your titles?
"Yes. I love teaching but I have NO time for my own art. When the children were young I had no time and now they are gone and work occupies my time."

Mickey brings up the issue of time. So many of these women artist educators wear many hats. It truly is a balancing act for some to be able to work, and mother, and make art.. not to mention be a wife, sister, friend, or just be.

What about you makes you a great educator?
"I guess because I love art and I love children, and I want us all to be the best we can be. I try to learn all the time, whether it be from people, children, books, internet, etc. I have to be a lifetime learner to be a good teacher."

What about you makes you a great artist?
"I think I paint what I feel. I believe I can see things that others can't (some times), like color in white, etc. I love to let my mind take over when I do art. It just happens. Art is my life, always has been. It is who I am, I guess."

What about you makes you a great woman?
"I am always willing to learn and listen. My cup is always half-full."

Mickey sent me some photos of her family (husband, children, pets), to use in her portrait. She also shared a quote that was meaningful to her, which is included in the work. More than anything, her positive energy has been a driving force as I create her "Woman Artist Educator" portrait.

Amanda: Funky Art Mom

Amanda is eccentric, and quirky, and fantastically artsy. She puts off a great positive energy, and believes that the way our characteristics and personality traits combine is what makes each of us unique. Amanda embraces her labels of daughter, mother, teacher, lover, student, friend, and artist, but confesses that being a "teacher" does limit her freedom of expression. In her eyes, subscribing to the stereotypical teacher characteristics, affords her the opportunity to teach a subject that she is passionate about.

Amanda's love of art and teaching...and again, her positivity, are what make her a successful educator. You cannot be a great educator if you do not have a love and passion for the subject matter and for the profession. She shares that being a great artist means something different to each artist and each viewer. In her words: "I believe that every artist has a bit of a God complex. We create. We take from what we are and we form a new thing. For me, I put myself into my art and send it out, hoping it is meaningful enough that the viewers are drawn to it. I want the viewers to form a relationship, to see a meaning. I don't care if it is the meaning I, myself, assigned to it. If it is strong enough to have meaning to a viewer, then it is alive. Alive as an artwork and I, in turn, have created that life. That, to me, is what makes a great artist and I hope I have achieved that, but it is really the viewer that is the judge."

With the right mindset, good energy, and dedication a woman/artist/educator can make tremendous accomplishments. Amanda illustrates this in her life, work, and art.

Kim: Preservice Artist Educator

I haven't known Kim for very long, but I have a strong sense of who she is as a woman. She is at at point in her life where she is figuring out who she wants to be. In a phase of transition and change, she is seriously contemplating who she wants to become. Kim has very broad interests; art, sports, and music. She appreciates material things but also has a great appreciation for nature, which keeps her balanced. In her opinion, these are the things that make her unique.

Kim doesn't feel limited by any of the titles that describe her because she has defied/ broken so many of them. As an illustration of this, she shares that she was an artist at a design firm and then decided that art education was a more desirable field. She is a non-traditional student and I think she embraces that idea. Her titles do not restrict her because she can break right through them.

I love Kim's outlook on what will make her a great art educator. She believes that everyone has potential but they need help reaching that potential. She enjoys the diversity in the learning styles of students, and is comforted by the knowledge that an educator can truly make a difference.

In terms of success as a professional artist, Kim has a unique perspective due to her work experiences. In terms of graphic design, she has the skills to interpret what people want. She makes the effort to understand the client and translate their ideas into the work. This is a huge consideration in the life of an artist who is looking to make a living from their work. I think Kim is the first artist educator who has answered this question in this way. She's turned the tables, and I find it intriguing.

When asked what makes Kim a great woman, she shared that she just does her own thing. "I don't depend on anyone to to anything for me."

Kim donated a beautiful collections of papers with a variety of textures, patterns, and colors. She also shared some photographs of her digital work as well as paintings. Her contribution of black glitter (which is pretty amazing) did drive the tone of her portrait to a large extent.