Anyone who knows me knows that I have been trying to find the time and the energy to make my own work since I graduated and started teaching public school.
I once read somewhere that it takes 3-5 years after graduation for artists to get their act together. I couldn't agree more. That struggle can be painful and demoralizing at times. There you are, having spent more money than you have ever spent in your life to earn a piece of paper with grand dreams of making work and having that work recognized in some fashion, and all of a sudden you find yourself with nothing.
I bring it up because I was deep in thought on the way home yesterday. In fact, it was one of those times where I am not even sure how I made it the hour home. My Art Club decided that they wanted to sponsor a school wide art competition. I am the only arts teacher with over 400 students to serve, and I can't (and don't) reach everyone the way that I would like to. But they wanted to get everyone involved in the art making process, so I let them run with it.
The theme was "black hole" and everyone, grades 6-12 were invited to make a work of art based on that theme. They could interpret it however they wanted, and could use whatever materials they wanted. While I only had 5 submissions, over 100 people voted, and I must say that I was thoroughly impressed with that.
But I was thinking about why I couldn't participate myself. Of course my work wouldn't be counted in the voting, but it would get me thinking and making and it would be good for those hard core students of mine to see my work. Plus, why should I ask them to do something when I'm not even doing it myself?
So I think I am going to try. I've been too busy to actually get work done on the quilt piece I want to make (that's going to have to wait until Christmas break unfortunately), but I could find time throughout the day to work on a piece that is "school-related". I'm a little late to the black hole party, but I still have time before the spring competition. So, why not?