I just completed a private class for 2 days. It was such a fun and exciting class and the response from the 2 women was fantastic! It was the first time students created on a larger surface and for more than one day. Each one did an amazing job of making their idea come to fruition. I was really pumped from that class. Whenever I teach, I always have a knot in my stomach before class starts. I associate it with stage fright. It does not feel good! I know I am prepared, yet it happens every time I teach. It is always for naught. I relax in a few minutes after starting, and I am successful. Of course, there are times when I think I am not explaining a technique clearly enough, or when students struggle through each step. Teaching is very satisfying for me, though. I especially enjoy when students are immersed in their work and “get it’. I would guess that teachers of all kinds have the same feelings when the lightbulb goes on for students. I have been blessed by the number of students who have taken my classes!
It is impossible to make a choice between teaching and creating. I can squirrel up in my studio and get lost in the process, quite easily. I like the solitude and the freedom to move at my own pace. Most often, I stare at my work more than I am actually “creating”. I always thought the only way I could thrive was being around people. The interaction with the world fed me, excited me, and nurtured me. I thought I could not work alone.
When I stopped working at the coffee house, I struggled with the silence. How could I get anything done? What was feeding me? Who would I interact with? What would motivate me? What good is being alone and not interacting with others? I know some of you are laughing at that statement because I am such a chatterbox! It’s strange though, I cannot do serious artwork in a group setting.
When I finally surrendered to the stillness, I discovered it was quite nice! I became comfortable being with myself. I discovered how to enjoy the “me time”. I am very fortunate to have such a supportive husband who encourages me to be creative. I work for several days at a time when I don’t see anyone except Robin, and it is glorious.
Then, I begin to feel lonely. I know it is time to step out into the world again and interact with people. It doesn’t have to be a class, but I need to spend some time talking with people. I am a social butterfly and enjoy the company of others. I am fed and charged when I have opportunities to be with friends. Teaching fills that need and although I know students are rewarded from taking a class, I often think I get more from it than they do.
The bottom line is this: I need both teaching and creating time. I am content working alone, and I am inspired when I am teaching, because I really do love to see and hear what other people are thinking about and to see their ideas! The satisfaction I feel when going home after teaching a class is wonderful. I am always tired, but the gratification I feel is always similar to the “buzz” of finishing a painting. It is just “delightful”.
I need both!
Go and make art.