don’t apologize for your artPosted: April 8, 2011
I’m taking a graduate class in Educational Theatre (I’ll get to the steps that brought me there soon enough!). For me, when I envision a successful teaching artist, I think of someone who is pursuing their art (in this case, theatre), and someone who is able to translate that art as a teacher.
But I’ve been struggling with this idea of the “artist.” In order to teach theatre, shouldn’t I be pursuing it? Shouldn’t I be working on my craft? Shouldn’t I be creating or collaborating on theatre projects?
Last night my teacher said something that just hit me.
Don’t apologize for your art.
Just allow yourself to be an artist, whatever that means to you. It could be devoting a month to painting one picture. It could be taking voice lessons. It could be committing to trying out a new recipe once a week. Or it could be acting in a play.
I often question my creativity and wonder whether I’m a true artist. I think of the results. Am I producing for an audience?
And, yet, this idea of results and production goes against the very reason it is important for everyone to have arts in their life. Creating, whatever it may be, nourishes your soul, allows you to think about things in a different way, and facilitates connection with other people.
Improv class. Baking cookies. Drawing a mighty fine-looking boot.
It is all creative. It is all valid.
Rather than criticizing the worthiness of your art-making, just let it be. Let it inform your life and your soul.