As a teacher and a professional artist, I believe that perseverance beats talent, and success comes from elbow grease, not genius. I evaluate my students by the effort and enthusiasm they bring to their assignments as well as their openness to feedback and critique because it is those qualities that will matter the most in their professional lives.
Learning is a collaboration between student and teacher, each willing to put aside their own biases and assumptions in favor of openness and honesty. My goal as a teacher is to help emerging artists find their voice and hone their creative instincts, which means listening as well as talking and following as well as leading.
Telling stories, day in and day out, is challenging. Professional artists can’t wait for inspiration. While it is important to learn the craft of storytelling it is also essential to build the discipline and habits that will ensure productivity outside the classroom. A successful student will leave my classroom not only with the knowledge and skills necessary to take a story from initial spark to a finished book but with the initiative and desire to continue learning and honing their expertise throughout their professional lives.