I taught four sculpting workshops this year and did a lot of driving to get to those places. Of course, I planned my workshops to put me in the right place for social events with friends and family. I taught my last class locally at The Sitka Center for Art and Ecology in Otis, Oregon. That was in August.
As I got back to my studio with no sculpting workshops on the horizon, I asked myself the question… why teach? It certainly contributes to my bottom line, but it also distracts me from what I consider to be my “real’ work.
When I returned to my studio, it seemed like I had to apologize to my muse for spending most of the year chasing the buck. A lot of groveling was involved. Little by little my sculptor self came back to me and the work grew with every piece. Now that I’m back in Artist mode (as opposed to teacher mode) I have to ask myself again…should I teach? I think it’s a question we all ask at some point (Unless teaching is our main career).
Key Lessons from Teaching Sculpting Workshops
I think the best answer for me is to find a balance. Teach a class, but don’t let teacher mode take me over. As a teacher, I think about how I will bring my students along so they can learn and have a good result. As a sculptor, I must take chances and work in a state of “spirit”. That’s the best way I can describe the experience. “Teacher brain” gets in my way.