My philosophy on art education stems from my own experiences as a growing artist. My journey started early. Ever since I could grip a marker, I would spend hours scribbling on anything that would leave a mark. My scribbles were far from impressive, yet I enjoyed every minute creating them. As the years went by, more and more hours in the day were focused on my creations. Looking back now, I realized how art played a much larger role in my life than I previously thought. Growing up, I was a sensitive child. I was overwhelmed by my emotions and felt like no one understood me. But I always felt at peace creating art. It was a way for me to express my emotions without fear of being judged. Being able to express my emotions helped me understand them, and handle them in a healthy way. I believe art education is a pathway for others to use art the same way I did, as a tool for self-expression and self-discovery.
I became an art educator because I wanted to create a space for students to feel comfortable using art to express their thoughts and feelings. I teach my students the skills and knowledge for expanding their artistic potential and the confidence to use it. At the same time, I encourage them to break the rules and make mistakes so their potential isn't hindered by the judgement of others. My curriculum reinforces such an environment as well. I give my students assignments that challenge them to learn new techniques and mediums with formal instructions, as well as assignments with less rigid instructions, providing the opportunity to self-explore.
I know that my ability to influence my students is limited and they're ultimately the ones in control of their success. That's why I teach my students to take ownership over their learning experience. I encourage them to learn through experimentation by exploring different artistic styles and pursing their own artistic goals. This allows students to become more self-aware, self-advocating artists who are empowered by art to communicate or express their thoughts and feelings.