Monday, 17 September 2007

If you cant do ..teach that “can’t do teach” is often used as an insult but actually it is a complement because those that can do often can’t teach, the ability to extrapolate the best out of students is not often managed by experts as they often fail to break the subject down or know how to impart the skills needed to do so or have a broad enough skills base.
Teaching crept up on me and I went for it above studio work because I was not good enough to succeed other than as a foot soldier and struggled with the parameters set by design briefs. I find it hard to work for others, one of the best kept secrets of teaching is the freedom I have as an art teacher. I can choose themes, materials, processes. Exams get in the way as does the mountain of paperwork that no one looks at. The final hideous task just introduced is self evaluation, another government initiative and a complete waste of time.
From my time at Camberwell the only Next Big Thing to emerge (apart from some of the tutors) was Neisha Crosland and to be honest she was bankrolled through RCA by her parents, had a famous step father and her subsequent partners bolstered up her business. Neisha like all of us at college loved to design but was less successful at selling. I think this holds back some of the best talent we see. How do you keep designing, producing as well as juggle publicity, marketing, selling? It must take nerves of steel. Gordon Ramsey seems to have made the transition to the dark side losing the hands on practical. Is there a compromise between financial success and staying true to your design ideals? And then there are the children, because that would be having it all.

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