Friday, November 19, 2010

Private Art Lessons and Associated Adventures

Everything is cold and wet.  This made our afternoon adventuring a little more adventure, and a little less comfortable.  In an effort to address some of our monetary needs, I printed up some posters to put in coffee shops around the area advertising private art lessons. 

Teaching art to people is one of the things I like to do the most.  It is simple, perhaps overly so, as far as jobs go.  It's not going to change the world, at least not directly in any kind of a large way.  The most it does directly is help someone improve or build up techniques, experience in styles and media, and the foundations of visual analysis.  It's a great hobby, stimulates parts of the brain which may have been lying dormant, and can be a very meditative and pleasurable way to spend a few hours of a person's week.  The learning that is.  For me, the teaching is the same.  There is a lack of beauty in the world.  Often times it is relegated to developing markets or branding, thereby diminishing the power of art for the sake of expression or passion.  It is pigeonholed into some dark recess of commercial enterprises and public relation firm cubicles.  It's sad really.  I miss the art for art's sake.  But that is what people have to do in order to live.  It is the portraiture of now.  I walk past so many little galleries and 'art' shops and wonder who their demographic is.  Frankly, I am disturbed by the mass production of the thing.  Every other person thinks they can make it as an artist, musician, or writer.  It's true.  They are a dime a dozen.  Most people just aren't that good.  It's also true.  But this presumes these people are doing things for someone other than themselves.

I teach art because I love to.  Because people need to have a creative and expressive outlet in their lives.  They need something that nourishes their souls in a world where little mystery and beauty still exists in the human realm.  That is a gift I enjoy bringing to people.  I don't expect them to go selling their work, or become some big shot illustrator.  I don't need that for myself, and most people don't need it either.  It is about the process of creation.  That is enough.  And the satisfaction that a person has learned, improved, and made something beautiful.

For these reasons, I printed up posters advertising art lessons.  Our first attempt at posting was the library.  Apparently libraries don't post commercial posters on their board, only non-profit.  When I inquired about other locations locally that might have post boards, the librarian was about as helpful as a wall.  I fell back on my initial inclination, and that of one of my good friend's, coffee houses.  The problem with coffee houses is their questionable hours of operation, and the likelihood they are simply coffee houses.  Quite frequently a place is called a coffee place or a cafe when actually it is a restaurant or a breakfast nook of an establishment. This meant, rather, guaranteed our afternoon as an adventure seeing as we knew very few coffee places locally.  First we went to Eon - success.  Then it began to rain.  We drove north to Frodo Joe's - success.  Then to R&D - fail. Finally to Pelton and Planet Coffee - both fails.  A last ditch effort was made for Sorriso - success, before my bladder became explosive from all the diet Coke I had drunk earlier in the day.

By the end of it, I had gotten three posters up (but of course, this was more than before), had clarified the nature of several of the coffee places locally, and had my black leather boots soaked through from walking through all the puddles.  All in all, I felt alright about it.  Christian had helped by allowing me to navigate while he drove which made it altogether much easier than if I had been driving in rush hour traffic in the rain to unknown destinations by myself.  Still, I feel a little anxious.  There is no guarantee that anyone will call or email me from my efforts.  If I hadn't put any up, I would have been sure not to get any inquiries.  It is better to try than not.  Because when all is said and done, I would rather get paid to share my passions with others and watch them grow and enjoy life than have my soul sucked out of my head working as a cube monkey for an unethical corporation any day.

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