UNC School of the Arts
Teaching and Designing
Teaching and designing are really the same process in my mind. Hopefully each design is unique and it is designer's job to help his team to understand his vision and provide a way to achieve it with his drawing, drafting and color. It is visual language that communicates the outcome. So not only are we teaching a foundation of skills but also a way to communicate the design. We also create questions on how the design will be achieved. So problem solving is a key ingredient to producing a piece of artwork from the page to the stage.
As a very wise mentor of mine said that an educated man does not know all the facts but he knows how to find them. So I try to make sure that my students learn to be curious, to find the information they need, to experiment and read "the simple directions". After students graduate from school there no longer is a teacher to guide you so it is important that students learn how to do that for themselves. With the wild advance in technology and more modern materials we are always presented with the challenge of learning something new. Evan when we get a new phone we are challenged with a new process to learn.
In teaching painting and design the first step is a solid foundation. That foundation is drawing, drafting and color and design. They need the skill of eye hand coordination and careful observation to draw. Drafting is the visual language that let us communicate three dimensional objects in a two dimension format. And color and design are the elements, principles and theories that allow us to analyze a piece of artwork for meaning and content. That combination then can elevate the conversation and lead to developing those skills to a much higher level. There are always basic facts that are needed on command but then it is the curiosity, research and experimentation of a topic that is key to advancing the skills and crafts of the artist.