10 commandments for a successful project!

    1. Thou shalt always first learn the technique by doing the Almighty Worksheet.
    2. Thou shalt always encourage failure. It gives students the green light to try something new without fear of judgement. If they haven’t messed up or gotten it wrong a few times they aren’t trying hard enough. Elon Musk’s mantra at Spacex is not to look at rockets blowing up (un manned) as failures but rather great opportunities to examine the pieces and find out where things went wrong so it can be fixed. Same applies to growth as an artist.
    3. Never ever give up. Never. Thank you Winston Churchill.
    4. Thou shalt have a mid-point progress class critique. Is the first class critique as scary as Freddy Kruger’s nails? Yes. Yes it is. But it is the first major step towards becoming better and better at art; it teaches students how to divorce themselves emotionally from their work and be receptive to constructive criticism. Hardest commandment I had to learn in college, but after that one critique where I let go of my own rope, my abilities soared and I began to look forward to critiques! Your kiddos will too. Oh: and a bowl of candy for them while critique is going on is never a bad idea ! Teachers would walk by my class critiques in our hallway and comment later how impressed and surprised they were at how “into it” the kids were. Every Artismessy.com lesson teaches you how to lead a critique!
    5. There is ALWAYS something good happening on EVERY students’ work- you may have to dig deep on a few but it is imperative to point that out to build CONFIDENCE. They already know their art isn’t like Pretty Perfect Patty’s so lean over and whisper what their strong point is (for ex: you have an eye for color! I like your combination choices:….or…you aren’t afraid to apply pressure on the paper which produces bold colors! It may be a bit early to add that much pressure but when it’s time to do it, you’ve got it down!)…. You get the idea. I’ll pick a shy kid out and I will walk up to him and softly say “Wow….. you are my silent warrior! Look at you sitting there so quietly but boldly and carefully building up your layers of color! Wow!!!” They light up like a Christmas tree every time. I always had painting T-shirts made that had my “slogan” featured on it on the front and to get students to pay for theirs they were allowed to have a nickname printed in the back. One year a girl chose Silent Warrior on hers after I told her she was one!

  1. Thou shalt try do at least part of a project sample yourself and put it out for students to see. I always pointed out what parts were a struggle for me. They really love seeing their teacher being vulnerable like they are. Art is so much a part of our soul so it’s hard to put it out their for fear of rejection. It puts you on their playing field. I’ll even point out Gifted Griffin and how his shading technique is better than mine will ever be. Kids learn from role models who are real, so be real. Be honest
  2. Thou shalt ooze excitement! Emote and ooze excitement when starting a project. Input equals output so put in the element of fun. If you’re not excited about this project how can you expect them to be? Fake it if you have to. (I loathe teaching perspective drawing so I fake my enthusiasm when teaching that😬)
  3. Fake it until you make it. Kids think because you’re the teacher you know it all. But no one knows it all. Don’t be afraid to try a new project just because say you can’t blend paint well- or are scared of the kiln. artismessy.com u provides every step with images and video and can teach the class for you if need be. Trust that and a whole new world of fun and variety will open up to you!
  4. Thou shalt represent professionalism. Treat your classroom like an art studio. Print out cool art images you like online, make collages of them on poster boards and laminate them and hang them. Have a “library” shelf of art books for them to access for inspiration…Have signs up like NO LAZY! (Thankyou Michael Shapcott). Print out and display favorite quotes to hang up page. Make space for each student to keep their work in your classroom- even if it’s a folder made from a piece of folded poster board that you have to store in a bin. I went to Target and purchased stackable plasticccqxcxxx drawers for each of my painting kids to keep their own brushes and paints in and it was the best thing I’ve ever done because brushes weren’t being thrown away or paint being wasted. These students felt like they had a home base and part ownership of the shared art studio space.
  5. Thou shalt have Walls of Fame…Always have student artwork plastered on your walls!!! Outside in the hallway… in display cases…in the library….
  6. Bonus Commandment: BREATHE! You are a few clicks away from an awesome lesson where everything has been done for you! Rubrics. Step-by-Step table top instructions. Class sets of cropped, ready to grid photos. Sample art image. Cool ways to store and reference your projects. Worksheets and more! Just click print!

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