i’ve spent most of the last two years teaching kids, but i still find myself occasionally teaching adults. i’m fascinated by the way non-artists who are adults approach being creative. kids tend to be fairly uninhibited and non-judgmental of their creative output up to a point (that self-doubt starts creeping in anywhere from ages 7 to 11, i’ve found), but adults want it all spelled out. they want every possible piece of information, every calculation, every potential outcome so it can be written down and carefully catalogued in whatever large notebook they tote around with them. i think this may give them a (false) sense of control when entering a world that they don’t normally live in.
this weekend, when i was showing some of them how to mix plaster, i was kind of amazed that some of them could not understand what role chance, feel and intuition play in making art. as i was trying to get them to understand how the plaster would look and feel once it had reached the right consistency, they were poking around at the fine print on the plaster bag, looking for exact measurements (for what it’s worth, i’ve never measured plaster, i’ve always gone by feel and had mostly successful results).
some things in material art making thrive on exactness and perfect calculations and numbers. most don’t.