Wednesday, July 25, 2007

On Teaching...

Sorry about the lack of updates... I bet a lot of you are wondering if I plan to keep working on TMDT, and my answer is: I do.

I've learned a lot more about teaching since my first two weeks at college in front of a class of about 18 people -- many of them beginners, and some of them are not particularly interested in drawing but they're there as part of the school curriculum requirements.

The first thing I learned about teaching which has become my 'cardinal rule of teaching' is that NOBODY likes to hear a lecture, especially if it has to do with the basic principles. Rather, it's better if we just dive bass-ackwards and flailing into drawing the fun stuff that we really want to draw, die on impact (because we don't know any of the basics), identify all the problems that result of our lack of the bare minimum and try not to make the same mistakes again.

So what does this spell for the future of the series? Hopefully nothing bad -- I intend to continue teaching basic principles, but instead of isolating principles, I'd prefer to do a demo that calls upon some principles that I want to teach. It's gonna be rather tough to spot all the possible things that can go wrong, but fortunately my unfortunate students are there to show me all of the things I know that I take for granted.

Another part of me wants to write a book, but teaching seems to require the kind of feedback that comes from a person-to-person conversation. Beginners also carry this shyness about their work -- they worry too much that a drawing will turn out "badly" and they spend a lot of time on tight linework and minute detail in an effort to shore up their work. I think if we're going to make any progress in the next class tomorrow I'm gonna have to find some way to open up that shell...