When I was young, I spent a lot of time in libraries. I loved books. I loved learning. I was curious about everything, which is a trait that many children have.
Although I'm a few decades older now, my curiosity has only gotten stronger. I like to ask questions. I like to learn. I have learned a lot from many others, particularly some key figures in my evolution as an artist (see below).
I have taught at both the university and high school levels. I enjoy formal education greatly, and am fortunate to have worked in wonderful, supportive environments with terrific students and staff.
Education should not be confined to the walls of a school, however. It should be embedded in every area of our lives, like an umbrella. And education should be fun. Let me say it again:
Learning is Fun.
Education is Fun.
When you're a young child, you don't separate the learning process into formal categories. You don't have an On/Off Switch for Learning. You soak it all in; you ask questions and absorb and just learn because you're curious. And then, at some unfortunate point in childhood, most children start to pick up on the idea learning is not fun. That is so sad. That is so wrong.
One of my favorite stories is that of Tom Sawyer and the picket fence. When he got stuck with the task of painting the fence, he turned into something so fun, so desirable, that other people paid him for the opportunity to help paint it.
Learning is FUN. Too often, children learn from adults that there's A) things that are fun, B) things that are not fun, and C) that Work generally falls into the latter category. I do not support this view.
Thoughts on education
Stuff that might be helpful
Exercises and ideas for active creativity
I have inherently and deliberately
tried to retain a childlike approach to looking at the possibilities in the world; to imagining, and dreaming, and asking questions, and being curious. I'm pretty handy at using a variety of tools, from Macs and DSLR cameras to typewriters and paintbrushes; from building simple wood toys to transforming spaces into play studios.
I believe in Fun. I possess a a decade's worth of digital and creative skill sets, and love to pass what I know along to others. Even more important than the technology we use as brushes, I believe in question-asking, in curiosity, in mutual respect, and in good conversation. These are elements that help to make make the learning process dynamic, effective, and fun. Also, I always try to have a hot beverage close by.
There is so much mediocrity in the universe. I would like to be either way above it, or way beneath it. I just don’t want to be in the middle. It’s suffocating, and a little smelly.
My dream is to eventually offer intensive three-week immersion courses in the fundamentals of Digital Media Creation (filmmaking, graphic design, photography, digital illustration, visual storytelling) at my mountain top studio overlooking Portland. For the last six years I have taught, through Very Long Media, a series of classes in photography, filmmaking, and media arts at a prestigious high school in the Portland area. It has been a grand adventure, and such a treat to share my enthusiasm for the creative process with a delightful group of students each year.
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