I can’t believe it’s already been a year. it never ceases to amaze me how much can change and what seems like the blink of an eye. Just last month it was no big deal to go to the movies or shopping at the mall or getting to go and teach my kids at school everyday. Now it’s so different, and I never thought I would be doing this interview in the midst of some strange times.
Just in the way that many of us seem to be going back to basics in our everyday lives, this is how my life with art seems to have come around. I haven’t been pursuing any art shows or even painting all that frequently. I haven’t used any social media in almost a year. And I haven’t been publicly pursuing to push my art out into the world. While these may seem to be steps backward, I actually find them to be great steps forward in my life.
My husband and I aren’t moving stations for a while, so I finally decided to pursue a professional 9-5 career with art. Options are kind of limited where I am but I kept going back to teaching. there seemed to be a great demand for art teachers even though it was only the middle of the school year. So even though I didn’t have a teaching license I decided to apply anyway and see what would happen. 3 months and 3 interviews later I received a job offer to teach at Wells Elementary School. I was so excited that I agreed to go into town and sign my work contract on my birthday because I never wanted to forget it.
While it’s definitely been a transition from working at home to working at a school, I wouldn’t change it for anything. These children have given me the great opportunity to get back in touch with what drew me to art in the first place. I get the chance to teach the fun of process-based art I know that they probably wouldn’t get otherwise. I’m teaching them that it’s okay to make mistakes because the mistakes aren’t what’s important. It’s the process that you take to get to them that makes the art fun. If you get too hung up in your end result you’re never going to be fully satisfied.
Right now all of us are trying to get used to what is a new normal. It’s definitely changed the face of teaching art for many children around the world. That doesn’t mean we should give up. It just means we need to start thinking more creatively and come up with new ways to be artists that haven’t been done before. This new form of teaching does call attention to the missing presence of the students at schools everywhere. It reminds us why we shouldn’t take advantage of others’ presence because we never know when we’ll see them again. I’m hopeful though, that these challenges will only make me a better artist and teacher in the years to come.
Read Alexa’s 2019 Artist Interview with MilspoFAN: http://www.milspofan.com/2019/07/24/an-interview-with-alexa-bonney/