I have been an artist for decades. Those decades have been monetarily supported via art sales and teaching. When I first started teaching art in 1980, it was a magical thing. I could go into a room of young students, suggest ideas, and then, let them do their OWN thing. We all created masterpieces. They got to experience creativity without judgment or restrictions. They were artists all. We were free.
It is very, very different now. These are the days when I have to march kids to the computer lab for a standardized test which basically quizzes them on the elements and principles of art. I think this is horrific. However, it is what it is in this time of restrictions and data collection. Art teachers now are even told what projects to teach. These "scores" go into a database and will be compared to more numbers at the end of the year. It is so ridiculous.
I work with kids who have rough lives. I don't care if they know the "Elements and Principles". I really don't. What I care about is the smile on their faces when I show them how to mix colors. I care about their happiness when they arrive at the art room. I care about the pure JOY they feel and express as they are making their art. This is what is truly important.
We, as a society have lost our way. We seem to think if a product isn't made, judged, scored, and documented, it is worthless. Would any of you turn to a child and tell them "Sorry, your work is not good enough!"? I remember when I was in elementary school, art class was about just making stuff. I was filled with joy with each class. I wonder if someone judged my work so brutally, would I have ever become an artist? Have you ever seen a child's face when her/his work gets rejected from an art show? I have and it isn't pretty. SHAME ON US!
We all have to remember the product and the dollar can only go so far.
Our quality of life is also linked to our personal expression and experiences.
We all need to have experiences that help us realize the JOY of being ALIVE!
I think we have forgotten that and it is tragic.