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  1. #1
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    [Art Education] Thoughts on Less Experienced Instructors

    Hello everyone,

    I'm not sure if this topic something commonly discussed, I certainly have never seen it in all the time I've been here.

    I was wondering what everyone's opinions (especially those who are/were teachers) are on artists teaching/providing tuition who are younger and lack the experience of older age and more years in professional practise.

    Assuming that they're genuinely hard working and not some hack job who's out to make a quick buck off students who don't know better, because the latter doesn't really need discussing.

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    This kind of question leads to all kinds of sticky questions and answers. First of all how much experience is not enough? What level of student will the teacher be teaching? There are plenty of young teachers with less experience but more energy and translatable passion for the work and especially for teaching. This is one of those questions that really has a lot of variables and is hard to answer in general.

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    What bcarman said. You need some specific examples of what your talking about. It's clear what you DON'T mean, but it's not clear as to what you DO mean.

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    I can't complain, since I used to be one of them.


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    Just my two cents.

    Is this kind of like “fake it til you make it" scenarios? Because that can turn ugly really fast if you can't deliver what you promise. That wouldn't be fair to others.

    Last edited by Pigeonkill; March 3rd, 2013 at 01:07 AM.
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    Age is irrelevant, skill level is. As is an ability to explain the what and the why of that skill.

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    Thanks for your responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcarman View Post
    This kind of question leads to all kinds of sticky questions and answers.
    When has CA ever shied away from sticky questions or answers?
    You're right that the variables are endless, hmmm...


    Elwell: Please do share more of your wisdom.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pigeonkill View Post
    Is this kind of like “fake it til you make it" scenarios? Because that can turn ugly really fast if you can't deliver what you promise. That wouldn't be fair to others.
    No, not that kind of scenario or any other scenario with negative connotations, we know those are bad.
    I'm simply talking about someone with less experience but still hard working, so I guess it does imply that some instances of 'faking' maybe unavoidable due to less experience.


    Quote Originally Posted by arenhaus View Post
    Age is irrelevant, skill level is. As is an ability to explain the what and the why of that skill.
    I believe it to be relevant in this case. As you've said, one needs to have the ability to teach, which is a whole other skill-set.
    A 21 year old guy who's been spending all their time honing their drawing skills isn't likely to have the life experience or industry experience necessary to teach, no matter how good they may be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HunterKiller_ View Post



    I believe it to be relevant in this case. As you've said, one needs to have the ability to teach, which is a whole other skill-set.
    A 21 year old guy who's been spending all their time honing their drawing skills isn't likely to have the life experience or industry experience necessary to teach, no matter how good they may be.
    If they have drawing skills and are half decent at explaining things then I don't see why they aren't qualified to teach. Maybe they won't be able to help with advice on working in the actual industry, but they can certainly teach skills in how to paint and draw.

    Pretty sure Rembrandt was had his own studio he taught at at like 22 or something, same with Van Dyck at like 19 or something. Might not be exactly right in terms of numbers, but there is a history of skilled young artists who would teach. And for a more contemporary example, Jeff Watts started teaching at around 20/21 I believe (don't think it was called Watts Atelier at that point, but was more of a precursor to it).

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    I don't think you can make a blanket judgment. It depends on too many things. In particular, WHAT is the teacher teaching? How much do they know about the subject they're teaching? And how good are they at communicating it?

    If someone is teaching, say, color theory or life drawing, they don't need "industry experience", they just need to know enough about color theory or life drawing to be able to impart useful information on those subjects, and they need the communication skills to do so. And that's it, really. Doesn't matter if they're 20 or 80. I've had young teachers who were good at what they taught, and old ones who weren't, and all sorts in between.

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    Usually the teacher pulls in people who have less ability as students so it doesn't really matter the teachers ability as long as what they teach isn't flat out wrong. A good teacher with limited skills will teach all they know. The student moves on once they get all they can from that teacher.

    Last edited by dpaint; March 3rd, 2013 at 09:31 AM.
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  19. #12
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    Teaching is a skill, which takes some time to develop through theory and practice. In general, it takes about 10 years to be good at teaching, animation, illustration, concept art, programming <insert your favourite skill here>. Being a skilled artist doesn't necessarily mean you're a skilled teacher. I usually take it with a grain of salt if a school promotes itself by stressing that all teachers are experienced artists: they might as well be crappy teachers.

    On top of that, the people I have met over the past 30 years that are both skilled professionals at art, mathematics, or computer science, and teaching, can be counted on the fingers of one hand. As a result, most skilled professionals are pretty bad teachers. The exceptions to the rule are true diamonds...

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  21. #13
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    I agree with QueenGwenewre.

    HunterKiller. If you feel like you are less experienced than others, but people are still interested in what you do know. You are still in the green and not putting anybody on. The more experience and services you can provide, the higher price you can reasonable command.

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