Episode 19 features artist and art teacher, Jan Butler. Jan is a former collaborator and my forever friend. Jan’s background is in 2D, and 3D art, as well as puppeteering. She works with students in stop motion animation, graphic novels, pottery, mask making AND she teaches kids all about monarch butterfly migration and supports the butterfly population in Northeastern Oklahoma. On top of all that, Jan is a member of the Tulsa Oratorio Chorus and a consummate gardener.
Be sure to listen until the end of the interview for Concise Advice from the Interview, and Words of Wisdom from George.
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Concise Advice from the Interview:
Here are 10 bits of advice from visual artist Jan Butler for all artists.
10 Layer your learning to build on what you already know
9 Think bigger than the moment you’re doing your art
8 Focus on the story you want to tell
7 Feed and nurture your inner artist
6 For children to feel they can express something in different ways is really important
5 Getting to experience something through different senses before it becomes academic really makes learning stick
4 The opportunity to work at something and fail without being judged for it is really important
3 As a teacher, you can be creative and free to be an artist for you instead of for people who purchase your work
2 Be open and search for new experience for both you and your students to keep it fresh
At the recent Creativity Summit in Tulsa this month my kids and I joined a breakout session where we could share our ideas on the question: “How can our schools continue to produce creative young people in a climate of reduced support for education, especially in the arts?” I made a short video and both of my kids answered with a piece of poetry. My daughter’s piece, titled A Sense of Urgency has to do with the reason kids feel misunderstood in the current system. My son’s piece is a reworked poem titled Wasteland. He approaches the idea from a more absurdist perspective because, as he says, the current thinking about education is absurd. Both kids are award-winning writers and I love being able to get a glimpse into their heads. Enjoy!