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Risk taking & sandbaggers

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  • Judy Decker
    Risk taking & sandbaggersDear Art Educators, This is an important topic for Art Educators to consider. I am hopeful Marvin will see that value in bringing this
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 2, 2004
      Risk taking & sandbaggers
      Dear Art Educators,
      This is an important topic for Art Educators to consider. I am hopeful Marvin will see that value in bringing this to all art ed lists.
      I will post my response to this soon -- but wanted you to have a chance to read Marvin's post first. How do YOU deal with Fear of Failure? My way worked for me (with kids)....but may not for you. I will share soon. I will compile responses to this one - and share across lists. Hopefully Marvin will give me permission to use his post on IAD.
      From Marvin Bartel
      A couple weeks ago Linda Woods told a great story about a jewelry student in an AP class that had been particularly capable risk taker, but never was able to complete anything.  Could this have been a unique special needs student?  How many other students suffer from a milder form of fear of finishing?

      One of the characteristics of successful highly creative people is that they do have many unfinished tasks.  However, part of being creativity is the ability to complete an acceptable number of tasks even when they are less than perfect.  Finishing is a scary thing, but truly creative people have learned the benefits of  taking the risk to finish.

      How have we learned to take this risk of finishing things that are not yet perfect?  I have learned that I can finish artwork because I know there is another chance to make improvements and corrections.  I can keep doing it again.  Are some students unable to make this rationalization?  Do we need to look harder for ways help them learn that art, unlike some things in life, does offer another chance.  Is not art the metaphor for life that allows us to imagine any life event (to test it) in order to see it better before ultimately risking our lives.

      In a few cases this working insight requires more therapy than an art teacher can be expected to do.  In other cases the student may simply need some encouragement or a bit of special explanation about the benefits of finishing and the dire consequences of procrastination.  Maybe we need teach in ways that make clear that finishing is not really finishing.  I see every artwork as the sketch for my next work. Yet no creative work is totally based on its own sketch.  Art is journey - not a destination.

      What works for you to help sandbaggers who have this unreasonable fear of failure?  They are good artists, hard workers, but spend so much time in preparation that they never get things done on time.
      Marvin Bartel
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