Friday, 22 July 2016

So you want me to teach art?

Fifteen minutes before class, in a mad panic, I hurriedly spread three different art textbooks in front of me, and tear through the pages, praying for something that looks remotely doable.
Sketches, paintings, portraits, carvings, pottery. No No No. Who is this book trying to kid? I'm on a colour pencil and recycled paper budget! Giving up on the stupid Picasso-themed textbook, I toss it aside for a more realistic solution.

Panic level has just escalated.

I dig deep into the recesses of my mind and pull out vague memories of my art classes in school shamelessly aiming to copy some lesson ideas. Why do they all involve bits of potatoes and cross-sections of okra? Is that all we did?

 The stress level at this point is off the charts

5 minutes to class, abandoning all, I grab my markers and go.

As I not-exactly-hurry to class, I quickly assess my own capabilities. What am I good at? Okay Stick figures and ,...nope....just stick figures.
Do I know any cool origami? Yes. A boat. A boat hat.  But a boat hat lesson would not last an hour.
I could make them do 20 boat hats! No, that's a mess in the making.

In what unfairly seems like no time at all, I reach the classroom. The first face I find, is the one I loathe the most. He has a lazy, uninterested look that seems to say, "so you think you can teach us art, lady? good luck loser" I detest him, and I am convinced he is a glue sniffer, with mush for brains.

 He shoots me a bored look so scalding that I am immediately brought to the painful realization of how little knowledge I will impart today.

The other students have a mixture of hope and pity etched on their faces, because they too can sense my hopelessness.

Suddenly I find myself announcing in a pseudo confident voice, that we are going to be sketching a human face today!

Why did I do that? Had I forgotten my very limited abilities?

I take out a marker pen and draw an oval, the way I had seen done in some books.

I told them to copy what I did.
This is what I was doing

The students do not seem to struggle and they are producing mass drawings of equally bad quality.
I add a moustache and a beard and some other detailing to the eyes, I also announce that the quality is in the details.

Where am I getting this confidence?
But there is no stopping me. I pin point and zoom in on details that I clearly cannot manage, trying to drag on the time as much as possible.

I begin to adopt a lecturing tone, explaining the facial structure of cheekbones and nasal cartilage. I also stress on the importance of smile lines, wrinkles, and emphatically illustrate my meaning

I begin to look impressed with my drawing, and feel like I've sketched Jesus.
I hear a student mentioning the demon Valak, from the latest Conjuring film, and I am snapped back to reality.
Soon, there is absolutely nothing I could possibly add to the face, and I tell them to finish up their drawings. I walk around and point out flaws, openly laugh at some of their juvenile attempts and tut tut at some whom I think are not putting in enough effort.

I glance at my watch, 10 minutes more. Excellent, time for the final bit of instruction,

Alright colour your work and pass up.

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