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Hand Landscape

Remember the struggle between learning to do something the right way and learning to find your own way? I once had a film photography student who was an excellent student but found it incredibly difficult to take creative risks. We talked about it often but no matter what he would shift into a safe approach with each assignment.

After the last critique of the last class, he asked to stay and work in the darkroom one last time. Hours later he came to the digital lab to find me and excitedly announced "Look I printed a landscape on my hand!" The crazy accomplishment, the look of pure happiness and pride on his face, and the fact that he couldn't wait to show me, ended the semester perfectly. probably for both of us.

And so right now my students are trying hard to give it all they've got in just the few weeks left. Every teacher knows this sense of urgency. So next week I'm going to tell them this story to remind them that the learning we do in class is just the ripple. As artists we can put the work in and trust that creativity doesn't follow the rules, almost never stays inside the lines, and in its own time real waves will come.


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