SchoolArts Magazine

JAN 2014

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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advoCaCy Winning the Creativity Game Eldon Katter C reative skill partnered with an open attitude toward innovation and invention does not come without effort, practice, and, yes, enjoyment in more or less equal proportions. However, all students can increase their creative potential if they have the coaching and training to propel them forward. Coaching and training Coaching and training can make a big difference in developing creative potential in art, just as they do in sports. Even though sports training involves exercises, routines, and practice, all athletes will tell you that as they train, they know they are getting better at the game, and the better they get, the more confidence they have in their skills, and the more they enjoy the game. exercise and Practice In sports, athletes do not give up because a particular move did not work as planned. They exercise to finetune the muscle groups involved in the move. They practice and try again. While routine, exercise, and practice may sound like the antithesis of creative activity, they are essential to the mastery of skills and the building of self-confidence. In creative endeavors, as in sports, you have to believe in yourself, be willing to take reasonable risks, be sensitive to subtle shifts in position, know when to think outside the playbook, and sometimes reach beyond established boundaries. 12 January 2014 SchoolArts room, the greater their potential for mastering traditional skills and seeking innovative approaches to artistic problem-solving. Like armchair sports fans, students may learn to become conversant about art by observing from the sidelines, but they will only become innovative and creative individuals when they have a good art coach, regularly scheduled training, and ample opportunities to practice their skills. excelling and Winning As students become more skillful in thinking creatively, they will find this has a powerful effect on their overall approach to life and learning. In later life, creativity will be useful in personal as well as work-related matters. A responsible, creative individual can initiate and innovate instead of waiting to be told what observing and adapting to do. He or she can solve problems, Some coaches believe that the best and generate useful and efficient alternafastest way to learn a sport is to observe tives for action, design systems and and imitate procedures, a champion. Students will only become innovative and make The same and creative individuals when they responsible might be decisions. have a good art coach, regularly applicable All it scheduled training, and ample to learning takes to to be more opportunities to practice their skills. excel in any creative. The creative more students engage in art historical undertaking is training and practice inquiry and investigate the way great combined with desire, effort, and enjoyartists and designers approach their ment. work and the more opportunities they Eldon Katter is co-author of Explorations have to study with a highly skilled art in Art (Davis Publications) and a former teacher or visiting artist in the classeditor of SchoolArts. ekatter@ptd.net

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