By your 10th year teaching you start to feel like a Pavlovian dog, jumping when you hear a bell ring, fighting not to tell the total stranger to, "Take that hat off!" or eating your meals in record speed so you can run to the bathroom. It's habits like these that I'd imagine with any job are ingrained habits you find hard to dodge in normal life. But one thing that has ramped up for me lately is not so much the habits that come with the day to day, but the management of all the information coming at us at an epic pace. Now in year 23 of this career, it's not the same as it was when I started. Not that I'm expecting it to be, mind you, but the integration of technology into our daily lives as both a teacher and as an artist has fueled a few more bad habits than I care to have. More information isn't necessarily better.
As a visually driven person, Pinterest for example, is akin to crack. Seriously, even the terminology used around it , like, "Oh, I think I need a Pinterest hit!' alludes to it being a literal addiction! (You know you've all thought it at least once!) And to add insult to injury, there's a Pinterest App so we can be ANYWHERE and still be scrolling through the battery of images it houses. I don't mean to harsh just on Pinterest, but it is representative of the bad habits I am referring to. It is a means to collect ideas...ideas that we get all excited about because we see a beautiful picture that we are SURE we can recreate just as well, yet when push comes to shove we either bomb the project, or more likely, we never make time to execute it. I am convinced that we have all become expert idea collectors. We find something that satisfies that "Hit" buy gorging on, for example, all the drawing lesson ideas we can find, make a "Board" about it, blogging about it (read:self-mocking :) and then before you know it, we are collecting more information about drawing in different mediums, on different surfaces, etc., before...we have implemented any of the information we first collected. And then we feel bad about it! We never have a chance to integrate and without integration of an idea, all it does is float on the surface instead of soaking in. I vote for less collecting, and more space to integrate...it's hard to do because the bad habit of collecting masquerades as being purposeful & productive. But I'm pulling back a bit...I'm not pinning as much until I use what I have, kind of like the way you're supposed to reduce clutter, can't buy something new unless something goes! What do you guys think? Am I onto something here, or do I need to join PinterestAnonymous....or rather start it! :)