This past week I had an excellent conversation with my mentor, an Art Education professor. She and I discussed the impact of the internet on Art Education and art teachers, and we hit upon the topic of intellectual property and ego. We all have ego, we all have ideas, and we all want to get credit for our ideas. . . But, sometimes our egos, and our need for credit, get in the way of progress.
For instance, have you ever been afraid to share an idea because you thought everyone would copy you and/or take credit?
I know I have. In fact, one of my Art professors during my undergrad days pulled me aside and asked me to quit bringing my work to class. He said that I needed to take more care to protect my ideas, as many students would adopt a concept I had which, in his mind, diminished my work.
What a load of nonsense!
My work grew stronger, because my classmates and I would bounce ideas off of one another; riffing on the same ideas to such a point our work became even more individualized. Our work got better.
And, if you are an Art teacher, you've seen your students work in class to do the same thing.
Y'all know I'm all about the free here on ArtfulArtsyAmy. I've been so inspired by what you share online from lessons, to ideas, to your personal artwork. Even though I pin your lesson plan ideas to Pinterest like a mad woman, I rarely end up doing an exact copy of the assignment. I end up doing a bit of my own thing. It isn't because the original lesson plan isn't good, but it is because I am me, and I have my ways of doing things. I don't think like you do, and doing a project the exact same way in which you do it would never work for me. So, I take your idea, whittle it down to its most basic essence, and then teach it in a manner best suiting my students and my teaching style. I get inspired by other teacher's ideas and it makes me better educator when I customized them.
This is why I like for everything to be free on ArtfulArtsyAmy. I want you to take my ideas. . .And, if they resonate with you, tailor them to suit your needs.
I rarely link to lesson plans and/or ideas that cost money. However, I came across the tutorials of Michele Made Me this week. Michele is a blogger who likes to take simple, everyday items (toilet paper tubes, egg cartons etc.) and turn them into original, craft-based art. Her ideas are really beautiful. She shares a lot of amazing crafts on her blog, and she also has a small, online shop where you can purchase craft tutorials for a small fee (ranging from $2-$9). I purchased three tutorials this week, and I am so pleased with them. Michele really takes time to take wonderful, illustrative pictures of her process and adds text that actually makes sense! I'm excited to modify her tutorial ideas into something relevant and exciting for my students.
So, while I'm typically not into paying money for lesson plans, concepts ideas etc. I believe Michele's are worth the cost. The fee is so small, and all she asks is that you not use the tutorial to craft items for sale. She is also a working artist, not an art educator. It seems to me, in this instance, the fee more serves to control how her intellectual property is used (she doesn't want others to take her ideas and turn a profit; totally understandable).
I've never met Michele, and never emailed her. I have received no compensation for this post. I have no reason to endorse Michele's work other than the fact that I really happen to admire it.