I remember the first time that someone told me that my art was bad. It was soul-crushing. I did not expect that I was some sort of Picasso, but it was a really hard thing to hear. It made me feel like I would never be able to create something beautiful.
I realized later that my teacher was just not good. He had discouraged me at a time when I needed encouragement. I recently looked back at that piece of art, which I had buried deep in my parents’ attic. And guess what? He was not wrong. It had problems all over the place that I now knew how to change. But the point was not that I was wrong, which is subjective anyway in this type of field. The point was that I needed better feedback. I work every day on giving good feedback, even asking students how they received certain notes. I want students to feel like they are an active participant in their education and I hope to inspire a love for art, even when constructively critiquing works.