I've experienced a lot of things in my 14 year teaching career (some bad, but mostly all good). I've learned an awful lot in that time period, too.
One of my biggest lessons is that I've learned to let go. I've learned that holding onto things that you can't control doesn't help you or those around you.
I've learned that the number one priority of a teacher is to teach. You can't worry about what will happen to the material once you've let it out into the world. Besides, nothing is original. Really. There, I've said it! NOTHING IS ORIGINAL. It's how you present it that makes it original.
There is a huge difference between wanting to make art to sell and display and wanting to teach. If you want to make art, make art. If you don't want to worry about people "stealing" your ideas than DO NOT TEACH. You don't want to teach if this is even a glimmer of a thought in your head. You want to be a professional artist, DO THAT instead.
If you want to teach, you had better think about it pretty damn hard and long and figure out if it's really what you want to do. People pay you their hard earned money to learn from you. You had better have your shit together before you jump into the pool. LEARN EVERYTHING that you can. LEARN THE RULES-yes, I said that, too. THERE ARE RULES with art. My attitude has always been, "Learn the rules and then learn how to break them. Once you do that, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING." That being said, if you teach you can't worry about what is done with your material. Really. Yes, it's one thing to be pissed (and I would be pissed, after all, I'm a redhead) if someone took your handouts and taught in your style and claimed it as their own. It's another thing if someone takes the ideas you show them, works at it, and pushes it to another level. Remember that Picasso quote, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal." Translate that to take the ideas and make them your own. See how far you can push it. That's what a good teacher does. A teacher teaches and lets go of the material.
Nothing is original. Nothing is unique. I don't believe in copyright (I don't believe current benefit everyone in the way that they were set up to. Instead they benefit a small handful of people and those people are the ones with the most amount of money and power who can change the laws to benefit themselves). All that said, I work very hard to make my classes top notch. I may not make much money at it compared to the amount of work that I do (I make at or below minimum wage every year) but I teach because I LOVE IT. I love seeing what my students do with the ideas. I love how what I share with them translates in their own mind out onto their pages of their books. I always say what I mean and mean what I say, and MY STUDENTS ARE THE BEST!
I'd add more to this, but these are my feelings in a nutshell.
Corita Kent sums it up better than I ever could:
2 years ago