Posted by: keepingthemistakes | April 4, 2013

No No No No No

I’m feeling tired of NO today.  I feel like, sometimes, I’m saying NO all the time . . . NO stick people, NO words, NO vampire teeth, NO scribbling . . . I want to say YES more, and I usually start out with yes –  things pretty open ended, letting creativity flow.  And then the vampire teeth start.  One table does them, then another, then they all want to have vampire teeth (and mohawks that look like pointy heads). Or they try to out-do each other with silliness that diminishes the artwork (at least I think it does).  It isn’t creativity, it’s following the crowd and doing what’s “cool” right now.  What’s an art teacher to do?

That’s not a rhetorical question, I really want your input and advice!



  1. I tell my students that they are free to draw like that at home but in art class they are learning a skill, just like in science or writing. For example, they wouldn’t think of putting a comma between two numbers in the date because it was “creative” (April 9, 20,13) or draw a seedling upside down with the roots in the air for a lab report. There is a time and place for skill and for creativity and you, as the specialist, can decide when that is.

  2. There is nothing wrong with the word NO. In our PC society where eveyone is fine and everything is ok…..a NO might do a child some good. There is wrong and there is right. I know you don’t want to be too negative, but sometimes that is the only word that fits for the moment. Asking more “thinking” questions may get them to find the answers for themselves…and I know you do that.

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