This is a philosophical post. I am writing to share my motivations for why I blog every week on Art Play Children Learning.
Blogging is a fantastic thing. I point this out because I didn’t know it before I did it myself. Back in February 2016 when I started blogging, I had no idea where Art Play Children Learning would go. Since then I have published 60 posts, started accompanying Instagram and Pinterest pages, become more consistent with publishing content (every Thursday morning GMT), and built a following of fellow art and education lovers.
Running Art Play Children Learning is time-consuming and sometimes costly. However, blogging is also deeply rewarding and so fulfilling. I would highly recommend starting a blog to others working in art and education. Here are my reasons why…
Connecting with others who share a relentless enthusiasm towards art and education.
Everything grows faster when people work together. So many people I have met that are doing exceptional things with children talk about the isolation they feel in their work. Working in education can be tough. Especially when people have very different understanding about what it is and how it should be done.
I have met SO many inspiring people through blogging like Trevor Smith from the Peabody Essex Museum and Mara Krechevsky from Harvard Project Zero not to mention all of the amazing teachers, artists and art museum curators from all over the world. Many of these people also dedicate a huge amount of time towards sharing ideas and practices through social media. These relationships are a constant point of inspiration.
Working alone is fine, but when there is the support of others, it can be incredible. Connecting with others is my favourite part of blogging!
Getting feedback on ideas while they are still in development.
Through blogging I have been able to put ideas out into the world while they were still in development. This opportunity has allowed for direct feedback from a wide range of people, including the practitioner’s working directly with children. I have posted many ideas on this blog before they went under formal peer-review in an academic journal. This approach has its strengths and weaknesses, but overall I have benefited immensely from getting feedback early on.
I also appreciate that sharing ideas while they are still growing is daunting. Other people could pinch your work. You could say something that could become outdated and then it will remain in the public domain with your name on it *cringe* but that’s part of the game. I have greatly benefited so from putting ideas out into the world early on my PhD. The connections I have made, the feedback I have received and the career opportunities that have come from doing this are invaluable.
Sharing cool things that I have learnt with others.
When I landed my first job working in the visual art department at an Australian regional arts organisation, I had no idea what I was doing. I loved art. I loved making stuff and I had a burning interest in children’s education. But I felt like I was continuously stabbing in the dark. I needed more resources, more theoretical understandings and more practical tips and techniques for how to design spaces that supported children’s learning through art. Most of the content I publish on Art Play Children Learning is stuff that I wish I had access to during this time.
I hope that what I share may be of interest to others too and if it’s not, that is totally okay too.
Blogging is fun.
When I blog, I don’t have to deal with ridiculous bureaucratic processes. I do things at my own pace while exploring my curiosities and interests. I can follow my heart. I get to learn from my own mistakes. AND I get to shamelessly nerd out about art and children’s education. Take that, haters!
On that note, I am clocking off for the next month and taking a well-deserved blogging holiday. Current life goals include getting a suntan and raising my alcohol tolerance to dangerously high levels. And possibly writing my PhD thesis.
The next Art Play Children Learning post will be hitting your inbox on Thursday, August 9, 2018!