When you have nothing to do or too much to do and you are avoiding everything that feels obligatory, it’s hobby time! I come from a family of hobbyists. There are craft persons on both sides, so it is apparently genetic. Or frenetic. Either way, we make things.
I took a couple of printmaking classes a few years ago, and just couldn’t stop making prints. Now I have drawers and portfolios full of them. A few found their way into frames. The rest lie dormant. I promise myself that one day I’ll create a giant collage…hasn’t happened yet.
One year I knit hats and scarves. Everyone received a hat and matching scarf for Christmas, whether they wanted one or not. I was in high school, and had a limited budget. Yarn is a lot more expensive now. I started knitting again a few years ago, and I just can’t seem to stop. The closet is full of hats, and I have begun to disperse them to those in need of a head covering.
These days kids complain a lot about being bored. Especially in math class. They want to be constantly entertained. They want to be in constant communication with each other. There’s a lot of doodling going on.
I try, as a math teacher, to incorporate some doodling into my lessons. But whenever I ask the kids to draw something geometric, there’s always a wise guy with a comment:
“Hey, this isn’t art class!”
You could have fooled me. There are pencil sketches on the desks, in the books, and around the borders of their papers. Even on the pencil sharpener. These kids have something to say, and they are communicating with images.
So why are we cutting funding for art instruction? Wouldn’t it be great to have a school devoted to graffiti? Every surface would be a potential canvas. Imagine how much time and energy we could save on discipline and maintenance. Just a thought.