I love Vi Hart. There is something about her crazy videos that I just adore. I almost feel like I hold my breath when I watch her work in case the sound of my breathing causes me to miss out on something she has to say! Today I learned that she doesn’t care if I like her or not – she is still going to make her videos the way she wants to make her videos. Which kind of makes me love her even more.
Her latest creation is on how to deal with negative comments in a digital world – although a lot of what she says could easily apply to the real world too. I love that she says that “I didn’t make this for your approval”. She creates because she loves it – mirroring the other person in my hall of fame, Neil Gaiman, with his charge to “make good art”.
As a teacher, I often let the comments of a few drown out my own inner voice and then my art becomes less “good” and more “doubted”, “mediocre”, or just plain watered down. I am a good teacher – I honestly don’t think I would still be doing this job 16 years if I didn’t truly love it. And yet, unlike Vi Hart, I am sometimes scared, I do seek approval, and I dither over comments people make like nobodies business. I think this is where the drop-off in my blogging comes into play. In addition to life throwing me a lot to deal with, I also began wondering if I had any good art left to share – or even any art worth sharing.
Today we had Kathy LeMay come to our school. This woman is fearless. As I sat in my classroom listening to her answer the questions my kids had for her on pursuing passion, I realized that we are always going to have nay-sayers in our world. People who will tell us it won’t work, can’t happen, isn’t right. We can choose to listen to those people and put our art in a deep, dark cupboard. Or, we can choose to move around these people and continue to do our thing.
It isn’t going to be easy. But I can almost certainly guarantee it will be worth it.
What are you waiting for?