People in the art community criticize me for coaching. "It is taking time away from your art." "Why are you wasting you time with those kids?" "You don't really care about being an artist unless you are committing every minute of every day to being in the studio working." To all of those people I say, "Coaching is printmaking." "Whoa! What?" "Coaching is printmaking."
Printmaking in its broadest definition is the transference of an image from one thing to another resulting in multiples. When I coach crew I am attempting to help those eight rowers and one coxswain replicate their motions using correct form and technique over and over again for 2,000 meters. Humm, that sounds strangely like an edition which is inking a plate and pulling it over and over until you have prints that are as close to identical as humanly possible, 20 times or 200 times.
Coaching trains my eye to see small inconsistencies that effect the movement of the boat. How could something that helps with detail focus be bad for an artist? I pay my studio dues. If coaching takes me out of the studio completely then yes that is a bad thing, but if it gives me the opportunity to hone my skills of observation and get some fresh air then I don't think it is bad or makes me less of an artist. So I say, "Coaching is printmaking." And I am going to go make some prints on the water. Go team!
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