I recently had a discussion about whether or not artists are responsible for what they put into the world. I was arguing that no, artists are simply responsible for making art, be it music, literature, images, etc, and what the world does with it is out of the artists' hands. But after E.B. Lewis's session today, I've changed my opinion. A main topic of the session was our responsibility as artists to put work into the world that really benefits children, especially considering the way many schools and the whole school system is currently failing to truly engage them.
Among many gems I scribbled down during the session, here are a few quotes from Lewis:
- A kid does not care what you know, until they know that you care.
- Knowledge that doesn't come from the heart is dangerous.
- We have a great priveledge to make a mark, but you have to work to earn the right to leave a mark.
Lewis also showed us a dvd by photographer and public speaker Dewitt Jones called Everyday Creativity. If you can, try to watch it—but a warning if you want to buy it, it's expensive! Jones compares using the right lense in order to get the right photo to finding the right perspective in a situation. He talked about the need to change up our perspective to keep searching for the way to be your most creative and create your best art.
Even if Jones's photography style isn't your fave, the advice about ways in which to view the world to be your most creative makes the dvd worthwhile.
It's refreshing and a great reality check to hear E.B. Lewis talk about the importance of making art and books that give children what they deserve—to be engaged with the world, to explore, to be creative.
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