The First Rule: Everyone is an Artist

Claiming Face blog series with Maya Gonzalez - Part 4

Claiming Face with MayaI have many layers to speak about Claiming Face. There are multiple, deep, esoteric levels I can go to related to the expansion of consciousness and taking responsibility for reality, etc…but truly the most primary and fundamental is the practicality of taking it into the classroom. It’s ultimately all about the kids for me. That is why I continue to take all my thoughts, everything I’ve learned at the foot of my teacher, Creativity, and try to translate it into the most basic and accessible tools possible.

The three premises of Claiming Face are:

  1. The power of Creativity
  2. The importance of Reflection
  3. The effect of Presence

These are then translated further into The 3 Rules:

  1. Everyone is an artist.
  2. There is never a right or wrong way to make art.
  3. Art is always an act of courage.

My goal is always to support, empower and enhance the educator and by extension, the student. When we begin to understand the phenomenal power inherent within each of us, we become not only more of who we really are, we become stronger. And this strength can then be used to attend to the task at hand.

All of the Claiming Face projects are geared toward beauty, success and reflection that lead to deeper self knowing. Sometimes this occurs in playful and insidious ways.

You may remember me sharing a little about my first rule, Everyone is an Artist, and my Polka Dot theory in Part 1 of this series.

Everyone is an Artist. This first rule is a unifying and empowering statement. It immediately creates a tone of equality and inclusion among everyone, out of which arises respect and curiosity. It confirms that everyone has something valuable to contribute and inspires a sense of wonder about what that might be for each of us. It acknowledges the force of creativity that flows through all of us and through that acknowledgement we become larger. We can each say: I am artist; I create; I contribute; I am. This first rule begins the powerful link between creativity and a sense of self.-excerpt from Claiming Face: Self-Empowerment through Self-Portraiture

This first Rule is supported by the Polka Dot Theory.

Polka Dot Theory. I have witnessed much art making in my work and I have noticed that no one marks the page the same way. Literally, our very bodies carry our uniqueness. If I make a polka dot on the page and you make one and another person makes one, we can tell who made which polka dot. How we carry our stories and experiences affects how we hold our hand, touch a pencil, apply pressure and execute something as basic as a dot. Just a dot expresses something that is all our own. My polka dot is mine and only mine. And yours can only be yours. This is the beginning of art and being an artist.-excerpt from Claiming Face: Self-Empowerment through Self-Portraiture

Share the first rule and the Polka Dot Theory with your students. Holding the thought that we are an artist shifts our perspective on our self, our contribution, our power. It also changes how we see others. This is self-empowering. It also conveys equality with others. Claiming Face is very much about instilling not only self-respect, but respect for everyone.

I like to use the Making Face Puzzle project first. It is playful and super easy. We begin making choices and experimenting with using self-portraiture as a tool. I strongly encourage educators to do the project first. See how it works for you. You can then speak from experience to your students. Remember, you are an artist! Have fun, be playful.

Download Making Face Puzzle Project

And, if you’d like to read more about The 3 Rules, feel free to download The 3 Rules Mini Guide and start taking Claiming Face and The 3 Rules into the classroom right now!

View Part 5 of the series>>

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