I'm an a big project runway fan, so when I learned that we would hear Tim Gunn speak at the National Art Educators Association, I was over the moon with excitement.
We listened, on the edge of our seats, as he shared story after colorful story about his days as a student at the Corcoran School of Art and Design in Washington, DC We laughed as he told more stories of how he transformed the Parsons School of Design against resistance from faculty and students. He offered insights as to how his roll on Project Runway was never really meant to be and happened almost by accident.
I was inspired and uplifted by his words and his authentic approach to life:
Among the many lessons learned...
1) Do what you love -Through out Tim's discussion I could hear the love he has for art and design. I could hear his passion for teaching and guiding others to be fully expressed in their creativity. There was a deep passion and love there that was electric and beautiful!
2) Trusting talented individuals - There were many times along his journey where he encountered great artists and designers who took an interest in him. They challenged him to go beyond his comfort zone and try new things. He was scared and they didn't let him off the hook. He would die or get over the fear but he was encouraged to move forward and deal with the result. I could see how that approach would build certainty and confidence over time...and allow for more risk taking.
3) Don't take yourself too seriously. It's not brain surgery. - He is incredibly funny. We laughed so hard we were crying. He found humor in the happy parts AND the not so happy parts of his life. He didn't let things get to him (at least not for long). That was truly inspiring.
So I will take those lessons in to the weeks that follow.
and see what new pathways open for creative expression.