Are you signalling what you think you're signalling?

Education researchers have known for decades that being good at something and being good at teaching something are two completely different skill sets. In fact, universities are mostly ranked on the strength of their research, and, of course, the brand name can be worth a lot. Something similar holds true for MasterClass, whose impressive roster of talent feels like a who’s who of elite professionals, a gallery of the meritocracy’s winners.

The easy, obvious heuristics are, often, just so bad. How many simple signals of what’s good or proper are actually just status quo bias rather than reliable indicators we should use to make decisions?

From an interesting article on Masterclass in The Atlantic.

My emphasis.

Why can't you draw?

To make significant progress in drawing, it is important to be aware of your strengths and challenges. Don’t just say, “I’m not good at drawing faces.” Try to learn specifically why you find it challenging to draw faces? Is it getting the proportions right? Shading? Anatomy? Break down challenges into small steps and tackle them one at a time. The clearer you are, the better prepared you will be for devising a solution.

This is another gem from Pen and ink drawing: a simple guide.

I don't really think much of my drawing skills. That's why I like the word "scribble". I am always getting better, though.

So many don't even get past the first step. I regularly ask others to join me. But my invitations and provocations are usually, immediately, shut down with "I can't draw".

They're apparently so bad it's not worth bothering at all. Maybe I should start asking why and how.

Teach the process

It's staggering how few books I read that emphasise thought process over simple steps and results. Especially with art.

Many students experience very slow progress in drawing because they haven’t learned that it involves much more than simply putting what they look at on paper. Instead, it’s more about how you think of, and process, what you see. They may have been taught to just copy what’s in front of them, with little or no involvement in a critical process. Many books show countless snapshots of what the various steps of a drawing should look like, but provide little emphasis on the thinking involved between the steps...
Drawing should always involve a critical dialogue between your eyes, mind, and hand. It’s not only what you perceive that matters, but how you process that information before it’s translated to paper. This inevitably leads you to question, should you copy everything you see? What’s important and what’s not? And to what end do you make that determination? These and other questions are critical to understanding the thought process of drawing and enable you to have a much more fulfilling experience.

Just started Pen and ink drawing: a simple guide and it's proving fantastic so far.

Art Brut

The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut (French: [aʁ bʁyt], "raw art" or "rough art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outside of the established art scene, such as psychiatric hospital patients and children.
While Dubuffet's term is quite specific, the English term "outsider art" is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.

From the brilliant WikiArt. Discovered through this Louis Soutter piece.

My emphasis.