Community of Practice Revisited

animating painting...
Last week I had a random tutorial with a Masters student... from a course I don't actually teach on.
From a different subject area.
Except that we are both painters now trying to make animations. Trying to animate paintings.

OK, it was his first and my Nth, but while I was talking I realised both how much I had learnt since MY first - and how much I still had to learn; how many things I had to try and to explore...

He was doing things "properly" - storyboards, pencil tests, animatics (I had to look it up to even find out what an animatic was); I seem to have made an artistic career out of doing things improperly. But what was interesting was not which set of processes we each were using so much as how the process affects the form. In painting there are always happy accidents, interesting marks and ways in which the paint reacts with the surface, the solvent, the other paint.It isn't so easy to see but there are ways in which a technical or computer process also affects the form, and offers opportunities for random accidents of inspiration. Where the problems and frustrations - or the need to save time - generate creative solutions.
We talked about the different demands of learning as much as possible through the project, and of completing a fabulous movie...that old thing of process vs product but somehow still hugely relevant, hugely important to remember. We say that the learning is vital...that it's research...but are we maybe too keen to steer our students  - and our practice - towards the perfect product?

We always say - especially to the students - that teaching is an exchange, that we learn from the process just as the students do. That this is a community of practice in which we can all help each other to grow and develop;  to reflect on our own practice and where it fits with other peoples'. So it was nice to be reminded that that does actually work. Cheers, Christopher...

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