Over the years I have had several opportunities to share my experiences in the field of Art Licensing with college students and industry professionals. And as a mother I took every opportunity to work with my daughter's classes and her friends conducting creative workshops and hosting craft parties. I loved doing both. And I loved creating art. But in the last few years, as my industry began to crumble, I had little choice but to think what do I really want to do with the rest of my life. If I could teach the art of being creative I would do that in a heartbeat. But the reality is I need to make a living, and what is desperately needed are science and math teachers. I can very easily explain the connections between art and science, it is where I was heading when I was in college the first time. But I don't need to. I have been accepted by RIC into the Rite program to be certified to teach Biology at the high school level. When that letter arrived, I was like a little kid. I am grateful, grateful to have a purpose. Last night an old college friend called. That evening at dinner Emily, his college bound daughter, related that every science teacher she ever had would approach the blackboard saying "I'm not an artist. . . " The conversation took a lively turn as they laughed at the thought of a roomful of teenagers slumped at their desks as I worked furiously at the blackboard with different colored chalk creating some detailed illustration of an organism, while muttering "almost, give me a minute, just a little more cerulean blue here and push the perspective. . . " I am so excited. Truly excited. When I finished college (the first time), I went to an art school for two years. In between I attended a workshop in scientific illustration at the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of Science. Here is a Chalk dust illustration of a Bombadier beetle. I had 30 specimens and a microscope, and the various measuring tools employed by medical and scientific illustrators at the time. I will always be grateful that I was given that opportunity, behind the scenes, with "primitive instruments." In the vernacular of todays kids (and a good many of my friends), "way cool". And being in college again surrounded by great students and teachers, "way cool". And I really mean it.
© viv eisner