Cynthia Young, Ceramic Artist and Teacher

“Go anywhere, stop anytime, escape taxes and rent—this is irresistible.
Nothing but death has ever before offered so much in a single package.”
(Found in Automotive Industries, December 1936.)

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Teaching Philosophy
Cynthia Young

Teaching is about the student and the subject, but first and foremost about the student. A great teacher gets the student to invest in the material and the process. I stress this by creating a nonthreatening environment where students are willing to take a chance. My students know it is OK to experiment, to reach, to explore facets that are important to them. It is my job to excite the students about art and to guide their ideas into physical forms that make statements that are pertinent to them. It matters not what their disciplines are. Anything may be a springboard for artistic work, and working creatively can serve to better any career.

To watch students responding is the greatest reward of teaching. When doubt and distrust are replaced with relevant questions, enthusiasm and a desire to see projects through to fruition, that’s when I know I’ve got them. When they exceed their own expectations and want to continue to work creatively, then they’ve hooked me. That is what it is all about.

I work hard in personal development—always striving to grow in my profession. Once I’ve reached a plateau, I won’t stay. I don’t stagnate in the hope that this particular talent set will give me notoriety. It’s tempting because many artists take the route to success. Instead, I work until my skill set is seasoned and then move on to the next set of challenges. Art documents the individual’s path, but the motivation comes from hunger to know and understand more. I live this way and my students respond because they know. You can’t fool them. They want to be part of the journey.