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Syllabus: Notes from an Accidental Professor

Lynda Barry • 2014

What is this book? It is hard to say. It feels like an art school version of Bird by Bird, in a lot of ways. It is sweet and vivid and deeply evocative of a professor who I think I would have hated in school but would love now — the prototypical art teacher. I don't know how I could recommend it to someone but I also don't know how I could tell someone not to read it.

2/13/2021
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Highlights

Daily practice with images both written and drawn is rare once we have lost our baby teething begin to think of ourselves as good at some things and bad at other things. It is not that this isn’t true, but the side-effects are profound once we abandon a certain activity like drawing because we are bad at it. A certain state of mind- (what McGilchrist might call “attention”) is also lost. A certain capacity of the mind is shuttered, and for most people, it stays that way for life. It is a bad trade.
I realize now the best results came when I gave no instructions except “spend time on the assignment”.
What I was after: widest range of interests, ages, abilities, and anything that indicated the ability to work hard for a sustained period even when results weren’t immediately clear.
I have a nephew who said he wanted a time machine with a ‘meanwhile’ button. Drawing is something like that for me. I feel like I go someplace I can’t recall — and when i get back, there is a drawing, and somehow i made it, though it’s like it has always existed.
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