When we teach, often our own art and creativity can take a backseat. Why does this happen and what can we do to change it?

Teaching brings me huge joy and satisfaction, and teaching online has given me a freedom I never believed possible until a year or so ago. But I know if I don’t devote the time to my own art, my teaching will become stale. I want my art to inform my teaching, so we’re going in the same direction – and for both to be an honest reflection of where I am and what I’m doing. Not only is this best for those I’m teaching, it’s good for my sanity too!

But life happens.

We can have plans for what we want to do, but life happens. Whether it’s work or family or external events (like a website closing on you) we need to respond. And how we respond is a big clue to what matters to us. I’d drop everything if I knew my husband or daughter needed me. But because stuff is always happening, we may never actually get to our art.

Does that mean that it doesn’t matter? Or maybe matter enough? Or maybe we’re not placing a high enough value on it, or we’ve got in the habit of putting ourselves last, and others first?

Good for them, but where does that leave us?

While projects like Baubles and Winter Landscapes courses are good fun, and an ideal introduction to using a sewing machine in a creative way, my main motivation as a teacher is to give people the skills to be able to express themselves and their own ideas confidently and freely.

My two big courses, Seascapes and Swirls, are the perfect blend – a finished piece of work, but with massive scope for exploration and individuality. They’re both ideal for learning a whole raft of skills and techniques, which when mastered, can give that freedom of self-expression. 

And that’s what we all want, isn’t it? Self-expression through our art.


Mentioned in this episode:


Celtic Seascapes 2022 starts 1 June, with discounted early bird access from 18 May for subscribers. Find the info here and sign up to be on the list for information about early bird access here.

My new crazy planning system (nearly gone out of the window, but I’m clinging on….) is based on this system from Michael Hyatt.

For more ideas on how to balance work with your art, try these links:

Balancing full time work with creative projects

Artist or art teacher?

Time management for teachers

Self-management or time-management?

Thank you for listening!

2 Thoughts to “Which comes first: Art or Teaching? (38)”

    1. Isobel says:

      Thank you Alyson – it’s corrected now. Not sure what happened there, but thanks for flagging it! It’s a great list of suggestions.

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