In high school I had an art teacher whose name was Mr Chester. Mr Chester was an older gent, with a bald head and a short fuse when it came to students skiving off. I didn’t listen to a single thing he said and only took Art because I thought it would be an easy elective.
I was wrong.
I remember Mr Chester gave me a really bad grade for a lino print piece that I did (badly/poorly/barely). And I was all like, “You can’t grade art Mr Chester!”, and he was all like “Yes I can, watch me. D-“. And I was all like “I’m never taking another art class again fascist!”
Lino prints are really hard to do. I spent hours gouging out cold lino and cut myself so many times. I decided that lino printing sucked and handed in a really shoddy image of a half finished terrace row house. I deserved that D-.
It wasn’t until ten years later, when I tried lino printing again that I worked out it’s much easier if the lino is a little warmer. I’m pretty sure Mr Chester would have told us this, but I probably wasn’t listening.
Thanks Mr Chester for calling me out on my lack of effort. Thanks for showing me that art can be graded based on an understanding of principles and their execution. Believe it or not, your bad grade helped me develop my artistic eye and my lifelong passion for art, so thanks. You’re not a fascist btw.
I bet these lino prints would have gotten a gold star from Mr Chester.