I’m Not a Teacher

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Yes, I teach art classes. Yes, I designed the curriculum, wrote the scripts, recorded the videos, and developed the assignments. Yes, I compiled it all in a bundle and organized it in a sequential pathway that builds upon each step. Yes, “students” can enroll in “classes” that are “taught” by me, the “teacher”.

But I’ve never felt like a teacher.

Even after 4 years, 17 courses, and 45,000 enrolled students, I still don’t comfortable calling myself a teacher. People have viewed my class videos over 1,000,000 minutes, have paid me money to enroll, and only one person has ever taken me up on my 30-day money back guarantee. Students enjoy and find success with the classes I “teach”.

But I still don’t feel like a teacher.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

At first I thought it was just another confidence issue. I thought my denial was similar to when artists have a hard time calling themselves artists. Maybe I just needed to amp up my faith, believe in myself, and claim the Teacher title, like I tell artists to do.

If you make art, you’re an artist, so if you teach, you’re a teacher, right? But I’ve been through that artist-title journey, and this feels different. I think I’m actually not a teacher.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

What “Teacher” Means

The word teacher implies I’m an expert. Or worse, it implies the awful new marketing buzzword—guru. Ew.

Let me get this out of the way, right up front: I am not an expert. I’m not an expert at drawing, I’m not an expert at making art, I’m not an expert at living as a creative, or anything else for that matter. (Ok, I might be an expert at crafting the perfect bite ratio of rice to fried egg, but that’s besides the point.)

What I am… is an artist. 

I’m a builder. A maker. A catalyst. A facilitator. A lifelong learner who likes to share what I’ve learned.

People ask me questions, and I answer their questions as best I can. But my answer is not the all-knowing-final-and-almighty-answer bestowed from the art-god-teacher. It’s just my experience, thoughts, and opinions. Other people have other experiences, thoughts, and opinions, and have different answers that very well may be better than mine.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

This Isn’t About Me

My point is, this—all this—is not about me. When I started my business almost 6 years ago, people told me to just use my name as my business name.

But I didn’t want my business to be all about me, and only me, forever and ever.

Instead, I named my business Might Could Studios. It came to me, and felt right. I loved the possibility and positivity that the phrase “might could” implied. I had no idea why I included the word studio—I wasn’t an agency—and definitely no idea why I made it plural—it was just me. It just fit somehow, and I followed my intuition.

Now, almost 6 years later, I feel like everything is falling into place, and pieces are beginning to make sense. Sketchbook to Style Boot Camp is not about me, the expert, bestowing my godly wisdom on you, the inexperienced pupil. It never was.

This course wasn’t successful because I am an art-expert, artist-expert, or art style-expert. All I did was build a system, facilitate a process, and encourage growth and exploration.

The students—the artists—are the ones who made it successful.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

The same goes for #MightCouldDrawToday. All I did was build a system, facilitate a process, and encourage people to draw. The participants—the artists—are the ones who made it successful, growing the challenge to almost 500 people, and pumping 3,000 brand new artworks out in the world.

Many of them have told me they’re drawing regularly for the first time in their lives.

But I didn’t teach them to do that. I just facilitated it.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

These systems I built became ways of connecting budding artists and giving them access to each other.

Artists helping each other, encouraging each other, and inspiring each other to amplify the value of the course and challenge beyond anything I could have accomplished on my own.

Like I said—this isn’t about me.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

What This Is About

My intention is never to position myself as the teacher, expert, or *cringe* guru. I am not that and don’t want to be that.

My intention is to help unleash the artist inside you, so you can discover your original art for yourself.

My aim is to facilitate art exploration by helping build an artist’s mindset and qualities in whoever enrolls in my course.

My aim is to catapult each person into their own unique artistic journey, helping them follow their own path and overcome obstacles, whether they’re just beginning their journey, or already farther along.

My aim is for us all to become strong and disciplined artists with the autonomy to complete our dream projects. I don’t want you to be on a hamster wheel of online classes and assignments for the rest of your life. I want to help you find the working artist inside you, release it, and create your art practice.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

This is about all of us tackling and traveling on our artistic journeys together. Because we’ve already established that I’m not an expert, and I need your help along my artistic journey as well. We all have off days and dry spells, and that’s when we need each other. We’re in this together.

We can explore, create, and grow together.

And now that I’ve realized that this is my ultimate mission, I’ve been building something new to do just that.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

I’m expanding what I learned facilitating Sketchbook to Style into something bigger. This course is now one part of a larger system.

A system that helps artists begin, stay on, and travel through their individual artistic journey.

A system to help artists:

  • Develop a more open and creative mindset
  • Discover their artistic style
  • Explore new techniques
  • Incubate their dream projects

All in a nurturing environment surrounded by a supportive creative community.

I'm Not a Teacher. Christine Nishiyama, Might Could Studios

Next week I’m finally going to spill the beans on what exactly this new system is.

And I’ll be opening the doors to Sketchbook to Styleinviting students in for a limited time.

Keep your eyes peeled for next Tuesday. 🙂

 

<3,
Christine

 

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