February 2, 2016 at 3:06 pm #15464
I had a visual concept a few weeks ago and had to unpack that a bit before I could describe it. I have A LOT of interests (A good description from a TV show: I’m not so much easily distracted as “easily fascinated!”) which I could see as a problem in presenting a coherent image of myself to students. Or I can create an image or theme that incorporates this diverse, eclectic personality.
I thought about the Silk Road, and I still like that, but I think it could be a bit too exotic to really resonate with many students. I mean, “rocking the Kasbah” could really work for me, to a point, but only to a point.
Then I came across the notion of an exotic market somewhere. Then I thought of something like a wizard figure, except that I’m the wizard. We don’t actually have female wizards in mainstream popular thought, in the same sense as Gandalf or Albus Dumbledore. Professor McGonigle in Harry Potter is not a wizard in the same way Dumbledore is. And Dumbledore is very much cut from the same cloth as Gandalf or Merlin. That’s the kind of thing I’m aiming at, though. The wise person who knows many mysterious, exotic and fascinating things, and can share those secrets with YOU! Whether it’s the secrets of drawing or the secrets of how to do research or the mysterious and esoteric rituals of my course on shamanism and creativity.
A fun wizard, though. Or maybe your Fairy Godmother, who can grant you wishes and transform your life.
I think this theme can be fleshed out slightly differently for each course I develop, and it can be fairly serious at times, dealing with deep topics or history. Or it can be a lot of fun, frog princes and amazingly cute genies in bottles, treasure chests full of the secrets of the universe.
The visual I started with was of diverse art objects, brass boxes, exotic pottery, jewellery, beautiful fabrics grouped together. All of which I have, I just don’t tend to cram it all together. But in groupings, these can be very alluring, that “romance of the Pyramids” thing, all the exotic markets of the Silk Road or the wealth of the ages kinda concept. Every object tells a story, and there’s a lot of contrast of colours and textures. That visual appeals to the senses as well as to the intellect, and it certainly is not something most people see every day. And over time I realized that it represents visually all of the diverse interests I have, which you’d actually see in my house. Someone once described my home as “full of stars,” and someone else said she couldn’t stop looking around, that she can tell every object has a story.
I’m also a vibrant bubbly person, I tell great stories, I have a lively face, so a theme where I’m the figure of wisdom, the queen or fairy godmother, the Good Witch Glinda, can work very well with my personality. I actually played the Good Fairy in a Christmas Pantomime once, and it was amazingly resonant. I do actually do great cat impersonations and other voices, so talking frog princes are not out of the question for me! 🙂
So for my drawing course, I’m thinking of a fairy godmother type character in her magic library, opening books or unlocking chests for the students. It makes total sense for a wizard to be handling spheres and skulls!February 2, 2016 at 4:19 pm #15475
Sounds fun, JoAnn. So much fun that I think whatever theme/persona you decide to go with will be enjoyable and irresistible. I think drawing the face of your persona will be a great exercise too.February 2, 2016 at 6:57 pm #15539
Bradley MorrisMountain Guide@bradleytmorris
Oh wow, I love this idea
Love the way you summarized it:
So for my drawing course, I’m thinking of a fairy godmother type character in her magic library, opening books or unlocking chests for the students. It makes total sense for a wizard to be handling spheres and skulls!
And I loved the idea @SharynWa said:
drawing the face of your persona will be a great exercise too.
If it’s fun for you, I’d love to see you build a little set and dress up like this Fairy Godmother Wizard Witch and share a picture of us to get the visual.
I love the idea of being in your magical library and teaching the Art and Magic of Drawing Faces, etc…February 3, 2016 at 10:25 am #15605
Thanks for your feedback! I already have some ideas for a set. I’ve done a lot of set design for community theatre, and I’ve also made medieval tents. Constructing an environment is something I love to do, so that part comes very naturally to me.
I like the idea of drawing your persona. Although I’ll need to unpack that for my students a bit, since my use of the word “persona” is not the Jungian sense of it. It’s more intentional, like a character we construct for improv. In the medieval re-enactment group I belong to, we create a “persona,” which is really ourselves within a character we base on historical research. I may actually avoid the word persona in the context of the class, since I don’t want people to assume I mean it in the Jungian sense. It’s still a cool exercise, “who would you be if you were a fairy-tale character?” or something.
I really liked the point in the video about how language is the primary way of conveying the theme. So even if we don’t dress up or create a full-blown set or any of that, we can still use language to set the stage for the style of teaching, the mindset we want to convey to our students. So words like key, unlock, secret, treasure, magic, wisdom are what I need to use. I should start making lists!February 3, 2016 at 9:29 pm #15670
Bradley MorrisMountain Guide@bradleytmorris
You are bang on with this:
I really liked the point in the video about how language is the primary way of conveying the theme. So even if we don’t dress up or create a full-blown set or any of that, we can still use language to set the stage for the style of teaching, the mindset we want to convey to our students. So words like key, unlock, secret, treasure, magic, wisdom are what I need to use. I should start making lists!
Make that list and think of which elements can be visual pieces that are in your videos and which are communicated through language via your lessons, website, auto-responder emails and marketing.
The language piece is so much fun once you start playing with words!
You’re creating a world @JoAnnTurnip!February 9, 2016 at 1:41 am #16233
Wow this is so creative! I love it!! Very inspiring…
I’m feeling drawn to the idea of creating an underlying theme to my mama magic course as well, to bring in the element of fun into an often all too serious topic of…motherhood.
This gives me some courage and excitement to take it to the next level. Thanks for sharing!February 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #16257
@joannturnip, personally I want 90% female wizard (it’s about time: this is a role you can *create*) and 10% fairy godmother (to give you some leeway for a slightly frivolous component).February 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm #16573
@robson I agree! I think that the balance can shift, depending on the emotional tone of whatever course I’m doing, but this framework will work for many topics I’m interested in teaching.
I’ve been giving thought to the existence of a female wizard archetype. The closest one I can think of is Galadriel, and she’s not what I’m aiming for. She’s too inaccessible, too perfect and ethereal, too much on a pedestal. Where Dumbledore invites you into his study full of wonderful things, as well as mysterious things that you know have a story behind them. All of the great wizards are real. They eat, they smoke, they may get dirty, they probably have a favourite beverage. But they’re not set apart as a separate breed. They GOT to be that way through a process of learning and training and development, meaning ordinary people can aspire to become that way. Wizards are human, even if they’re very long-lived. Galadriel is an Elf as Tolkien imagined them, and immortal. We can never aspire to be her.
On the flip side, most human females associated with magic are not very savoury and are often presented as malicious. At best, they’re seductive and alluring, and that’s not where I want this to go either! The emphasis with female witches is power, not learning. (Boy, that could be a course unto itself, eh?)
There’s a lot to be unpacked in these archetypes, but yes, I agree, Deb. I want to incorporate the allure or appeal along with the mystery and romance (in the “romance of the Pyramids” sense of the word) of all the knowledge that a wizard has. And even if there are secrets, the archetypal wizard can train someone to understand those secrets. Where no amount of training will turn a mortal human into an Elf like Galadriel. So what I want to promote in creating this character is that MY power is largely the power I give to you, the student, by teaching you these techniques. I let you into my inner sanctum, my library of knowledge, then I impart that knowledge to you.
I think the fairy godmother aspect is about coziness. She’s not big, scary or distant, she’s there to help you personally. In that sense, I think the archetype of the fairy godmother is a fragmentary female form of the wizard archetype. He can teach you to tame dragons, she’ll bring you cookies! Or get you dressed for the ball. 🙂 But fairy godmothers can make you giggle. Wizards probably don’t! Giggling may be an essential component of my teaching style.February 11, 2016 at 5:26 pm #16617
This is absolutely super, @joannturnip. Thanks for keeping going with the ideas! You’ve got something clearly envisioned here, and it’s so appealing.February 12, 2016 at 2:12 pm #16726
You don’t need to follow an archetype. You can be the female wizard of your dreams. The world needs that image.October 17, 2017 at 6:58 pm #58991
Ranger Boss LadyMountain Guide@rangerbosslady
@JoAnn Turnip I love a good blending of archetypes, and there are so many who could use a good giggle while being schooled.
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