I didn't always LOVE art. I thought it had to be perfect. I wasn't good at drawing, I didn't have creative ideas, I didn't totally understand the elements and principles of art. I wasn't good enough to call myself an artist. I compared myself to others. I couldn't silence my inner critic. Then I became an art teacher and all my troubles went away! Haha! Nope. Not even close.
A student asked me the other day why I get so excited about art and why I think every student's artwork is so great and creative. My first thought was, Well, why not?? Isn't it better to see the good in things instead of the only focusing on the negative? I understand that every student might not become an artist, but that doesn't mean that their art isn't wonderful.
When I grade students' art, I think about it in terms of growth and learning. Was the student open to trying new things? Did he try a new technique? Was she able to picture the steps in her head as she went along? Was he able to problem solve independently when a problem came up? Was the student able to reflect openly and honestly at the end of the artwork? Did she work with others? It's not how "good" an artwork looks in the end, that's all a matter of opinion, it's about what the student learned in the process.
What I've learned with teaching, however, is that the final art product doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.