I feel that education for artists-in-training in any discipline should include a strong foundation in drawing, painting and life drawing, both from a classical training perspective and from a modern or interdisciplinary one. Once the foundation is established, individual style then becomes more of a choice rather than a limitation of knowledge or ability. Additionally, I support the view that students should be exposed to computer capabilities and other technologies as media and as tools, used either for developing the artwork itself or even simply as production devices. Regardless of the media or topic, I feel as an instructor it is important not only to provide visual or textbook examples and theory, but also to create art alongside the students and to provide a working example from which they can observe application of techniques in action.
However, skills development must not be an end in itself. Educational instruction must never forget the relevance of the material to the subject and the individual receiving it. Personal goals, orientations, values, and beliefs must be considered, with a clear linkage between the student and the material for maximum learning. What does the student want to do with their knowledge? What do they want to communicate? Every individual approaches work with his or her own interests, stories, drives, and points of view. As working artists, we naturally want to express this individualism, but we often must also solve some basic problem or communicate some fundamental, shared emotion or idea. The skill set and interests will control some of the response, but it is the personal point of view that individualizes and influences how the artist ultimately provides these answers and solutions.
I believe that for education to be of maximum benefit to the student, it should be broad enough for total artistic rounding and specific enough to satisfy the more finite educational demands of the student and the educational institution. The primary goal, however, always should be to instill in the student knowledge and skills he or she can use to develop his or her full potential, both personally and professionally.