Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Teaching Inspiration

by Maggie Franklin | June 25, 2012

I love talking shop, I love networking, I love mentoring, and I love sitting down and trying to pass on my skills to the less experienced. Every so often I get a call from someone who wants to sit down with me in person and try to Vulcan mind-meld with me in the hopes of learning to do nails like I do. Someone who is willing to travel to visit me, and is willing to pay for my time.


I have a simple policy on this sort of thing. If all you want to do is show up and watch me work, I don't expect to be paid for being gawked at. But if I'm going to schedule one-on-one time with someone, then that means either I'm forgoing scheduling clients during that time or I'm agreeing to come in on what would otherwise be my time off — in that case, I charge for my time. I don't think that's unreasonable.


What stymies me is that when I get involved in setting up these meetings, I try to assess where the person's current skill set is. What are they doing now? What products do they already use? And what, exactly, is it that they saw on my website that they want to learn?


Because you don't want to come sit with me for two hours and have me walk you through acrylic application when you've been doing acrylics for the last 12 years.


But communication usually breaks down at this point, and I'm starting to think I might have some hypotheses on how and why: I can't teach you how to simply be creative. I can teach you how I did a specific design, I can teach you the techniques I use to create my designs, but I can't teach you how to thinkofnew designs.


The ability to combine product, glitter, confetti, rhinestones and paint to create a cohesive design is something you either have or you don't. I think more people have it than think they do, they're just so scared to make the mess and take the risk of it not being met with approval. Maybe overcoming that fear is something that can be taught? Maybe that's what makes networking events and one-on-one tutorial sessions popular — just the opportunity to hold hands with someone whose work you admire while you take that leap of faith.


Now that I can help with.



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