A little bit about me…

Welcome to sarahannplatt.com! I figured that with a domain name so blatantly egocentric, (in the best way possible,) I would dedicate my first post to myself as a way to give my readers—and hopefully soon to be faithful followers, a sense of who I am…

If you’ve seen my business cards or my Instagram and Twitter account descriptions, you’ll see I’ve dubbed myself many things; namely an artist, an art educator (NYS certified), and a story enthusiast. It was easy for me to type those things down, but saying them out loud often feels… imprecise? My insecurities get the best of me and I feel a bit inadequate for the proclamations I am making. The voices in my head start to remind me that I’m not really a good artist, and certainly not a great one. Certified or not, am I really a qualified art teacher? And of course I say story enthusiast because in my mind that encapsulates reading a book or watching a television show—not just writing. Despite my Pintrest board dedicated to writing better and the seven or so years I’ve spent working on a Young Adult novel, I have only told a finite number of people that “my book” exist! (Until now… and may I tell you its a terrifying experience only slightly lessened by the fact that I am not standing before you as you discover my secret.) However, over the last few years I have come to terms with the fact that I may not be the best at anything, and I probably never will be, but that in no way diminishes the fact that I am who I am: an artist, an educator, a writer.

Becoming confident in who I am has not been an easy road. And it’s not a road I’ve come to the end of either. All my life it seems like I’ve constantly been surrounded by such a vast amount of talent. Therefore, I often found myself wallowing in self-pity, shutting down and refusing the practice that I so often have told my students is the key to getting better at anything. I believe what I tell my students whole-heartedly, but discouragement wields an unfortunate amount of power, even for the teacher.

A few years ago I made the decision to go back to school for a degree in Visual Arts Education. If I thought I had been surrounded by creative super-geniuses before, I had now placed myself in an environment that drowned myself in them. No matter where I went on the very artsy campus, the students were brilliant.  Although at times I found myself disheartened by my abilities in comparison to my classmates’, what I discovered at SUNY New Paltz was a strong source of friendship, encouragement and support. The elements I hated the most about my work, were more often than not the things that someone else loved—and vise versa! I discovered that all artists have their insecurities, and its fighting against them and working hard to become better that separates a good artist from a bad one. Artists are always changing, learning, growing, improving, and maybe most importantly, creating.

I am an artist.

Hiding Something
Hiding Something, 2012

There are very few things that are more nerve wracking to a student than student teaching, (the edTPA probably ranks in at number one!), there are very few things more challenging than being a long term substitute for a class that is already underway, and there are probably very few things more frustrating than trying to teach something to a group of people who aren’t quite grasping the concept. But all of these situations have the rewarding moments that make it worth it. I have a 2-D paper hot balloon with a curly haired figure representing myself tucked inside the basket, created by a second grader with the words “Mrs. Plate, you are a very good teacher” written across the balloon. Although the student wrote Plate instead of Platt, it remains one of the most precious things I own. I also cherish images of ceramic character sculptures that are fabulous and created by high school students who had very little experience with clay before I introduced them to it. While working on a large assignment in class, I once heard a student shout out across the room, “Mrs. Platt, you were right! It worked!” I grinned at her and jokingly responded, “Well, I’m always right, of course it worked.” Nevertheless, her ah-ha moment was more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. In the midst of all my concern and self-doubt, these moments are what validate a teacher’s purpose. They are more encouraging than passing the edTPA could ever be (which I did by the way).

I am an art educator.

Ms. Plate

I know a fantastic writer. Unfortunately for all of you, she is not yet published, but she’s definitely good enough and one day will be. Yes, she’s that fantastic. I gave her a sample of my writing to read a few years back.  You are going to have to take my word and just believe me when I tell you it was a pretty horrible writing sample, but this writer came back with positive remarks and constructive criticism that encouraged me to keep going, to keep writing, to be a writer. Since then I’ve lost countless hours of sleep analyzing my characters, considering the plot and replaying/reworking important scenes in my head. I’ve spent entire days writing. It’s not always an easy process but it is a process that I feel has been worth the trip. If I ever finish it, the story will be an accomplishment that I will feel proud of whether or not it ever gets published, because finishing a full draft is an important milestone for a writer.

And I am a writer.

Once Upon A Time

So, here I am now, blabbering on about myself to you… I’m not trying to sound self-important or self-centered–and believe me when I say that I am my own worst critic, but I have decided that an important step in my journey is to make this public declaration:

I am an artist.

I am an art educator.

I am a writer.

DSC_0939

I want to share my story with others struggling to believe in themselves, and like so many have done for me, I want to encourage others to be creators who create without fear. I want to use this blog as a platform for myself, but also for other artists, other educators and other writers. Follow me. Shake off discouragement. Share my journey.

Sincerely,

Sarah Ann Platt

5 Comments

  1. Pingback: Subscribe, Share and Win! – Sarah Ann Platt

  2. mommy

    Hey baby, So very nicely done…. Wow what a proud moment, you took my breathe away…. Love you very much.
    Mommy : )

    Reply
    1. Sarah Platt (Post author)

      Thanks mom!

      Reply
  3. Bethany Hall

    What a wonderful journey you have had. I understand exactly what your going through. I’ve just begun making my own website too. It looks like your on the path to being an amazing artist and teacher.

    Reply
    1. Sarah Platt (Post author)

      Thanks! One thing I’ve learned along my journey, is that most of us are in the same boat. Being an artist–or anything for that matter, can be really scary. No matter how competent or talented one might be, fear and self-doubt are obstacles that we all face. Here’s to traveling together! Let me know when you get your website up and running. 😀

      Reply

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