Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Art of Teaching Origami

I recently watched a documentary called Between The Folds, after hearing about it from multiple people.  It is more amazing than words can say about these origamists in this documentary.  They are true geniuses.  I realized that many people who are so captivated by origami are people with superior "left-brains," like physicists, scientists, mathematicians, engineers. 

No, not me.  I'm not like them at all.  I've done fair share of math and science courses in school like everybody else.  I did maybe average to better-than-average on those subjects.  But they were never really my favorite.  I'm definitely not a "left-brainer."  Am I an "right-brainer" then?  Not especially.  I loved drawing when I was little, but I eventually got discouraged to follow my path to creativity along the way by my no-nonsense entrepreneur parents and my 6th grade teacher.  So I had long given up on the idea of becoming an artist.  I actually chose to study mostly social sciences in college. 

How did I end up teaching origami then?  I could explain this in length, but in a nutshell, I was led by some wonderful people.  They are my college professors, my past and present employers and students, who inspired me to follow my path to the art of teaching origami.  I had been teaching for a few years before I finally realized origami is really what I wanted to teach. 

I haven't really able to create complicated models completely from scratch and turn them into diagrams.  I have created a few simple models of my own but that is about it.  But I love making origami models from instruction books and adding my own twists by turning them into dioramas, cards, framed pieces, and other decorations.  I love experimenting with different colors, patterns, textures, and sizes of papers and combining with other art forms.

And of course, I love to teach origami.  The moment when I finish teaching an origami model to a group of students - everyone is appreciating what they just made, with a sense of pride and accomplishment - is priceless.  So I always work hard to try to achieve that.  I believe that teaching origami is the art itself and what I'm blissed to do.  Over the past years I have gotten so many children completely hooked on origami, and some have taken the art form to a whole different level.  Maybe someday, I hope that they will grow up to become likes of those genius origamists in the film;)