This week is National Teacher’s Appreciation Week. Please join in celebrating and appreciating our faculty colleagues by getting to learn a little about them and who they are.
Coastline College proudly highlights their renowned faculty through the Teacher Feature blog series. This week’s feature showcases Joel Woodard, Art Curator and Life Drawing Instructor.
Feeling inspired to take a class with Joel Woodard?
Aside from art, I have an interest in current events and how they connect to culture worldwide. I love having my mind blown by extraordinary facts and discoveries. I mostly get that fix by listening to podcasts like Radiolab and Star Talk. I’m also somewhat of a sci-fi nerd. Star Wars and Star Trek being my two favorite franchises.
San Leandro, California.
I have a BFA in drawing and painting from Laguna College of Art & Design, and an MFA in Art from Cal State Long Beach.
Have you traveled?
I’m not very well traveled unfortunately. I’ve been to New York a few times, as well as England and Canada. I guess I travel mostly in my head!
What inspired you to be a Life Drawing Professor?
Being a Life Drawing Professor is only one of the things I do, and I don’t know if there is any one thing that inspired me to do it. I went to school to be an artist, not an art teacher. However, teaching art has a long tradition among many artists that I look up to and deeply admire. So, I feel very privileged and honored for this opportunity. I guess you can say other artists have inspired me to do it. This will be my first semester teaching Life Drawing at a college level so I’m really excited and nervous at the same time.
What do you want students to know about your courses?
I’m a dedicated teacher who is passionate about learning in general, and is committed to exploring the continuing evolution of Art. I will likely push them hard, but at the same time I’m also understanding that different students may be at different academic levels. I’ll always do my best to meet students where they are and leave them with a positive experience.
Favorite Artist and Why?
It’s impossible to name only one! I can tell you about the one artist who inspired me to be an artist; that would be Jean-Michel Basquiat. I was into Art before I discovered him and already had a few other Art heroes, but Basquiat really sealed the deal for me. His ability to distill a vast amount of information into a painterly language, and letting it explode out into the art he created is still a very inspiring process for me. He was also the first artist I knew of that made making Art look cool!
What do you love about working at Coastline College?
Since day 1, from faculty to administration, I’ve been made to feel very welcome by everyone I’ve encountered at Coastline College, and I've always had the best of support from anyone I’ve reached out to. It’s been an amazing experience so far, and I’m very grateful for it. Also, I love the view!
Tell us something students may not know about you.
In addition to teaching Art, I'm also an English Writing tutor and instructor through various tutoring centers in Orange County.
Share your 3 best tips for our Coastline students.
Stay committed, stay excited, and stay well rested.
Tip(s) for Coastline students who are aspiring art majors.
There is no one clear way to learn about Art. Different teachers will have their own methods of teaching which may contradict other Art teachers. Learn as much as you can about Art on your own before jumping into an Art program, and before you allow yourself to become a disciple of any one Art teacher. Have your own ideas about where you want to place yourself in the Art world, and know what’s come before you. Find your own Art heroes. The more you know about how you want to be an artist, the better an Art instructor will guide you in the right direction. A good Art instructor will guide... not lead.
We are lucky to have faculty who care about our students and who take the time to connect with students both inside and outside the classroom. They continue to make a difference in the lives of students–by empowering and inspiring them to become their best selves and to fulfill their fullest potential.
To our faculty colleagues—We appreciate you greatly for who you are, what you do to transform the lives of students, and the many contributions that you make to the college and the community.