Self Portrait (2020)
Robin is a visual artist, art educator, and interdisciplinary scholar. The teaching methods he uses are intended to draw students into a learning frame of mind so that they are empowered to take ownership over their own development in the course.
When did you know you loved art?
One of my first memories is of drawing Garfield cartoons for my grade one class. I was fortunate to have a teacher who recognized my proclivity to draw, and encouraged me to develop my talent. I was shy as a kid, and drawing was a way for me to communicate and socialize with my peers, to feel like I had something of value to contribute to the group.
What do you hope to communicate through your art?
I hope people see something of themselves in my portraits: to feel an emotional and psychological resonance that is universal, and to sense also the inscrutableness of the individual, the inextricable story that exists behind every face.
How has teaching online been better than you might have thought initially?
I have been pleasantly surprised by how intuitive it is to facilitate the creative process online. For instance, I can demonstrate and speak synchronously to my students while knowing they are all seeing the same view of my demonstration on their screens. I have found that some of my students are less inhibited creatively online because they have the agency to mediate their own virtual/physical space — to turn off their video or mute their audio when they wish. Also, we have reached a community of artists we never could have in person. I have students from remote locations, as well as other provinces, which is wonderful!