When helping others we will find ourselves making choices. Some of them being mostly intuitive while others will be based on decisions we’ve made based on our assessment of the situation. Which may reflect the difference between reactions and actions.
Help can be delivered related to doing, seeing, or thinking. It comes along with a hierarchy describing the level of development. Someone who needs help with the doing may lack the ability to see what needs to be done and have no clue as to how to analyze what is needed to be able to see and do.
Someone who has never drawn a picture for example has no idea as to how to do that. We’ll help for example by providing the material and by containing the expectations as to how realistic the picture drawn can be.
When someone has gotten used to drawing an interest might come up to learn to become better. That’s where seeing comes into play. It becomes relevant to see the relationship between what we are drawing and how we are drawing. It’s seeing the impact of what we do and becoming able to adapt it to the desired result.
The third area, which I called thinking, goes beyond the other two in the sense that the person now becomes able to think about what she wants to create and how. That is the step where the drawing becomes independent from making something visible and seeks to have a planned impact.
Distinguishing between the three can feel a bit artificial as all three are very much linked with one another. Where I find this distinction helpful is when it comes to choosing a type of help.
Solutions mainly serve when it comes to doing. Without much understanding of methods or the process involved the help needed is most often a solution allowing to engage in the doing. It serves to create an experience of the doing. One that we can relate to when moving on to another learning.
Upon reaching a stage where seeing becomes possible, it is methods that seem to be most helpful. They give an idea of what to look out for and how to use that information. I for example still remember being taught how to bring perspective into a drawing. It fundamentally changed my drawings.
When the help needed is linked to thinking, then doing and seeing have been integrated and it is the process that starts to be investigated. It is looking at how the drawing feels and how others react. It is assessing how the reactions could differ if the picture is drawn differently. It is shifting the experience from executing a method to becoming a professional. Shifting it even further may allow moving away from using a method to using one’s art.
For help to be useful it needs to be adapted to the context.
There is no use in giving someone a solution when what they look for is a method or a better understanding of their process. Trying to provide someone with a process that hasn’t found a way to see will not help either.
The hard work is to make ourselves aware of what help it is we are being asked for and are asking ourselves.