Immaculate Heart College Art Department Rules

Mindcamp Random

contributed by Franca Leeson

These rules were actually developed by brilliant artist, designer, and teacher Corita Kent. The quote in Rule #10 is from John Cage, hence they are often attributed to him. Corita Kent created a lot of very famous prints in the 70s and 80s, including this 1985 stamp for the US Postal Service (pictured).

These rules are widely known but I hadn’t seen them before and didn’t know about Sister Corita (yes she was a nun for a while). But even if you’re better informed than I, they’re worth another look!

RULE ONE: Find a place you trust, and then try trusting it for awhile.

RULE TWO: General duties of a student – pull everything out of your teacher; pull everything out of your fellow students.

RULE THREE: General duties of a teacher – pull everything out of your students.

RULE FOUR: Consider everything an experiment.

RULE FIVE: be self-disciplined – this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

RULE SIX: Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail, there’s only make.

RULE SEVEN: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.

RULE EIGHT: Don’t try to create and analyze at the same time. They’re different processes.

RULE NINE: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.

RULE TEN: “We’re breaking all the rules. Even our own rules. And how do we do that? By leaving plenty of room for X quantities.” (John Cage)

HINTS: Always be around. Come or go to everything. Always go to classes. Read anything you can get your hands on. Look at movies carefully, often. Save everything — it might come in handy later.

Comments 1

  1. For years I passed a huge white tank on the Expressway into Boston. It was eventually painted by Sister Corita with slashes of rainbow color. It was a joy to behold on the long commute. It was also a joy to read those wonderfully wise rules of hers again on your website. THANKS!

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