Michelle Amy Poirier

MAT ’19 Art Education

Even as I write this I want to be self-deprecating, to tell you not to bother. I say this not for pity or praise, but because it feels inextricably linked to my most recent body of work. 

Post-grad brought a lot of insecurities and blocks in my artistic practice. Without creative assignments, professors guiding voices, and the breadth of community at my fingertips for the first time in my life, I was lost. My creative practice had always unquestionably flowed; I’d never had such impediments attached to my artwork. For the first time, I had a voice in my head that halted me, that told me I wasn’t marketable, creative, or good. All this baggage at 22. I stopped creating entirely. 

Teaching helped me tremendously. Not only did it force me to make art, even on a small scale, it gave me a confidence I’d lost. I found that I am really good at it, and my students gave me that consistent artistic community I had been missing. For every student I helped through a creative block, it gave me the confidence to cast away my own. I had to start taking my own advice. 

I stopped the excuses, the messed up belief that no one would care about the work I wanted to make. I made work that interested me, made me happy, and made me laugh. 

These pieces are the part of a body of work in which I fought those voices. I’m glad I didn’t believe them. 


Michelle Amy Poirier is an artist and educator currently based in Arlington, MA. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Illustration (‘18) and a Masters of Arts in Teaching (‘19) from MassArt. As an educator, she has taught in the Illustration Department at MassArt, Watertown Public Schools, and currently at Gann Academy as a 2D and 3D studio arts teacher (and resident teacher all the kids eat lunch with).