A couple of weeks ago I went back to my old secondary school to help run a workshop for the art award pupils. It was a full school day of nothing but art - bliss!..
I was lucky to work with a fantastic group of 10 keen, art loving students, who were mostly 12 year olds.
The day began with me giving a little talk about who I am and what I do, letting them have a good rummage through my portfolio of sample cards, calendars, notebooks and prints.
In return, throughout the day, they showed me their sketchbooks and told me about work they have done so far toward their art award, which is a voluntary, extra curricular award that once gained will go on their overall school record of achievements. I was very impressed by the depth of study they have put in already and hope every single one passes as they certainly deserve to.
I set them a creative brief to design an image that could be used as a square greeting card based on the theme 'By the canal/ By the riverside' (the theme was to tie in with another project the school art department has been working on recently).
After giving them all plenty of advice and tips on how to approach the brief, they set to work. Firstly by drafting the layout and idea for the finished piece. Then by creating the finished piece in whatever media they felt worked best for them. We gave them access to paints, pens, coloured paper for collage...
These are some pics of work in progress. They really got stuck in and I could see evidence in the way they approached things that they had heard and taken on board some of the advice I had given them earlier in the day....
Given that they only had a few hours to do the finished pieces, I am extremely proud of what they all achieved. When all the work was put together at the end, it's clear to see what a great collection they make together. Each piece is bold, eye catching and has a strong sense of composition - yet everyone had found their own way of expressing the same theme. To me, a very important part of my brief was to find your own style by experimenting and finding what feels natural. Looking at the finished work, I can see they fully embraced that idea...
It was wonderful to have the opportunity to go back to my old school and share my experience and knowledge with such a great group of people. I felt quite at home there, the years melted away. There are plans for me to go back and do another, shorter workshop in a couple weeks time and I am already looking forward to it.
I really hope the students gained as much inspiration from me as I did from them!
Have a lovely weekend