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SAC-week 01

Session 01 – The Sketch book

 Welcome/Croeso to week 01  Genuinely excited to be creative practices with you all. I am an experienced artist of over 30 years…but I only know now how much I don’t know about art…so I intend to learn as much as I share. This week is all about what a sketch book should/could be and also a look at what being creative actually means.


So, what is a Sketch book?  

Sketch = a rough drawing representing the chief features of an object or scene and often made as a preliminary study…

Book = something that yields knowledge or understanding…


So, in our case we are looking at a book of blank pages that are waiting to absorb your thoughts and ideas – whatever they are and however they appear in whatever medium or format. Your sketch book may in its time find itself holding a beautifully drawn picture…that’s OK  but it is not the purpose of the sketch book. This is a space for you to make marks – stick in scraps of found objects – scrawl words – notes- lyrics – print – rip – glue – stain etc. It is a sponge to absorb the creative flow whenever that occurs – so the sketch book needs to be your closest companion – closer than your smart device! It needs to be available 24/7 and be able to record what’s on your mind and also provide you with information to further that idea into its next phase - whether that be a painting – poem – song – film scene – animation…


So, where to start?

Not on the first page – anywhere but on the first page – back to front – upside down – find and created sections at random – life is not an ordered timeline narrative from A-B our lives are the past present and future all happening at the same time in the life cinema of our minds.


As the late great David Bowie once said:

‘I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.’


Ways to sketch - 01:

Glue/print – Collage - we have not given you any mark making instruments this week as we want to explore other ways to input information on to your pages – one way is to simply rip out bits of newspapers – magazines – chocolate wrappers – etc and sick them in – rip up lots of coloured images and create a stock pile of coloured paper mosaic pieces – tear out bold print and headlines – create verse from random words torn from magazines - find naturally occurring dyes and stencils – coffee cup rings – tea bags …



So, what on earth is this Creative Habits of Mind?

You may well ask – as did I when I first came across it as I was training to be a creative practitioner with Arts Council of Wales (ACW). As an ACW practitioner I am trained to make full use of the 5 creative habits of mind in my everyday creative engagement – with whoever and wherever it may be.


Please, in the words of Douglas Adams – Don’t Panic – this is not a test! This is not a way of labelling what kind of a person you are! I must stress the last two points as this is something I myself felt when I first looked at this graph.  This is just simply a way to break down the fundamental elements of what is involved in a creative process – it is a helpful list of 5 areas of engagement that make up the mechanical process of generating and completing a creative piece of work. I will explain how you can use these charts to illuminate your own practice and help you to work on weaker areas to strengthen your ability to be a consistent creator.


So, let’s have a look at these categories:


1.     Inquisitive: Curious as a cat – I wonder what is going on here? – wanting to know!

a.     wondering and questioning; exploring and investigating; challenging assumptions.

2.     Persistent: I will not give in – ‘grrr’ – get up – count to ten – sit back down and start again…

a.     tolerating uncertainty; sticking with difficulty; daring to be different.

3.     Imaginative: In the corner of my room is a large blue and pink spotted elephant…

a.     playing with possibilities; making connections; using intuition.

4.     Disciplined: Gathering tools - learning how to use them and building your repertoire…

a.     crafting and improving; developing techniques; reflecting critically.

5.     Collaborative: Share and share alike – give it away and watch it grow…

a.     cooperating appropriately; giving and receiving feedback; sharing the creative ‘product’

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