The last few Saturdays had me go back to school, and a much better experience than the first time around it was too! I worked with teenagers who are thinking of applying to art school. To give them a taste of what lay ahead for them, I planned a drawing workshop where we made our own drawing tools and produced 3D plaited and assembled constructions which we then displayed in the studio. Producing a big mess was an essential part of the creative process. Isn’t that what art college should be all about after all?
Using pencil, charcoal and paints, we started by drawing objects with our eyes closed. The aim here was to focus on the act of drawing itself rather than the image produced. This helped us figure out the kind of tools needed to make further drawings in this manner.
The final stage of the workshops involved cutting the drawings into strips and weaving with these in combination with our tools and other materials to make sculptural objects.
The workshop had us reconsider drawing as much more than a 2D activity, and one involving the whole body, not just the hands, eyes and heads. While students have no trouble taking pencil to paper (though drawing with your eyes shut initially a challenge!), it’s all too common for them to think they have no ability in making. Hopefully the workshops went some way in convincing them otherwise and be better equipped for their further studies at art school.