I have been running an evening course over ten weeks from Sept-Dec this year at Plymouth College of Art. I was signed up to do the whole year of beginners through to advanced but sadly living in Falmouth and teaching in Plymouth all day and night meant the journey home was too much and was impacting on my professional work, so I had to step away and let someone else take the mantle.
The students were incredible, in that they were all eyes open and ready to give anything a go. They turned up each week, showed their sketchbooks and homework tasks set each week and generally got stuck in. Some were more advanced in their practice and had more to show each week, but those who had less time and a less developed practice equally had so much to show, maybe not in quantity but in confidence as the weeks went on. It was like watching a caterpillar unravel into a beautiful fully fledged butterfly. Everyone showed so much more than I had imagined. There was vulnerability, laughter, sharing, caring, exploring and more than anything a curiosity and drive to create and be inspired.
It has been a learning curve for me also, as I have never crafted a 10 week course on my own and after a few misdirections and a few misunderstandings in the lead up, I met the students on the first night with a workshop from the previous course and promptly scrapped the schedule and started again, with only them,their abilities and needs in mind moving me forward. Knowing then that I had to teach what I knew and understood Illustration to be, from the ground up.
Each week was sketched out and then homework and workshop task sheets were designed and written up the week before in order to keep it fresh. I realised that it had to start with the basic development of what they had already. To encourage and enhance the foundation of their own individual practices with workshops that I thought would generally appeal to all, but offered them tools and new techniques to take home and develop into their own practice and in their own way of working. They did not disappoint. The results were brilliant.
Their homework was great, their sketchbooks full and their faces smiling.
I set them one homework to produce one black and white image in proportion to A5, so I could get them printed so we could bind them into our own books, helped by Mel Brown, who showed us a lovely Japanese stab bind. Below are some of my favourite pieces of work I managed to get photos of, inc the book we made. I will add more when I get a chance.
They all said they had nothing to offer, I beg to differ and I hope you do too.
|Belita-I can't draw|
|Susie -loves detail|