UK Creativity Researchers’ Conference 2018

 


After completing my dissertation and research project for my MA, I was truly exhausted and loosing enthusiasm – not for the subject of focus but for research. However, being  offered the opportunity to present my work at the 2018 UK Creativity Researchers’ Conference gave me a great rush of pride, and sense of achievement.

The challenge came to condense my findings down into one A1 poster…

 

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The conference itself took place in Canterbury Christ Church University. It was so lovely to be back where I studied my BA and spend a couple days visiting in the sunshine. I met so many wonderful new faces, all who are intently engrossed in the same area as myself. Many of whom has travelled from all over the world to be at the conference. I met Professors from Italy, Educators from Hungary, key speakers from France. The talks were captivating and inspiring, and the posters so diverse.

 

 


If this intrigues you and you would like to read more please do contact me!

 

Shopping: Sostrene Grene

Last weekend I stumbled across a shop I instantly fell in love with due to not only their beautiful product design but also the incredibly affordable pricing. Sostrene Grene is like the baby of Ikea and Tiger….so yes, I wanted to buy everything.

The products capture the Scandinavian style perfectly, with their simple form combined with the choice of on trend materials & colours.

A dusky rose velvet chair sat in the entrance…their store merchandising worked because it stopped me in my tracks and I was whisked inside. From blankets, to vases, craft equipment to greetings cards and even some food at the end it was a very similar layout to Tiger, and Ikea with the forced maze route.

I grabbed a brochure on my way out, and upon further inspection on their website it seems unfortunately there is only this 1 store currently in England. Hopefully more to come, but until then you will have to head to Nottingham.

Creativity = no fear?

I come across so many students who continually say “I can’t do art/I can’t draw/I keep making mistakes/this isn’t going right”. I am constantly reassuring them that there is no right or wrong in art. Which can be tricky when you also want to give them critical feedback to help improve their skillset.

I do believe that to enhance creativity you must minimise any fear and potentially take risks in order to produce something novel. And it may be that not everyone (including teachers too) will like it because it is outside the norm. Art is very different from design work because it can be selfish. It can be for yourself, and it can be more about the process than the final outcome.

So, with today being a day where I found every student in the class criticising their work for not “being perfect”, many giving up, even throwing past final pieces of work away as they did not want to take it home. I gave them all 1 piece of paper, told them to pick 3 colours of paint, 3 paintbrushes and head outside.

They were confused but excited. With them lining up along the benches, all facing one direction. I told them to “throw the paint”. Granted, this would not work with every class….you would get some that thought this was an excuse to make an uncontrollable mess. But this group were scared! Still not wanting to because they had no control over the outcome. “Just do it. What’s the worst that can happen”.

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It was so much fun for everyone and a great final mini-task to end the year. So many people are leaving (including myself) and this will be their last art lesson here. With so many of their projects following strict briefs, this freedom was the polar opposite.

Yes, some people will argue that their final results are not art. But the task began to break down some barriers that have been holding them back. From here, I’d increase the thought process and concept, yet try to keep their freedom (especially in their sketchbooks). Each teacher brings different views and directions to a subject which I think is amazing. And if you think this is silly, I’m happy to say that those 20minutes mean they will at least be taking with them great memories if not a new way to approach art. We had some paintings blowing away, plus myself running past them all throwing paint like a bad gameshow! A fantastic way to end the year.

Creative Schools

As you may or may not know, I’m currently studying an MA in Creative Thinking. One key researcher I’ve been looking into is Sir Ken Robinson, who is challenging the current education system to incorporate more creativity and embrace multiple types of intelligence. His 2006 video hit ‘Do schools kill creativity?’ is the most watched TED talk, if you haven’t already seen it then it’s definitely worth a watch – click here.

After dabbling in his academic works over the past couple years, I have since gone on to purchase his most recent book – Creative Schools, published in 2015.

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I love his tone of voice – his comedic personality really comes through while still remaining professional. Within the first few pages he’s referencing Miley Cyrus and twerking. This fun spin makes it even more enjoyable to read.

I feel Sir Ken Robinson has some amazing outlooks on creativity in the education system, it is truly inspirational. Sometimes I find myself looking for a little more background and evidence of his findings – as a reader you trust the word of someone of his stature, however as a researcher myself it would be nice to follow back his ideas to their source. Perhaps you may find reasoning for such statements in his previous publications. I will have to explore.

Overall I’m a big fan of Sir Ken Robinson and his work and would highly recommend anyone interested in creativity and/or education to pick this book up.