Our class is about fostering creativity and expression through pushing paint. We seek to build an environment that is challenging, engaging and emotionally safe in which each individual can dig deep, push boundaries and even step off the edge in their own creative process. In trying to circumvent the road blocks that we, our culture and our busy lives throw in front of us, different approaches are designed to facilitate flow and ignite ideas and images– always knowing that the unexpected inspires.
Back by popular demand is an exercise we did a year or so ago. We will work in teams of two so hopefully we have even numbers. The exercise is simple -one person instructs the other as to what to do next. Last time this was a surprise, but everyone rose to the occasion beautifully. This time you have advance warning so you might want to prepare a list of directions that might come from how you work, what you have learned, or something you want to see somebody else do (no acrobatics, please). It can be as simple as “applying a wash” to as ethereal as “look out the window at a tree branch, imagine yourself a beetle sliding down the branch on its smooth back and with your non-dominant hand and your eyes closed, make that mark”—use your imagination. If you need help ask Janet—her ideas were amazing! Consider describing a technique you have just learned or you utilize frequently or providing a medium that is fun to explore.
In reading about the creative process I ran across this blog about creativity in the corporate world “Creative Reaction”. It reminded me how we work together.
One company that successfully combines creativity and critical thinking is Pixar Animation Studios, in its extremely iterative process, where each animator’s work is screened in front of the entire department and all are encouraged to comment. (Now, you must first understand that a core value at Pixar is creating an atmosphere of trust, and people at all levels help one another.) According to Pixar President Ed Catmull these screenings offer many benefits:
- Once people get over the awkwardness of showing their unfinished work, they become more creative. (Those of you who feel apologetic for unfinished work on the wall-remember this.)
- Creatives learn from and inspire one another to do their best.
This week we have another chance to do just that!