Transition week at Q3 Academy… monsters and 300 centimetre zebras!

Richard Allport Artist Q3 transition week

Until this last transition week at Q3 Academy I have only seen the short term and immediate effects of the Easy Art Pro creative workshops, seeing and hearing the pupil’s and teacher’s responses to new ways of creative thinking on the day itself or at the end of a set period of time, and as much as the responses have been brilliant, enthusiastic and rewarding, this previous week has seen me repeatedly picking my jaw up of the floor!

When you experience even the smallest part of the creative nurturing process, as I have been given the privilege to do by several Sandwell schools, you can’t help but hope that the motivation and inspiration you try to provoke within pupils will stay with them beyond a particular workshop or creative talk.

The transition week saw many of the pupils from the local Sandwell junior schools I have worked with, make the move up to the state of the art Q3 Academy and jump in at the deep end into the high tech education stream.

After many enthusiastic shouts of “Hello Mr Allport!” work began on the week’s activities that included video game design, creature, character and monster design for Q3’s first 3D animated short film and the creation of a gigantic image of zebras drinking at a lake composing of eighty individual pieces of students work!

To say that there was a distinction between students I had worked with before at Junior schools, and those I hadn’t, would be an understatement! The Easy Art Pro creative “domino learning” effect was clearly in action, with students who have experienced previous workshops eating up the creative tasks with ease! Even though most of the other pupils coped very well with what they were challenged to do, the workshop savvy pupils seemed (and probably were) already ahead of the competition.

One pupil remarked, “Mr Allport this is easy! We already know how to do all this!” I simply nodded and put my “Shhh” finger up across my lips with a smile.

Moments like this massively validate the notion of nurturing creativity at an early age and stand testament not to underestimate its value. I personally felt proud of the pupils I watched, not because of my influence on them, but at their inner motivation to try, think and succeed. For any of the school’s heads or teachers I have worked with who are wondering how their students are fitting in with their new school, I can tell you now you have nothing to worry about!

To any schools, teachers or heads reading this post who have not thus far worked with the Easy Art Pro methods of creative learning I can only suggest that as the summer holidays are upon us Easy Art Pro workshops begin again in September and early bookings are recommended!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Colouring in without going over the lines at Grove Vale School!

Richard Allport Grove Vale colour

I was once described by an old acquaintance to her colleagues as “someone that colours in for a living!” This phrase sprang to mind as the final two-day workshop sessions at Grove Vale School saw the students see their hard work pay off as they had fun working on their projects in colour only!

All the initial development work they had done over the past several weeks culminated with a final top coat of colour using Adobe Photoshop Elements and Wacom graphics tablets, which, it transpired, many of the students were going to purchase for themselves to continue their work at home!

I must say that the enthusiasm within these classes was of the highest order and the pupils were hungry to know more and improve their technical skills and imaginations, very encouraging!

Of particular note was the work done by Tyler Phillips- Walters and Jagjit Hayer. Their keenness to push the possibilities of what they could get out of the software and how much they could use their imaginations was brilliant to witness, so a special mention goes out to them, they should be very proud of their efforts!

I look forward to working with Grove Vale again next term and would like to express my deepest thanks for all the help and assistance given by head Andy Lievers, Sally Roberts and all the other staff who have been so supportive over the weeks. (Maybe with the exception of Miss Mannion who told me off (!), although she wasn’t aware of the rabbit fingers I was sticking up behind her head most of the time and seemed puzzled at the pupils continuous laughter during some sessions!)

The creative potential within Grove Vale and the dedication of its staff makes it a place to keep an eye on and is easily one of this areas most outstanding schools!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Grove Vale School’s pupils’ lack of enthusiasm caught on camera!

Richard Allport Grove Vale School new

One of the penultimate technical workshops took place recently at Grove Vale School with great results once again.

Pupils got fully to grips with Adobe Photoshop and Wacom’s graphics tablets with ease and began utilising the software’s distort and layering facilities.

The following workshops will complete the course by demonstrating how to use colour quickly and effectively to complete a final design.

Check back here soon for images of their creations!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Brilliance emerges amongst Grove Vale’s scribbles!

Richard Allport Grove Vale scribbles

Today saw the second sessions of the seven-week creativity workshop course at Grove Vale School.

Once again, true to form the pupils took to the ideas like ducks to water and quickly created all sorts of imagery from basic random scribbles.

The scribble technique is a commonly used method to generate randomness in designs and art and it’s surprising how many different shapes, objects, animals and faces you can spot in a mess of wavy lines if you look at them long enough!

The image above took centre stage as one pupil inadvertently doodled Einstein’s theory of mass-energy equivalence….when asked to explain what they were thinking about they commented…

“In physics, mass–energy equivalence is the concept that the mass of a body is a measure of its energy content. In this concept the total internal energy E of a body at rest is equal to the product of its rest mass m and a suitable conversion factor to transform from units of mass to units of energy. If the body is not stationary relative to the observer then account must be made for relativistic effects where m is given by the relativistic mass and E the relativistic energy of the body. Albert Einstein proposed mass–energy equivalence in 1905 in one of his Annus Mirabilis papers entitled “Does the inertia of a body depend upon its energy-content?”

Needless to say we were all quiet for a while!

(Look at the picture upside down!)

Richard Allport 2010,,

Recent rumblings at Grove Vale School…

Having already turned Grove Vale School into a goblin, comments in a recent meeting “offered” me a mild challenge to “re- find” something in a picture of the school’s new entrance area…

Richard Allport Grove Vale Monster new

Not wanting to disappoint, the image above emerged out of a couple of minutes of starring, see if you can match the bits up from the school to the finished scribble!

In addition, last week saw two workshops and a teacher training session which all went brilliantly! The workshops launched the start of a seven week creative development course for the students, so here’s looking forward to them all being as sucessful as the first ones! Many thanks also to all the teachers attending the CPD session who watched some of the visual “oddness” that the students had already seen. Its always amusing watching adult’s reaction and confusion to things that pupils tend to see through almost immediately!

A special note of thanks to Sally Roberts and Headmaster Andy Leivers for their continuing support and creative commitment. Very inspiring!

Watch this space for more of the student’s progress……and probably teacher’s deepening confusion!!!

Richard Allport 2010,,

Teachers struggle at student uproar!!!

Bring back Rich Richard Allport

Many heartfelt thank you’s for the flattering comments about my tutorials and lectures by all students!

At present I am incredibly busy organising a nationwide promotion, but I suspect return and follow on visits to be booked in imminently. (So don’t hassle your teachers too much!)

Richard Allport 2010,,

Developing Creativity at Grove Vale School

welcome Richard Allport

Many thanks to Mr. Leivers and Mrs. Roberts for their time last week for what turned out to be a very encouraging meeting. It was obvious that Grove Vale School’s creative ethos was very strong and firmly set in place, as Mr. Leivers outlined his own experiences of school as a pupil and his infectiously positive plans for Grove Vale itself especially in the area of creativity.

I look forward to our plans for creativity workshops at Grove Vale taking place in the New Year and I’m personally very keen for the pupils (and teachers) to see how they can enhance and develop their creative skills with some industry tips and techniques.

A great start and thank you again for your time and enthusiasm for the Easy Art Pro approach and its ethos.

Richard Allport 2009,,