I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to Bob Keen, not only my old boss while I was living in London and doing projects at Pinewood Studios, but also someone I consider to be a great creative friend.
For anyone not familiar with Film Special Effects history, Bob is literally a living legend amongst special effects technicians both new and old. Most of the “cool” names you will see directing trendy videos for the latest band, passed early on in their careers through Bob’s company and learned much of their craft thanks to him and his generosity.
He has always been supportive of my ventures and at present I am in negotiation with him about his inclusion in the Easy Art Pro seminars and workshops.
I will keep everybody posted on any progress in this area.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, to prove that you can get product concept designs from random scribbles, or at the very least the beginnings of an idea, Rosie Fisher from Mark Robert’s design group scribbled a mass of swirls and curves in red pen on the dry wipe board in D12 (top left). After a few silent moments as the pupils looked on I saw a car design in the lines and quickly highlighted it in blue pen (bottom left).
This image was then photographed and taken away with me and developed into the final design shown above right.
The design process’s next stage will be to show the students how they can generate colour presentation images like the one’s shown on this site, suprisingly quickly and easily.
The photo imaging group at Q3, lead by Steve Arrandale, have produced some stunning imagery based on the subject of “Junk”. Their starting points were piles of rubbish they had bought in themselves and then photographed in all manner of ways, finding their own autonomous vision.
The results were so inspiring that I was taken to use some of their imagery to produce a large piece of work just to show them and example of another step they could take with their ideas. The resultant image was a two and a half metre long montage of their photographs that I worked over in the computer to produce the final piece I called ripples from rubbish.
Obviously not one to shy away from adding a twist to any finished piece I hid the Q3 logo in the picture so that if you view it along its length, it foreshortens and becomes clear.
Product design “god” Phillipe Starke has taken part in an “Apprentice” style series on BBC2 (Still available to watch on iplayer) where a selection of students hand picked from thousands of global applicants got the chance to move to Paris and compete for a six month placement at his studios if they passed his rigorous tests.
As interesting as the show was in itself, what carried far more punch was what Starke had to say about product design and the creative process. He initially encouraged the students to practically forget about products per se and think about what it was to be alive, to smell, taste, feel, and how a product must link to us as people rather than just being another object on the shelves in shops.
What was so encouraging for me in this regard was that it mirrored elements of what I was putting across in the Easy Art Pro seminars and workshops.
Several follow on lessons in from the initial presentations and things are going very well indeed. One thing that initially stands out above all others everytime I introduce Easy Art Pro is how pupils always have an initial “freeze” moment when they are handed the creative steering wheel. I’ve seen this in all key stages of schooling and its quite natural. Creative control is a heavy weight to hold when so much of the rest of the education system can be linear and prescriptive.
The freeze thawed pretty quick with all the Q3 students and with a few revisits to my initial presentations many “lightbulbs” popped on and ideas began flowing fast and freely.
A must-read- “Managing Creative People” Gordon Torr
What an incredible book! Torr strips down the creative process, creative people, managers of creative people and the creative industries themselves with razor sharp observations that, even though make you feel conspicuously self conscious, never fail in their faithfulness to his vision which 99% of the time is right on the money!
I would encourage anyone with a serious view to managing anyone creative in any sector to buy this and not put it down until you’ve finished it!
To communicate effectively with children requires certain things, so it was key that the first impressions of the new Easy Art Pro process prove themselves to the pupils immediately. In both of two main introductory presentations to a total of around fifty students (phew!) this worked like a dream and the pupils lapped up the new ethos of creativity that was being introduced with requests for repeat viewings of several favourite sections!
A lot of the content (without giving away any spoilers to others schools yet to work with Easy Art Pro) is quite cutting edge, industry insider information, however what makes it remarkable is how it can be shown to be easy, fast and simple to do.
Myth busting and simplification but with brilliant creative results sums up what the introduction sessions are about, showing students what they are capable of even if they’re not aware of it yet.
Reports from follow on sessions will to come.
Richard Allport 2009
Aplologies for the delay in reinstating the news section of this site, things have been a bit busy to say the least, but here we are.!
And what a great way to start the new section with the beginning of a ten week collaboration with Q3 Academy (Formerly Dartmouth High School) arguably one of the most impressive School to Academy transformations in the Midlands!
At the invite of Steve Arrandale after a long period of preparatory discussion, I met with him and Tim Harris and got a sneak, all be it long distance, peak at the new build, and discussed how Easy Art Pro could help the creativity based subjects on their curriculum.
From this point Steve suggested me running two parallel courses, one with Art Photography, one with Product Design, to see how the two disciplines reacted to the same brief. Everyone agreed, exciting stuff!
I look forward to how it develops.
Richard Allport 2009