Last month’s blog post gave a little information about me. In this post I would like to share more about the ethos behind For The LOVE Of ART and how this will positively impact your classes, workshops and tutorials.
Let’s start at the beginning. Someone once said that was a good place to start...
To launch a business, I needed a name. I brainstormed many ideas (Lonely Arts Club Band, cRHIate, Heart Art, Arty McArt Class to name a few of the worst ones) but I was adamant that I wanted my passion for art to shine through. This led to the word ‘love’ being a necessity. The rest of the name came about because as a teacher, I always felt I had to justify the existence of the art department, or convince parents that art was a worthy subject for their child to study for GCSE or A Level. Whilst I could write many many blog articles on why art is so crucial – physical motor skills and dexterity, creative thinking and lateral problem solving, understanding the world around us socially and politically, because our economy literally revolves around the creative industries – I am also fed up of justifying it! Why can’t art just be accepted for what it is. And why can’t children study art just because. Because they like it, enjoy it, find it relaxing, love experimenting, find it completely different and liberating to all the other subjects - for the love of it. ‘For The LOVE Of ART’ means that we make art because we love it and that is a good enough reason.
Having settled on a name, I now needed a logo. Like anyone would, I sought inspiration from Buddhism. Buddhism? My circular logo is based on the Ensō [Circle] which is a sacred symbol in the Zen school of Buddhism, completed using only 1 brushstroke. The word ensō is made up of two Kanji symbols and literally translates as ‘Mutual Circle’ or ‘Circle of Togetherness’. There are many other meanings associated with the ensō; the one that particularly resonates with me is that the ensō symbolises the state of mind of the artist at the moment of creation and the acceptance of imperfection as perfect – the circle is not a perfect circle as it is created by hand, in one stroke. One of the most central beliefs I hold when teaching art is the importance of experimentation and making mistakes, to embrace the process and not be judgemental about your outcome, especially as a beginner; to me, the ensō represents this brilliantly. My logo was created with one stroke of colourless water to create the circle and I then dropped watercolour onto this wet circle in the order of the colour wheel to create the multi-coloured circle. For more information about the ensō, visit this excellent website.
Having decided on a name and a logo to match, I began the long process of planning my classes and workshops. How did I want these to work logistically? How did I want my students to feel when they came to a class? What did I want to teach and why?
I had a look around and felt that many art classes, especially for adults, were focused on a single media and were course based. In addition, these courses seemed inflexible and at the end of the 14 weeks, each participant would emerge with the same painting. This is good - if you only wish to work towards one style of art in one media and then not necessarily be able to apply this style to your own artwork afterwards because you have learned by copying a fixed set of steps. As Picasso said,
"Good artists copy, great artists steal."
That is why For The LOVE Of ART classes and workshops are project based and skill-led initially, covering a huge range of media. I intend to provide you with all the skills, techniques, art history and theory that you need for your creative toolkit so that you are able to amass knowledge and observe different art styles and take it wherever you wish. Once you finish one project, you can choose which one to follow next, without worrying about course start and end dates. Instead of all students working to the same stage each week, students can work to their own pace, in order to get exactly what they want to get out of each class.
What does this all mean for you when you come to my classes? I hope you will catch my passion for art and develop your own deep connection with the creative process, focusing on this and not the outcome, embracing all imperfections in your artwork. I hope you will not feel rushed (or bored!) as we can adapt the project to suit your needs and ability and above all, I hope you leave feeling great, with a love for art; that you have learned something new, that you are proud of what you have achieved and you feel supported by the friendly community that I have created around my business.
These are not just any normal art classes, these are For The LOVE Of ART classes.