Here are some images of tests for the Sketchbook Project Vol14. The theme I am working with is City Streets. I am still taking photographs for this sketchbook project.
Over the next few weeks I will pose a question that comes from my submission for the Sketchbook Project writing challenge Hope and Fear. The sketchbook I submitted was titled FEAR OF CREATIVITY. I invite to reflect on and / or answer these questions in your own way.
How can we use fear in the
Before I do any more posts, I want to share my own creative process. This creative process can be found both in my practice as an artist, working with photographic and photo - based images, and in my practice as an educator working in a variety of arts based and arts infused learning programs.
Over the past thirty plus years, the creative process utilized in my practice as an artist has evolved into an ongoing dialogue between the found and the constructed image. Because the medium of photography is more often than not a medium of the found image, and there is also a long history of manipulating and transforming photographic images, today I find myself straddling the fence between these two aesthetic practices. As my primary subject matter is the urban landscape, these landscapes seem to hide and reveal themselves. I can walk down the street one - day and see nothing, two days later I walk down the same street and ten plus images emerge. Some of these images will stand on their own aesthetically, while other images will be transformed, either digitally or physically into constructed images. How I determine which of these photographs will be altered and which photographs will remain unchanged is very much an intuitive thing.
For me teaching and facilitating is very much a creative act. The evolving creative processes utilized in my practice as an artist, has also found its way into my practice as an educator. Instead of working with found and constructed images, my practice as an educator consists of working with existing theories and methods from adult and art education, as well as constructing new programs by fusing the theories and methods from adult and art education with other disciplines such as disability arts, community engagement, and the human services field. These fused or constructed programs are not like the found and constructed images. The viewers of my images may be fully engaged with my images, or they can just walk away. How these viewers are impacted by my images is not always known. The learners in the programs I develop and deliver, however have been and will be affected through their learning experiences. As a result I have to ensure that all learning programs are inclusive and always puts the learner at the centre to ensure an optimal learning experience.
An integral tool used in my practices as both an artist and educator is my idea books, studio journal and sketchbooks. About a year before graduating from art school, I transitioned from using simple note pads to what I now call my idea books. At that time my idea books were 5”x7” sketchbooks. I continued to use these idea books for photo and art projects, as well as, exhibitions. In the late 90’s I also began to use these idea books for the planning of educational programs, reflections on my practice as an emerging educator, things to do lists, and for research.
After a few years of working this way, I found that I needed to separate the planning of photo projects and exhibitions from my planning of educational programs and other projects so I began using a small sketchbook as a studio journal. Today these idea books and studio journals provide a space where I can play with ideas and concepts for both the learning programs and art projects and build on and even deconstruct them.
I always carry both my idea books and studio journals everywhere I go. So when I get an idea for a learning program or I want to work on a particular studio project, I have them close at hand. I also carry the previous idea books and studio journals I was working with, because many of the ideas and projects that I am working on do not stop when I complete an idea book or studio journal. There is always a continuation of the ideas and projects from one idea book or studio journal to the newest ones. As for the studio sketchbooks, this is where I take the concepts for many of the photo / art projects and begin to draw out and prototype the photo / art projects. I also use the studio sketchbooks for the planning of exhibitions and Where Am I at lists. It usually takes a couple of years to fill a sketchbook, and they rarely if ever leave my studio / workspace.
Whether returning to my old notes, idea books, studio journals or sketchbooks, all of these journals or sketchbooks have been and continue to be an important part of my practice as both an artist and educator. There are projects and ideas that I have started on the pages of these idea books, journals and sketchbooks that are just that, ideas or concepts that where never completed. There are many more ideas or concepts that have became fully realized photo projects, exhibitions and learning programs.
In the image above you can see my idea books, studio journal and studio sketchbook.
So you are probably wondering what that last post was about. The document found in the post was my response to how many people I meet that cringe and run away when they hear the word creativity. Through this blog I will present my ideas about CREATIVITY and how as humans it is so integral to who we are and will become in the future. I will share my own creative process as both an artist and educator. I will also attempt to articulate the critical side of creativity and how it has been pushed off into the periphery in such areas of education and social services. I also welcome feedback and dialogue from others who are working in the area of creativity.