What exactly is the creative process and how do we convert ideas into a finished piece of work? We chat to artist Madeleine Staubli about her experience on the Idea Generation Processes short course and how it taught her new ways of unlocking her creative ideas, plus experiment with new ones.
What is your name and where do you come?
Madeleine Staubli and I’m Swiss. I currently live in the countryside near Lucerne
What is your occupation?
What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?
Fun, intensive, great experience
What did you enjoy most about your course Idea Generation Processes?
It was a great opportunity to experiment with different materials and a great opportunity to get closer to my own artistic language. I learned how to use my brain in new ways and it still works even a whole year after the course. It was worth every pound. Ideal for beginners as for professionals. I actually took Ilga’s Total Drawing course also and loved the efficient way of going through different chapters. The teaching speed created a “workflow” which made my hands become drawing hands.
What was your first impression of Central Saint Martins?
It gave me the real London feeling which I hoped to find.
What did you think of your tutor Ilga Leimanis?
I appreciated Ilga’s teaching method. Even with 16 in a group, she was efficient and clear and she was able to teach a mixed level class effectively, it didn’t matter if they were beginners or advanced learners or professionals.
How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?
I already had ideas about creating 3D objects but it seemed so difficult to realise them. After the course it all became so easy and it felt as if all the doors in my brain were pushed open.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?
If you really feel like experimenting and trying some other ways of thinking creatively then go for it.
What is the best thing about studying in London?
I love London and if I am there for a week I can keep my mind free of everything else. Being there enables me to occupy myself only with the things I want to.
The annual Foundation Show opens this week! The exhibition showcases work from students across the five curriculum areas: 3-Dimensional Design and Architecture | Fashion and Textiles | Fine Art | Graphic and Communication Design | Performance Design and Practice
Students travel from all over the world to study Short Courses at Central Saint Martins. We meet students who are changing career, preparing for a degree, beginners, enthusiasts, experimenters, and everyone in between. We spoke to some of our Easter School students about their Short Courses and why they chose to study with us
I am looking for a job in Fashion Design but, for me, it is important for a fashion designer to know how to build a brand and know the marketing process that comes with it. I feel it is important to know how this world works. My course has been taught by Erica Charles who is very experienced and really knows what she is talking about. Erica was really stunning, and we can all tell how passionate she is. She has taught me that even though some brands are not huge, there is a world behind it that was not obvious first. London has been an inspiration as well! The people, the museums, the streets…London has a very important cultural influence around the world. Everyone knows it, but you can feel it when you are here.
I’ve always wanted to learn about making jewellery and how to work with metals. The techniques I have learnt and the professionalism of the tutor have been the best thing about the course. As I am a beginner at making jewellery, I feel I’ve learnt everything I need to know to start making on my own! The tutor, Anastasia Young, has been great. She gives clear explanations and is always ready to give help and advice. Anastasia has lots of experience in Jewellery. This was a great course to develop my potential, and I would like to come back for more courses!
I chose this course for two reasons. The first is Erica Charles, the tutor. I read her profile and I was really impressed by her career and thought that she would have a lot to teach me (and I was right!). The second is that my previous career was only related to product and I felt marketing was something I needed to fill the gap. When I arrived on the Monday morning, the sky was grey and the fountains outside the building were making steam. It really added some drama to arriving at CSM. Inside, I was thinking “Wow! I am studying at Central Saint Martins!” I feel like I am in the right place. Central Saint Martins and London has a different spirit to anywhere else: everything is cooler, less formal. The city has some amazing architecture but it is the people and their style that I like to observe.
Ingrid runs her own accessories brand Sainte Isaure which you can follow on Instagram and like on Facebook
What’s your name and where do you come from?
I am Constantina and I am Greek/Italian, but live in London, UK.
I chose this course to get a better understanding of the industry and to find out what areas to focus on as a Trend Consultant. The variety of the subjects on the course have been amazing and it has been great to learn about the different areas people in the industry look to for inspiration. Our tutor, Bridget Miles, is a very knowledgeable tutor. She is very patient and open to discussions with her class. London is such an inspiring city to be in. It is a multicultural hub that is perfect for someone who wants to start their own business or kick start their career. The city surprises me every day with the new shops, galleries, and restaurants. They say that if you get tired of London, then you’re tired of life!
I wanted to build upon the Fine Art degree I have as well as aid my development. The course is helping me prepare for a new job that I am moving into. The class size is small so one to one contact with the tutor, Clara Zita, really helps you to understand and feel confident in your ideas and progress. The course covers 3D model making which I have not had much experience in before. I now feel confident in the process and method! It’s been nice to be taught by a tutor who currently works in the industry so they can offer first-hand experience and knowledge. I have not been able to get out to see much of London and the exhibitions as I’ve been staying behind after class to use the facilities Central Saint Martins has.
What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Inhara, I am Mexican and I live in London, UK.
Which course have you studied with us this week?
I have studied Fabrics and Fibres, taught by Veronica Shattuck. I picked this course because I would like to get involved with the sustainable fashion industry. Learning where and how fabrics are made is very important and interesting to me. Meeting new people from around the world has been great and, as part of the course, I learnt how to make fabric from a fibre! Veronica, our tutor, is very good and knows so much about the topic, she has so much experience. I’ve loved studying at Central Saint Martins, it’s so relaxed and inspirational. You can follow my work here: @Obope
I chose this course as I would like to work in the fashion business as a buyer. The course allows you the freedom to express total creativity in your works, to share them with your mates, as well as meet and learn from new people from different cultures. I felt very happy and comfortable at Central Saint Martins. I think it is a very good opportunity to develop your artistic talent and other creative people. I would really like to come back to study more short courses and maybe a Master’s degree. My experience of CSM and London has been amazing.
Our Easter School is fast approaching, please check our the Short Course website for all available courses and dates.
During our Easter School we ran an Instagram competition for our Short Course students with the lucky winner walking away with a £50 Amazon voucher. We are happy to announce the winner as Mimi Ziv who instagrammed her experience of Experimental Fashion Drawing, taught by Alexis Panayiotou. Mimi’s snap showcased what happens in the Fashion Drawing classroom, including drawing from a model and her own work. Studying a Short Course with us? Share your experience! #MyCSM
Ewa Gargulinska is the tutor of Expressive Painting and Imagination in Painting at Central Saint Martins Short Courses. She is an internationally recognised Polish artist and the author of Poems. Her private collectors include Arthur Sackler (founder of the new wings to the Royal Academy in London and Metropolitan Museum in New York), Jeremy Irons and Vernon Ellis, chairman of the English National Opera. We chat to Ewa about her Expressive Painting Short Course, her advice for aspiring artists and mindfulness.
Who are your courses targeted to and what should students expect to leave with by the end of their course?
I don’t target my courses to anyone in particular, everyone who is drawn to their title and description can attend. Very often it attracts art therapists and doctors, alongside young people who want to study art or those who want to know how to awaken and to express their imagination.
On completion of the course students will be able to recognise their potential as creators, sustain their concentration, trust their vision, express confidently their imagination through technique; form, colour and to understand the power of the creative mind.
How did you become a painter and what is your advice for anyone wanting to become an artist?
I think it was some deliverance of fortune, I had no choice, I just knew that I had to become an artist. It may have been prompted by my hyper sensitivity and perception of the world around me and the part I play in it. I don’t think artists plan to be artists, they simply are. It is an inner call.
My advice to anyone wanting to be an artist would be to listen to your inner voice. Observe and look at everything mindfully, engage in life and the world around you. Becoming an artist is a lifetime disciplined commitment.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I feel inspired by human courage to endure suffering. By beauty and power of Nature. I feel encouraged and empowered by studying the work of good artists; not only those who explore similar emotional themes as my own, but others too who express unexpected imagination through their vision and skill, as well as an understanding of life and people. To sustain inspiration I read a lot; philosophy, poetry, literature, going to exhibitions, film, experimental theatre, listen to music, observe my mind as well as others and Nature
The next Expressive Painting course starts on 18 July 2016 with further dates throughout the year
Schelay McCarter is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London, a freelance designer/Art Director and has been teaching Art Direction for Fashion at CSM Short Courses since 1997. Her expertise lies in commercial fashion branding and this includes fashion forecasting, journalism and creative project management. We spoke to Schelay about how she got into Art Direction, her advice for inspiring creatives and her passion for teaching.
What inspired you become an Art Director in fashion?
When I think about what inspired me to become an art director my early childhood comes to mind. I had a fashion savvy mother who would think nothing of running up copious amounts of summer dresses in pretty patterned cotton prints for us each season as we grew up. I have memories of my sisters and I being photographed by my father wearing fake sheep skin fur coats, made by my mother, beautifully lined, we looked like cute little lambs in them! My mother’s sewing machine was always out – she taught me to sew, I made Barbie doll clothes, tacked them onto card and photographed them ready to sell. I sold them in a local shop in Blackheath village. This opened my eyes to the potential and immediacy of style and fashion, creating an image and selling an idea. Vogue magazine was an influence, the fashion photography in particular fascinated me, the model, lighting, pose, hair and make-up, styling and location that transported me to a bewitching world of seemingly effortless glamour. It became a world that I wanted in some way to be part of.
Tell us about your work
My work is about creating a tailor made brand image formula that reflects my client’s product market position and the aspiration of the target customer for all media applications be a website or for in store visual merchandising or both.
My work is varied. My previous experience as senior art director and graphic designer for M&S allowed me the freedom to set my fashion narratives in a variety of large country houses, studios or cityscapes. My vision is to make the viewer feel both voyeur as well as part of the scene depicted. I have used some exceptional locations and photographers; two photo shoots that stand out amongst many are Cliveden House with Simon Bottomly shooting a luxury lingerie collection in the Lady Astor suite and Antebellum House in South Carolina with Jean Pierre Masclet shooting all store M&S season’s ranges. At a recent fashion brand production shoot for a Chilean client called Saville Row. I had a 19 strong team with photographer Sam Robinson on location at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire. This location has been used for Downton Abbey as well as the film Gosford park. It was a surreal moment when my team and I had lunch in the Downton Abbey Kitchen! It is my creative team I have to thank for my fashion production successes.
What are you most passionate about?
My professional practice is very important to me, however it is my teaching that I am most passionate about. I encourage innovation and proactive practices, thinking outside the box is fostered on my art direction and production work as well as from my students on my art direction for fashion courses.
We are living in one of the most exciting periods of modern history where through advances in internet application there has been an opening up of opportunity. Utilising the past and present with the new exiting technologies available through new media, photography and post-production there has never been a better time for being an image maker.
Which piece of creative work in any discipline do you most love?
I love the alchemy of photography. Capturing a moment. Whether created on an old box Brownie using film like Jacques Henri Lartigue or Cartier Bresson’s work, I particularly like David Bailey’s brilliant Roliflex film work from the 1960s and 70s. James Meakin and Miles Aldrige’s digital camera work is vibrant and beautiful. I find the process of viewing new images and editing the selection creates the same feeling I get opening up a box of chocolates to choose the best one!
Where is your favourite London Discovery?
My favourite London discovery currently is the myriad of riverside cycle routes by the side of the London canal waterways, there is one next to the Granary road CSM Campus that leads to Little Venice and Paddington. I often take my fold up bike along this route.
What is your Guilty pleasure?
It has to be dark chocolate ……
Name a favourite book, song or film
‘The Bolter’ by Frances Osbourne.
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Use your initiative; be proactive and positive, a team player doing unto others as you would be done to yourself!
What’s the best bit of advice you have ever been given?
Thursday 10 March Central Saint Martins Short Courses: Demystifying Drawing – 2pm
Guy Noble will show you how a good understanding of the basics of drawing can open up a whole new creative world. Whether you’re a beginner, looking to pick up an old interest or wanting to start serious art study this glimpse into his Introduction to Drawing course shows an exciting and dynamic way of teaching a timeless subject. Find out how your signature can improve your life drawing or how making 10 dots can help you see differently.
Friday 11 March Central Saint Martins Short Courses: The Creative Spark – 2pm
Ilga Leimanis presents an experimental one-hour workshop exploring the creative process. Starting with the memory of a favourite work from the fair, we will use drawing, 2D and 3D paper craft, and mixed media, to play with making changes to the initial source, through a simple and fun process.
Sunday 13 March Sofa Sessions: Art and Interior Styling – 3pm
Tara Larkin offers an introductory workshop with guidance and tips for choosing and displaying art in interiors, particularly the home. The session includes a short tour of the fair to see and discuss examples.
Also pick up one of our flyers to receive your exclusive Central Saint Martins Short Course discount code!
Angelica Salvia is a recent graduate of our Total Drawing course, taught by Ilga Leimanis. We had a chat to Angelica about her experience on the course and how it has benefitted her career and personal development
Why did you choose to study Total Drawing?
I chose the Total Drawing course because I needed to regain a physical approach to creativity which I feel I had lost over the years through the increasing usage of technological devices in my profession. Also, as a designer, I personally find it fundamental to stay challenged, strengthening my mental flexibility and forcing me to adapt to a different point of view.
What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?
Solid, for its structure. The first part of the class was always very intense and focused on technique. The afternoon was dedicated to a looser approach to the visual representation and was more emotionally engaging.
Intimate, because of the limited number of people admitted to the class which allowed us to fully engage and concentrate. The presence of like-minded people enjoying the moment and our encouraging tutor, created a positive creative energy in the classroom.
Flexible, for the variety of subjects drawn, the use of outdoor venues, and the freedom of expression gained once we were given basic technical directions.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
The Life Drawing sessions were surprisingly overwhelming and challenging. The task of catching the whole essence of a pose in only a few seconds when the model was changing poses very quickly was highly engaging.
How has this course benefited your career or personal development?
By slowly taking control of my drawing skills again, my spatial awareness has become more powerful. Through drawing I have developed a more fluid hand, which allows me to design a more spontaneous and vivid imprint of my spatial visions.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?
Whatever your ability, this course will be the occasion to learn new skills or refresh existing skills and perspectives. You may also find that a particular exercise actually triggers something you can adapt and use in your profession. I would suggest approaching it with an open mind as you might be really surprised with what you are able to achieve at the end of the day. Ultimately just enjoy the process and trust your intuition!
Students from the Professional Practice And Academic Portfolio Course (PPA) held their final exhibition earlier this month, with themes focusing on time, memory and family history, self-portraiture, fashion and performance, street portraits, appropriation and collage, repetition and taxonomy. Speaking about the course, tutor Kathryn Faulkner said:
The PPA is targeted at anyone who is passionate about Photography and is keen to learn more skills and develop their thinking around what and why they make photographs. There is no limit to age or experience but we are looking for well-motivated and engaged students who will work well together. The course is divided into two stages. After set assignments in Stage 1, the students develop a self-initiated project during Stage 2 and this is presented publicly in a Final Show at the end of the course. In this year’s final exhibition everyone made a highly individual and personal body of work. There is no house style and the purpose of the course is to help students identify what is most important to them. Students leave with a workbook, an essay, a new portfolio of work and some make artists books. Hopefully they leave with a new found confidence in speaking about their work too.”
Speaking about his experience on the course, PPA Graduate Charlie Gao cited the experience as being “rigorous as well as challenging your own creativity”.
“Being able to critique and see the flaws of your own work is something that develops over time, and I think important to making further advancements as an artist. Being able to develop my own work and photographic identity whilst surrounded by a group of peers with diverse photographic practices, bouncing ideas off each other, being creative, trying new things, working across different mediums – still, moving image, analogue, digital. This course has the potential to give you the practical skills and confidence to practise photography in any context and to the highest level, whether professionally or academically on an MA course.”
Whilst fellow PPA graduate Zhen Lin spoke of the experience as being “inspirational, practical, and mind-consuming”.