Tag Archives: drawing

Ideas Are Your Only Currency

We are proud to announce the new book by Central Saint Martins short courses tutor Rod Judkins Ideas Are Your Only Currency. We chat to Rod about how his Short Course, 100 Design Projects, provided inspiration for the book and ask that burning question, can non-creatives really become creative?

You’re the author of The Art of Creative Thinking and Change your Mind: 57 ways to unlock your creative self. What was the inspiration behind your new book Ideas Are Your Only Currency, and how does it follow on from your two previous titles?

The inspiration for Ideas Are Your Only Currency was my Central Saint Martins short course called 100 Design Projects. Over many years of teaching art and design at UAL, I noticed the students that lasted and prospered after they left were the ‘ideas’ students. Because culture changes so rapidly, the ‘ideas’ students were able to adapt quickly. The students who relied on a skill often found themselves washed up when technology rendered that skill redundant. So I tried to help students become good at generating ideas. I found the best way to do that was by doing two things. To set them conceptual projects that stretched their minds and forced them to think of ideas rather than create designs that looked attractive. Secondly, to set a lot of projects. Thinking of many ideas is the best training for getting ideas.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency by Rod Judkins
Ideas Are Your Only Currency by Rod Judkins

My previous books equipped the reader with specific techniques and methods to think creatively and solve design problems.  I examined creative thinkers from art and design but also literature music and science. I explained the process they used to get ideas. Then I demonstrated to the reader how they could use them in whatever field they worked in.

The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins
The Art of Creative Thinking by Rod Judkins

You’ve been teaching the highly popular short courses 100 Design Projects and 100 Drawing Projects at Central Saint Martins for a number of years now. How have they evolved over the years?

If a project does not produce exciting work, next time I run the course I either alter it or delete it and add a better project. Over the years, I’ve been able to develop all the projects on the course to the highest standard. They are very different courses. 100 Design Projects focuses on ideas and how to get them. 100 Drawing Projects concentrates on exploring the potential of every conceivable medium and how to use them to improve your drawing ability.

Do you cover specific elements of the book in your 100 Design Projects course? If so, which course focuses on which elements? (i.e., I loved chapter 4, so maybe I can book on…)

A chapter of Ideas Are Your Only Currency focuses on technology – how we make it but it also alters and therefore makes us. So in both the book and the course I try to get students to work out how to make sure they use technology rather than let technology use them.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency
Ideas Are Your Only Currency


What’s the most effective ‘first step’ for any aspiring creative out there?

They should work out why they want to be creative. What is it they hope to achieve? Self-expression? Improve the design of cars? When they work out the ‘why,’ the ‘how’ and ‘what’ are easier to establish.

Any advice on how to approach a non-creative career with a bit more creativity?

Because of the success of my books I’ve been invited into places like the Royal Free Hospital where I teach creative thinking to Applied Medical Students. This is a new venture The Royal Free started because they are frustrated that science students have been taught how to learn facts at school but are not creative thinkers. A medical science students needs to be problem solver. A hospital is full of unexpected and unusual situations. That’s where I come in – I help the students to become ideas people who can think of solutions to problems.

Do you think finishing projects is important?

When you first think of an idea it is usually in the form of rough sketch and has energy and life. The more you work on it and refine it the more you can kill that energy. The trick is to develop and idea quickly and maintain that energy.

Where do you go for inspiration?

I get a lot of ideas from students. They introduce me to new topics, new music and new technologies. I meet so many students and they tell me so many things they’ve discovered – they keep me in touch.

What should our visiting students definitely not miss to catch ‘creative London’ in it’s finest?

I’d recommend First Thursdays at the Whitechapel Gallery. On the first Thursday of every month they organize a tour of local galleries. About 150 galleries in east London come together and run free events, exhibitions, talks and private views during a special late opening. They also take you around on a bus – it’s great fun and you learn a lot.

What’s the most important tool for artists? 

I don’t think physical tools are important. If a painter loses his brushes he can replace them with cloth, sponges, etc. Thinking tools are useful because if you get stuck they provide lots of possible alternatives.

Ideas Are Your Only Currency
Ideas Are Your Only Currency

 

Can non-creatives become creative?

They already are. I’ve discovered that, working with scientists in a hospital. They are constantly innovating and inventing new procedures and treatments but they don’t think of themselves as creative, they think of themselves as scientists.

Rod launches Ideas Are Your Only Currency tonight at Daunt Books, Marylebone, London

Book Launch

Rod’s next 100 Design Projects course is in April with further dates throughout the year.  He also teaches, 100 Drawing Projects, Contemporary Collage and Developing Your Creativity. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course Website for further details.
Follow Rod on Twitter

 

Idea Generation Processes – How do you convert ideas into finished work?

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?

Artist

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 next Idea Generation Processes Short Course is in January with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

Easter School Instagram Competition Winner

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

Central Saint Martins Short Courses at the Affordable Art Fair

Unleash your inner artist this weekend by heading down to the Affordable Art Fair Education Space to take part in one of our workshops.

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!

For tickets and further information please visit the Affordable Art Fair website

Student Review: Total Drawing

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.

Angelica Salvia
Angelica Salvia

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!

The next Total Drawing Course starts on 11 April 2016 with further dates throughout the year

The course is also taught online with the next course starting on 28 April 2016

Ilga Leimanis also teaches:

Drawing Portfolio – Daytime

Portfolio Sketchbook

Related Blog Post

 

Guest Blog, Ilga Leimanis: Former CSM Short Course students invited to contribute to book

I was invited to write three chapters / workshops for a new book, Creative Sketching Workshop, by Pete Scully, published in October. It is a great new book of 20 workshops packed with different exercises to try out.

Creative Sketching Workshop: Inspiration, Tips and Exercises for Sketching on the Move by Peter Scully
Creative Sketching Workshop: Inspiration, Tips and Exercises for Sketching on the Move by Peter Scully

There are a total of 12 contributors from around the world: Virginia HeinJames HobbsNina Johansson, Ilga Leimanis, Kumi MatsukawaShiho NakazaMelaine ReimRita SablerLiz SteelPaul WangSamantha Zaza and the author Pete Scully.

In addition to these contributors, there are also many other guest artists whose beautiful artworks are included. This 176-page paperback is packed with inspiration and insights.

My three workshops are: Architecture, Portraits at Home and Pets and Animals. In addition to my own sketches (alone and as Ortelius Drew), I also asked others, including some of my former CSM students, to contribute their drawings to these chapters. From my courses, Portfolio Sketchbook, Total Drawing (Online), Drawing Portfolio – Daytime and Bespoke Training, the following of my former students contributed

Tim BaynesPortfolio Sketchbook

Sandra Cox – Total Drawing (Online)

Gazala Haq – Drawing Portfolio – Daytime

Loretta McGregor – Bespoke Training

Ana Peigneux Ortega – Drawing Portfolio – Daytime

Ignacia RuizTotal Drawing and now my colleague

Felix Siew – Drawing Portfolio – Daytime

Portraits at Home
Portraits at Home

Fellow short course tutors John Booth and Simon Foxall also contributed to my chapters.

Contrasting Colours - Creating Sketching Workshop
Contrasting Colours – Creating Sketching Workshop

The book is available at Waterstones or Amazon and also many independent bookshops in London.

Thank you to Isheeta Mustafi of RotoVision Books and Pete Scully for asking me to be one of the contributors to this book which was a wonderful new experience!

Ilga Leimanis

www.ilgaleimanis.com
www.orteliusdrew.com

Instagram Competition Winner

During our Autumn Term we ran an Instagram competition for our Short Course students with a £50 Topshop/Topman voucher up for grabs.  The winner was Kateryna Solohub who took this wonderful snap during her Introduction to Drawing Short Course, taught by Peter Towse.  Well done Kateryna!  Studying a Short Course with us?  Share your experience! #MyCSM