Tag Archives: inspiration

Inspiring CSM Short Course tutor Pascal Anson fronts the BBC Big Painting Challenge!

Central Saint Martins Short Course Interior Design tutor Pascal Anson is currently on our screens as a mentor on The Big Painting Challenge!

Pascal will be teaching our Interior Design Portfolio course this coming July.  For more information please visit the CSM Short Courses website.

Catch Pascal on your TV screens at 6pm on Sunday’s on BBC1!

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

 

So, what is Reportage Photography anyway?

We chat to photographer and Central Saint Martins short course tutor Karl Grupe about the art of storytelling through photography and catch up with former students about the benefits the course has made to their own photographic creativity.

From conceptual typologies to classical photo essays, the final projects presented by students on the Reportage Photography course are always varied, but what exactly is Reportage Photography? Karl Grupe, one of two tutors teaching Reportage Photography at Central Saint Martins short courses, cites it as, “the art of storytelling through the use of still imagery. It is an umbrella term which can find its way into other genres of photography – fashion, editorial, photojournalism, visual anthropology to name a few. It is my goal to have the students leave the course feeling confident not through a belief in the precision of photography but through the play and alchemy that comes from constructing a language in photography.  Exploring and identifying where one feels comfortable in speaking visually is the essence of this course.”

Speaking with some of the graduates of Karl’s Reportage Photography course would most certainly confirm that this has been achieved.

Fran Hales is a freelance photographer, originally from New Zealand, residing in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Inspiring, challenging and motivating

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

We covered so many interesting topics and styles and I loved the weekly themed projects based around these. Karl who was our tutor is second to none. He has a brilliant way of teaching and works so well in encouraging and bringing out the best in his students.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My reportage project was called The Urban Emerald. It focused on the importance and value of green space and the wellbeing effect it has on helping people to unwind in a chaotic city such as London which swells to 11m people during the working week. The location I chose was Victoria park in London’s east end. Historically this park was created in 1845 to aid the working class in this area who were suffering from poor health and low life expectancy due to over-crowded living conditions. It was the first public park in London to be built specifically for the people and hence it is more fondly known by the locals as The People’s Park.

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales
The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

Absolutely. I already work as a photographer shooting mainly events. This course inspired me to think more about personal projects I would like to work on. It really showed me how to tell a story well and how to critique and edit my own work in a way I did not know before. It has given me more confidence. The support of the students and Karl the teacher helped me in having the confidence to present my work to the class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Do it! It’s so much fun and it gives you a great insight into the world of photography. You learn a lot whilst not being overloaded. I have done many short courses but this is one that really has made a change for me.

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales
The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

Kat Kotula works in HR and is originally from Wroclaw, Poland. She has been living in London for 1 year.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Challenge, motivation, feedback.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

There was a micro assignment for every class based on the lecture we received that day. With only one week to complete, it was great motivation to go out and do something new, sometimes stepping outside the comfort zone. We were challenged to use different equipment, different techniques, exploring new topics. Being able to compare our  work to others was very beneficial as it showed how the same topic could generate very different possibilities and approaches! 

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?

Titled, “We are from the heart”, it focuses on Pippa, a single mother after being abandoned by her cheating husband, who has recently lost her job. Her life revolves around her two sons, Rudy, aged 6, a diva and a showman, and Max, aged 9, who has autism. Through my project I was trying to understand and document the family dynamic and the interactions between the three of them.  I wanted the audience to see the emotional bond that this family has and demonstrate that despite their tough circumstances, there is so much love and tenderness in their little family.

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula
We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I had already been to photography school in the past, where I learned about different techniques and genres and my final essay back then was much more arty and dreamy, based on my own inner emotions rather than the actual story.  With the help of Karl and the examples he presented in class and the personal feedback I received, I was able to tell a story that was not banal, was more personal and intimate but still, I hope, interesting to others.  I feel quite confident about my storytelling skills now. I have also learned a few new things about the research and editing of photos.  I will definitely use the series I created for my final project in my portfolio. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Absolutely take it and engage yourself fully in every micro assignment given.  Whether you are a novice or an experienced photographer, every form of self development is great. This course will open your eyes to different possibilities, introduce you to photographers or projects you had not known before or simply challenge you to think outside of the box. Also you will get independent feedback about your work, which will help you create something extraordinary. 

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula
We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

Christian Olsen’s ultimate goal is to study Photography at UAL’s, London College of Communication.  He is originally from Copenhagen and currently resides in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?    

Immersive, relevant, stimulating.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

The class discussions and peer feedback following our homework assignments.  Not only did it open up numerous aspects of your work for interpretation that you might have not expected, but it also forced inward reflection on what you succeeded in achieving and more importantly what you did not, which is the most significant part of the learning process.

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?  

Docklands was the name of my project.  As with every area of London, the Docklands is seeing transformation and transition in terms of industry, demographics and infrastructure.  Having studied in North Greenwich and commuting both by means of DLR and London City Airport, it struck me that this transformation is happening on a far larger and rapid scale than other parts of the city and history cannot keep up.  The aim of the project was to document the post-industrial state of disrepair and the bustling ambitions of the future and to juxtapose these as harshly as possible in an attempt to convey the unnerving state of the Dockland’s today.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen
Docklands ©Christian Olsen

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

It has helped me immensely in creating a vision of where I see myself in my future photographic career. Before embarking on the course, I found it hard to handle projects of a more journalistic nature. But now I am able to hone in on more specific areas on the spectrum of photography.  I have also developed techniques of combining conceptual and reportage photography and I know what processes and pre-requisites go into creating a successful photo essay.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Definitely take it. Whether one is an experienced photographer or an amateur, the course content, tutor and other students will prove beneficial in terms of tools, techniques, inspiration and networking.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen
Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Following a series of Short Courses in photography at Central Saint Martins, Niaz Maleknia is now studying her Post-Graduate Diploma in Photography at UAL’s London College of Communication.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Motivational, interesting and vibrant

What did you enjoy most about the Reportage Photography short course? 

I enjoyed the weekly briefs and the feedback given by Karl and the other students. I also enjoyed learning about and discussing the work of other photographers.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My end of course project was titled  Facebook Lolita. I am fascinated by the selfie culture and the use of photography to promote oneself and demonstrate on social media. I am a mum of a 13 year old girl and have therefore become aware of the explicitly of my daughter’s friends’ profile pictures.  I searched Facebook for open accounts and was able to screen shot the images that these girls aged 13-15 years old were posting of themselves.  The girls seemed to be living a double life, one in reality and the other on the social pages. My background is in English literature and the images reminded me of Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita.   I wanted to add the emoji faces to protect the identity of the girls and to also add a childhood element to them. I also saturated the colours. The final work was shown on an old slide show which made it seem more uncomfortable for the viewer.

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia
Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 
I have really benefitted from the course as it has enabled me to get onto the Post Graduate Diploma Course at London College of Communication. I was able to put together a body of work, and also gained a lot of knowledge which I am still finding helpful.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 
I would encourage anyone interested in photography to take the course, as it is taught to a high standard in a fantastic environment, which in itself is so inspiring.  Karl teaches you to look at things in a different way and the briefs are fun and challenging at the same time.  Karl is enthusiastic and gives excellent feedback so you move forward and develop your eye and skills.

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia
Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

The next Reportage Photography Short Course is in March with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

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.

Flash Fiction!

It is that time of year again, when all eyes are on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist, and this year it is said to be the best and most confident in years.  Literary prizes such as the Man Booker are certainly inspiring, and here at Central Saint Martins Short Courses, a new creative writing course, Flash Fiction (Weekend), will teach you the craft of writing short stories in under 1000 words.

Taught by Creative Writing for Beginners tutor, Joanna Pocock, this 2-day course will invite students to read, write, and workshop stories in progress, with students finishing the course with a well-structured, complete piece of writing.

Past students of Joanna’s creative writing short courses have gone on to find successes in journalism, song-writing and even a short-listing for a literature award.

Season Butler, is one such success story, who after studying under Joanna, went on to enrol on an MA in Creative Writing and was shortlisted for the Leeds Literary Prize in 2014.

We spoke to Season about literary success and how a short course in creative writing led her into a career as a professional writer.

Books!

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Energising, illuminating, challenging

What did you enjoy most about your course?         

The group taking the course with me was great, and I made awesome friends there. We were all in the same boat, trying to carve out a writing practice while juggling the demands of work and family and all the messiness of life. Writing can be a solitary activity; with the support of Joanna and the rest of the group, I didn’t feel that I was going it alone.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

This course was a springboard into my career as a professional writer. Even having studied English and Creative Writing as an undergraduate, the course at CSM was hugely valuable, helping to refresh and refocus my writing practice. For me, going on to read an MA in Creative Writing was a natural next step, and I don’t think I could have done it without the confidence and renewed skills I gained in Joanna’s class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Go for it.  Joanna is a great teacher who creates a warm atmosphere among the participants, makes the often daunting task of writing something feel rewarding and (dare I say) fun.

Flash Fiction in a Weekend short course will take place on 26 and 27 November 2016. For further information please visit our website.

 

Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips
Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips
Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

And it all began with a weekend Short Course….

We love this article in Love My Dress about Jewellery Designer Nikki Stark, a former Short Course Jewellery Making student at Central Saint Martins.

“I took at Saturday course at Central St Martins just over 10 years ago and since then haven’t looked back. I was instantly hooked.”

Head over to www.lovemydress.net for the full article and Jewellery Making inspiration!

 

 

CSM Short Courses Easter School!

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

Helene Rosas - Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet
Helene Rosas – Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Helene and I live in France.

You’ve been studying Fashion Design and Marketing this week, why did you choose this course?

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.

Sarah Beka - Jewellery Making for Beginners ©Jet
Sarah Beka – Jewellery Making for Beginners ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Sarah, I’m Belgian and I live in London, UK.

You have studied Jewellery Making for Beginners this week. Why did you pick this course?

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!

Ingrid Monti - Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet
Ingrid Monti – Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Ingrid and I am from Paris, France.

You have studied Fashion Design and Marketing this week. Why did you pick this course?

 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 

Costantina Boubouka - Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley
Costantina Boubouka – Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I am Constantina and I am Greek/Italian, but live in London, UK.

Why did you pick Fashion and Textile Forecasting for your studies?

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!

Chloe Mercer - Set Design for Film & Television ©Jake Longley
Chloe Mercer – Set Design for Film & Television ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I am Chloe and I am from York, UK.

You have studied Set Design for Film and Television. Why did you pick this course?

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.

Inhara Ortiz Toledo - Fabrics and Fibres ©Jake Longley
Inhara Ortiz Toledo – Fabrics and Fibres ©Jake Longley

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

Marta Botas Perez - Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley
Marta Botas Perez – Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I’m Marta and I am from Spain.

Why did you pick Fashion and Textile Forecasting for your studies?

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.

INSIDE LOOK: Expressive Painting

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

Imagination in Painting starts on 12 December 2016

Meet Our Tutors Series: Schelay McCarter

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.

Schelay who learned to sew at a tender age!
Schelay who learned to sew at a tender age!

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.

shooting at Wrotham Park
shooting at Wrotham Park

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.

student work in progress - bringing ideas together
student work in progress – bringing ideas together

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.

The canal path outside Central Saint Martins, Granary Square
The canal path outside Central Saint Martins, Granary Square

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

Dear Prudence
Dear Prudence

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?

Carpe diem!

The next Art Direction for Fashion course starts on the 19th April 2016 with further dates throughout the year

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

Read a student review of Art Direction for Fashion in a previous blog post here!