I offer Creative Confidence
online workshops for primary schools.
Sessions are live from my own studio - itself an interesting and vibrant place to see.
I have many years of experience teaching creativity to both adults and children and have worked online with children and in schools. I found that the key to helping children develop their artistic practice is to give them the skills to increase their confidence. Their confidence to try new things, and to realise that there is no possibility of getting it wrong in art.
I encourage students to take creative chances and to enjoy what feels good in the creative process. It’s a great way of children being able to start to understand that sometimes we have a voice inside of us that tells us that what we’re producing is not good enough. It’s a great way to examine that and to start to question it and to look for the positive voice that tells us ‘wow, look that’s good, I did that and I like it’.
I help students (in my adult classes as well as children’s) to focus on the things that they actually like in their paintings and build on those. This is possible because of the acrylic paints that I encourage students to use. Painting using acrylic paints on cheap cardboard boxes enables a process of 'painting over ‘, of layering, of reiteration and of gradual refining and improving on technique. The way I teach children art and creativity means there is no possibility of getting it ‘wrong’ - because unlike maths or English, in art there is no ‘incorrect'. There’s only ever reiteration, adjustment, and focusing on what’s enjoyable in the process.
My teaching experience reaches back over 25 years into my career with the Home Office, where I taught change behaviour with offenders! I understand the psychology of behaviour and I also understand that for children especially, it is very important to encourage positivity and the skills of wanting to keep trying that help build psychological resilience.
The acrylic paint that I recommend using is the most forgiving and easy to use type of paint. When it’s dry it forms a complete plastic layer - a barrier - this means that it can be painted over time and time again. It’s great to see children are encouraged to experiment in this way; leaning into their inate and unique creativity and learning that they will not get everything right the first time, but that they can keep trying, and improve and enjoy with each experiment.
The materials that I use for teaching are chosen as they will produce the maximum results early on, and getting good results then encourages further trial, further trial leads to more success and thus ‘creative confidence’ is developed. That’s my focus, with adults and children alike. I had a book published on this subject titled ‘Creative Me’ in 2015, and I have taught this process in schools and to adult groups for over 10 years.
My teaching process has also been featured in art magazines, as well as in ‘Psychologies' magazine.