An educator since 2001
I have taught illustration at undergraduate level since the early naughties and it has been a rewarding and fulfilling addition to the creative career that I have had. Teaching has its own kind of creativity as you respond to what the students bring each year, perceiving patterns, common issues and stumbling blocks. A strong feature of creative education is the need for a close relationship and dialogue with the student; as the student explores her subject and finds her creative voice, many discussions must take place to facilitate this journey of personal development. Sometimes this dialogue is about content, sometimes technique, but often the relationship ends up looking something like psychotherapy! — For if the student is 'stuck' and unable to work, the cause of the stuck-ness needs to be gently explored. Inevitably, the creative block is a psychological one; a perfectionist, an inner critic, a fear of failure.
Through my years of informally counselling students in the illustration studio, I developed an interest in the relationship between an individual's psychology and their ability to work creatively. I became convinced that arts courses could do more to address the psychological aspects of being a creative student — ones sense of self belief is quite integral to ones ability to embrace the fear of experimentation and let the creative process flow — it made sense to me that a creative education could do more to explore this relationship.
It was this belief that lead to me undertaking a three year post graduate training in Psychosynthesis counselling which now provides me with a rich resource to begin to explore ways of integrating self care and psychological wellbeing into a creative course. The pages on this website document some of the projects and workshops that I have designed in order to explore this facet of creative education.