I spent the last two days in a freezing hall in Pontypridd, with a host of other creative people, doing our training as Creative Practitioners for the Lead Creative Schools project in Wales. I’ll be working with the Archbishop Rowan Primary School in Portskewitt this term.
I was among a load of creative people from a wide range of backgrounds, practice’s and media. We were made to play games, shaking us up into new groups all the time, making us think hard and question our own attitudes and particularly the meaning of things and the meaning of creativity.
What came across to me was the importance of an agreed vocabulary. That’s half of what the sessions were about, making sure we were all moving in the same direction with the same understanding. Quite often definitions were challenged. I found myself thinking deeply about assumptions that may well have turned into lazy prejudices over the years.
It was also fascinating to see how people worked in groups – who stood out as leaders and who stood back quietly and thought longer and quietly before adding their two pennyworth. Either way, in short, timed exercises, someone has to get things rolling.
In a room of creative people everyone got on with it and instinctively knew their jobs within each task. In a more mixed group I can imagine those who think themselves less creative would stand back much more and maybe hinder the team. The nature of the group was that we were all self-starters and happy to pitch in.
I’m surprised how tired I am today. Full-on brain work and networking, followed by a horrid drive home in the dark and wet, is very tiring.
Assessing our creative attitudes and representing them in this spider plan method, was very interesting. I found myself admitting that I’m maybe not as collaborative as I could be. But it was good to see others were the same as me – mostly artists who work on their own a lot in studios. It was also good to see that those who had high collaboration skills were lower in other areas that I thought I did well in.
It’s swings and roundabouts. But making the the hidden or denied so obvious, in a fun, non-judgmental way, does allow you to look at what might be weaknesses that can possibly be worked on – if the will is there!
Thanks to all the trainers and collaborators over the last two days.