Tag Archives: self portrait

Creative Training – doin’ my brain in!

Seven pillars of creativity

Seven pillars of creativity

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.


creative attitudes schematic

creative attitudes schematic

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.

Ha ha ha! – The laughing cavalier

Following on the post about shooshing up old portraits, inspired by the work of children I met in Milan this week, here is a picture of me as Frans Hals’ The Laughing Cavalier! I thought I do it because my profile pic on FaceBook has been of me being an astronaut for a while and needs refreshing. Here’s the astronaut pic too. I did it because my facebook friends were posting picture of their alter egos. I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. Now I’m older, to be a jolly old cavalier reprobate seems to be an equally splendid ambition!

Portraits in Milan

There was a lot of artwork on the walls of the Sir James Henderson School in Milan this week, But the self-prtraits as nobles of the middle ages really grabbed me. Having photos for the faces really made them look real. This looks like a great project to do. Maybe it helps that the faces kind of resemble the faces that you find in renaissance paintings. Maybe the thing to do would be to find the right time and place in history to take a portrait from that will fit your face. The first thing that comes to my mind is how Wayne Rooney would look good as King Henry VIII, so I did a mashup photo. See what you think?