I can always remember being totally immersed in creativity at school. If I wasn’t in the Art and Design department (which was just about all of my senior year) then I was over in Technical doing some woodwork, or metalwork. To me drawing, designing and making things = fun.
Creativity, ideas, concepts, imagination, whatever the heck you want to call it, has always interested me. And that’s probably the main reason I ended up doing an Advertising Design course at college. This then led me head first into the exciting world of creative advertising, working as a copywriter and art director. Now we’re talking serious fun.
I worked in the creative departments of many advertising and design companies in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen for over five years in the late eighties and early nineties. This valuable and rewarding experience really set me up professionally for the start of my career as an Art and Design lecturer, teaching in several Colleges of Further Education in Scotland. Now it was time to really share the fun.
Since I started teaching full-time in August 1994, I’ve also been producing a lot more commissioned portrait work. I mostly use pencil and coloured pencil, but have been experimenting more recently with acrylics, collage and computer as well, which has pushed the fun to new limits.
To me, being creative is all about the idea and that’s what I try, most of all, to pass on to my students. For a piece of creativity to work, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a drawing, a painting, a design, an illustration, an advert, or even a screenplay, it’s got to have an idea. It’s got to challenge you, grab your attention and make you think, cause if it doesn’t, then what’s the point? Where’s the fun?
Albert Einstein made many famous and profound statements in his life, but two of them really hit home for me. The first, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge,” obviously taps right into my career as a lecturer. The second really says it all for me, “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Now there’s a man who knew how to have real fun!