Art and Design Easter School – De Montfort University (April 2018)

The Art and Design Easter School was an incredible opportunity. Each of the 4 days offered a new media of art that high school cannot offer. De Montfort’s facilities were amazing and heightened my aspirations to attend university. Each room was specialised, interesting and gave me an insight to what areas of art are available in further study. In addition to this, I met some incredible people, including current University students who explained how universities work, the opportunities they offer and gave us a tour of the campus.

Throughout the week, we went to workshops including fashion design, printing (using metal), charcoal drawings in the studio 9 floors high(!), and ceramics. Fashion design taught us to think outside the box and turn an ordinary shirt and blazer into a new clothing piece. We worked on our observational skills and techniques when using charcoal. It got extremely messy but it was definitely worth it. In ceramics, we made a ceramic dish and used the technique of mono-printing to create a design on the surface. On one of the days, we used zinc as a medium to create a stamp-like sheet that could be used over and over to create several prints. We put the zinc, damp paper and ink into a century old machine. It produced an interesting outcome and we experimented with how to get different tones. I was aware of the concept of dark- room photography but had never actually done it. The dark room had a winding corridor to ensure no white light effected the results. We used light sensitive paper, lamps and objects to create black and white photos. The interesting thing was, you could not see the results until you put it through a machine. So it was all trial and error!

The highlight of my week was definitely animation. It was the furthest away from the centre of campus and was a room full of professional equipment – the big, pressure sensitive touchscreen tablets with mechanical pens. We were introduced to software that allowed us to create 2D animation at 24 frames per second – that’s 24 drawings for every second of animation! This explains why we only got no more than a 2 second animation in an hour and a half. We also had a brief lesson on how to draw people, which developed my skills of observation and made me more confident in drawing live models.

Finally, the week finished with an exhibition to our parents, and a buffet. This was my first exhibition of my artwork! It was incredible to see so many amazing artists too. the week has taught me so many new things and has made me want to go to university even more! It has boosted my confidence with my artwork, talking to new people, making friends, asking questions… the list goes on. Overall, this experience has interested and inspired me and would recommend this workshop to anyone interested in art and design.

By Emily H

April 2018