How to find ideas may be one of the hardest topics to conquor as an artist. We have all been there, sitting in front of a blank paper or canvas, just waiting for inspiration to hit. It is especially hard for art teachers when we spend so long on developing workshops, concepts, and plans but the students sit, pencils poised over the paper, ideal-less.
Which is why I found it helpful to spend some time at the beginning of the year opening students minds to the possibilities ideas that surround us. Here is a one day workshop on idea generating. Included are different activities as well as resources with extensions and support.
To jump start our lesson I asked the students to each bring in one of the following: (1) a quote that you love, (2) a picture of an artwork that inspires you, and (3) a photograph of something that is your favorite (person, place, thing). When the students first came in to class I had them add these pieces to a board that I had emptied in our room. This will now be our Inspiration Board where the students can get ideas and feel inspired. I hoped that this would also serve as a notion that the studio belongs to the students.
After the warm-up we completed three different activities and a wrap-up:
1. The Conversation Game
2. Where Great Ideas Come From video by Steven Johnson
3. Quantity over Quality
4. Wrap-Up Idea Web
See the full descriptions in the lesson below.
Where Good Ideas Come From
by Steven Johnson
Quick, interesting and entertaining while making some great points.
Your Elusive Creative Genius
by Elizebeth Gilbert
This is one of my favorite Ted Talks of all time. I did not show my students this for this lesson because we only had one day but I will be sure to show it later in the year. This is also better for more advanced students, great for AP!
Quantity over Quality
I greatly enjoyed this lesson because not only did it help students break out of the artists block and think of new and interesting topics/ideas but it also led us to our warm-up for the next class. I put all of the ideas into a bucket and had students draw out two papers randomly. They then had to combine these two ideas into one drawing. This was the start of our "Artists Steal" workshop day. Here are a few of the results from the 10 minute exercise.
Wrap-Up Idea Web
To wrap up the lesson we created a group web based on the question: Where do artists get ideas? That is the only prompt I gave them. Students added their own answers, organized the web, and worked as a class until they were satisfied (or until the bell rang).
This is my first post on the new blog and the new site, I would love a comment to hear what you thought!
The writings and happenings of What's Going On In The Art Room, written by Ms. Alisa Blundon in Istanbul, Turkey
Guiding Students to Independence through the Artistic Thinking Process
Class Art Kits | Student Responsibility of Supples
Inspiration Around the Room
Draw Around the Room