The art of design process is the same every single time. Artists, young and old, go through a process every single time we do a project. Critical thinking and problem-solving are at the heart of what we do every day as art eduacators.
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The art of design begins with an idea. From projects to products… everything starts with an idea. I love the stories about ideas that start on a napkin. Inspiration hits and you just have to go with it. Sometimes students struggle with idea generation so we give them a little help with themes, media exploration, project assignments, etc. As students figure out what they like and how to find inspiration we as instructors give them less help. When we teach them to research and investigate the creativity can take over and they begin to be problem solvers and makers.
I have my students start out with what I call, “brain dumping”. Just throwing whatever idea comes to mind on paper no matter how good or bad. Just get it out on paper. Some write words, some draw pictures and some do both. In the art of design, It’s just a quick way to start the ideas and inspiration process.
Once students have ideas it’s time to take action and come up with a plan or many plans for that matter.
In The Art Of Design, this is part of the creative problem-solving process. Thumbnail sketches are an excellent way for students to plan out compositions and artwork. Small sketches that help an artist work out a composition quickly is exactly what thumbnail sketches are meant to do.
Figuring out the type of media to use, the subject matter they will work with, and researching resources to use as a reference while students work is all part of the planning and design process.
Many time beginner art students try to jump right into the creating and making phase in the Art of Design process. They find out pretty quickly that their projects are not very successful and they struggle with putting their piece together. This is why stressing the first two phases of the Art Of Design is so important. Of course, most students find the creating part the most fun and who wouldn’t want to jump right into that phase? Once students start creating and making they can also begin to ask themselves these questions:
Even during the making process as you are giving formative assessment and feedback, ask students to try new things and experiment to learn things they may not have set out to do in their beginning plan.
In the Art Of Design ‘roadmap” students will be able to assess themselves, their artwork and if they were successful through the entire process. The three main questions I ask with every project are:
By answering these questions students can sum themselves up pretty well and I can get a very good idea of how they feel about the end result of the project they did.
Do you have an “Art of Design” process you follow?
How do you ensure students take all the steps necessary to be successful in their process?