Art in theory: What is creativity?
Time: 17:30 - 19:30
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB872
Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
What is the course about?
This course explores theoretical, critical and artistic ideas about creativity, creative practice, the artistic process, and what it might mean to be an artist. The course aims to stimulate thinking about your relationship with your creative work and your artistic ambitions to help build your confidence in establishing or extending your creative identity and practice.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
We will explore theories of creativity, and try to define what it means to practice creativity as a developing artist, as well as the 'mythology' of the artist, and how the definitions have changed over time. We will draw on ideas from sociology about the 'art world', and explore our own relationship with and position within wider culture. The course will provide opportunity to share your own perspectives and reflect on your own relationship with your practice, and suggest ways of understanding and building your artistic identity.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Read and discuss a range of critical and theoretical texts and ideas with greater confidence
- Analyse creative examples in relation to theories of creativity, 'the artist' and the art world
- Draw on critical and theoretical ideas and texts to enhance your own creative and artistic practice and identity
- Develop and present your own critical and creative thinking through discussion, debate and group crits.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course aimed at an intermediate and advanced level, and is ideal for art, design, craft, creative writing, and performing arts students as well as established practitioners, and those working in the creative sectors such as art teachers, curators or arts professionals. Ideally, you will have experience in one of these areas, or be actively involved in developing creative work through study or independently, and have a desire to extend the theoretical and critical basis of your work. The course is ideal for supporting study on City Lit courses such as the Contemporary practice: personal project, the City Lit Fine art course, Developing art practice or any equivalent creative art or design courses. The course may also be of interest to those who have completed a degree in an arts subject and wish to continue their critical exploration of ideas and theory.
You will need a good handling of written and spoken English necessary to engage with set readings and for participation in paired and group discussion, as well as produce and present basic written or creative exercises. Some experience in reading theoretical texts about art and culture would be beneficial, but a willingness to read and engage with theory and build your skills is essential. An explanation of your existing experience can be provided through completing the questionnaire in the sidebar, however if you have any questions about the course or the enrolment requirements please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A basic ability in using the internet is required to access online reading materials provided by the course, although a demonstration and guidance on how to access the materials from City Lit's Virtual Learning Environment will be provided at the start of the course.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught through a mixture of illustrated talks by practising artists and theorists, paired and group discussions, debates and presentations, supported by theoretical readings and visual analysis exercises. Students will be expected to be developing their creative work outside of classes, and support their study through independent theoretical readings, gallery visits, and some short preparatory tasks.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You are encouraged to bring a notebook and pen to record notes from talks and discussions. You may wish to buy some of the books or journals on any reading list given out in class. You will also need access to a computer, and will be expected to access or download readings from the City Lit virtual learning environment in preparation for classes. Each class we will invite you to bring in examples or images related to the themes explored to invigorate and personalise discussions.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You may be interest in our other critical thinking and theory courses.
Ian is a cultural theorist and creative practitioner, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical, cultural and communication theory, and art history. Ian has taught at City Lit for over 10 years, and has previously been Programme Manager for the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and Art History departments. In addition to teaching, Ian is currently Head of School for the Humanities & Sciences. Ian's current interests include creative learning, radical andragogy, and transformative education; contemporary art and theory; wellbeing and mental health in relation to education and the arts; and the cultural and psychological implications of climate breakdown. Alongside his teaching and management work, Ian is a creative practioner and poet, and is currently completing his first poetry collection.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.