She decided to make a stuffed animal, and went online to search for inspiration. She quickly determined that she would make a penguin, and gathered an assortment of pictures for reference.
Working primarily from a cartoon-style drawing, “N,” began assembling her materials – she needed black and white fabric. Finding plenty of white, but no black, she determined that she could create her own black fabric. Proceeding to the “Painting Center,” “N” painted a large enough piece of cloth for her project, and set it aside to dry. Meanwhile, she worked on other parts of her soft-sculpture.
“N” worked with purpose and conviction – meeting and solving various design issues and creative decisions. I watched from across the room – marveling at the independence shown by this student who just a year before needed so much reassurance and guidance to navigate the studio.
When “N” presented her finished sculpture, it was with pride and delight – she seemed surprised that she was able to bring her idea to such a gratifying conclusion all by herself. I was delighted too, but not surprised to see the growth this student has made, from an uncertain new-comer last year to a confident, capable artist this year.
We often filter our work in the art studio through the lens of the eight “Studio Thinking Habits” (Hetland et all, 2007) –“N’s” creative process began with a desire to learn to use the sewing machine – so she was employing the habit “Develop Craft” – practicing new skills and techniques. She very quickly employed the studio habit “Envision” - seeing very clearly in her minds-eye what she would make and how she would make it.