Art and Critical Thinking 1001

This course will look beyond the tools to reshape your thinking and develop your problem solving skills.

02.11.2020 - 01.02.2021
Paul Mellender
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Develop your critical thinking skills to create art that goes beyond the visual


Why for? Introduce what is meant by art. Direct attention to conceptual issues and expectations.  Introduce the basic new concepts and the sequence of art (or the art cognitive hierarchy).  Give a basic idea of history, and superstition.  Introduce the idea of demonstration and communication of ideas (not mystical explanation or leaving this at “the feels”).  The problems of critique and finding what is wrong.  Following what is right and effective to solve problems.  How learning works with art and how it will be attempted in the course.  Relax…it will be fine.

All classes will have demonstrations and examples, as well as assignments to address each subject. The first 30min-hour of each class will cover paint overs, views and discussion of the previous week’s work. These will be fairly concise and group common issues in selected representative pieces.

Course Details

  • Type: Online
  • Level: Foundation
  • Duration: 12 weeks
  • Lessons: 12
  • Format: Weekly online live sessions
  • Live Classes: Tuesdays, 18:00 BST
  • Assignments: Weekly
  • Tools: Mixed media
  • Prerequisites: None
  • Course Access Time: Lifetime

Understand how to decode art, problem solve and develop powerful ideas

Lessons in this course

  • 01. Baseline

    Baseline. What do we see? Why do we see it? Where are we blind? What don’t we see?
  • 02. Agency

    This lesson will introduce the idea of agency and identity.
  • 03. Your Body

    The somatosensory system, peripersonal space, mechanosensory system.
  • 04. Eye motion and cognitive switches-shifting states of reality

    Motion, time and eyes. Giving life. Giving time. Hyperreality and space.
  • 05. Assembling the cognitive tool kit using our material tool kit

    How do we assemble and aim the cognitive tool kit using our material tool kit? The traditional tools and their connection to the cognitive tool kit.  Line, light, form, perspective, composition.
  • 06. Affordances, Priming and grooming

    Training the audience. The audience as a tool and part of the work. Understanding the environment you provide. 
  • 07. Story Telling and Narrative

    Why we understand sequence. What are the conventional sequences- how they are useful and how they are constraining
  • 08. Facial expressions

    Connecting previous info on lines and KIKI/Bouba to specifically the face, and Color signals.
  • 09. Old School v New School

    Discuss traditional art ideas and superstitions. Branding and misdirection.  Finding information that is useful not authoritative.
  • 10. Animation and Realism

    Animation with static images (eye driven). The mix of two forms of animation and time keeping (saccades, facial uneveness, the sequence of facial expressions.)
  • 11. Deep Truths

    Unexpected art. Decay and growth.  Scale and transition.  Non-art states of experience (isolation and sensory deprivation).
  • 12. I wonder what the future holds

    Discussion of the business of art, the endeavor of art, careers expectations, invention, organizing through common language, guarding work, vandalism, corporate folklore, keeping dignity and control with portfolios applications.

Tutor: Jahirul Amin

VFX Trainer

Jahirul Amin is a Computer Animation and Visual Effects Trainer and Consultant. He specialises in designing and delivering courses to create solid and diverse production ready skills in all 3D related departments and across a number of facilities worldwide. His background in academia feeds into his ongoing connections with Universities and Colleges which provide Computer Animation and Visual Effects courses. He is also involved in course and examination design as well as lecturing, running workshops and mentoring.

Course Fee: £960

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