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Creative Report Holly O'Connor PPP OUGD502


Louise Lockhart Illustrator and founder of Printed Peanut. When did you first realise that you were creative?

“It’s not valued as highly as it should be.”

I have always loved drawing, I would be constantly making pictures and books and writing stories to go with them. I have been brought up by a very creative family. I don’t think I ever thought “I’m really creative” I just couldn’t help but do it!

How important do you think art is for children when growing up?

Incredibly important! It’s a way of exploring and finding out who you are and what you’re interested in.

Did any teachers inspire you at school to get into the creative industry?

I had absolutely dreadful art teachers at high school, I mean the worst. That forced me to do more creative things outside of school. My mum was the head of the Art Foundation course I attended (in Bradford) and that was a really great course. That’s where I found out that you could do illustration at Art School. It hadn’t occurred to me before,

Do you think it is important to keep art in the school curriculum, if so, why?

Yes, but taught in a different way. It’s very prescriptive at school, not free and creative. I think people underestimate how knowing basic design skills can enhance your life. You can see it when people expect you to do work for free because they assume you do it for fun. It’s not valued as highly as it should be.

“I think illustration is much more popular than it was then (10 years ago).”

What was your experience at university both good and bad?

I loved it at Glasgow School of Art. The people and the place were really inspiring. I hadn’t really found my style or my niche then so I did struggle a

bit. I think it’s OK to not have found your fully formed artistic style whilst you’re at art school, but the people who did best had mastered

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theirs, so I found it tough! I just used it to try out all sorts of things such as film making, animation, photography and painting.


Did you find it hard to find yourself and your own creative style?

“It takes persistence and hours and hours of practice to start finding your style.”

What are the best and worst things about your job?

It definitely took a while for me to get into my groove. That was partly down to being very reluctant to use computer programs to create my designs. Now I see them as a tool to aid me, rather than a hinderance. I rarely make designs without using photoshop now. It takes persistence and hours and hours

of practice to start finding your style. Mine is still evolving all the time. I can’t help but do it all the time so I should probably have more days off. There’s just not enough time!

Does your work vary at certain times of the year?

I think I am more productive in summer when it’s lighter for longer, but I like the mad gearing up for Christmas season where things are on at full pelt! I have had a cold every Christmas since I started my business though so I do get run down. I think I need some Christmas elves.

When you do what you used to do as a hobby as a job, it takes on a different feeling and sometimes can feel like you’re pumping out ideas all the time which is draining. I wouldn’t do anything else though. I love making products that make people smile. It can be quite lonely working from home on your own, but

it’s great to have a connection on social media to see other illustrators doing the same thing. I feel like we’re all connected in a nice creative family across the world.

“I feel like we’re all connected in a nice creative family across the world.”

“I have always loved drawing” 2


What do you hope to achieve for the future?

“You just have to do it all the time and don’t give up!”

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I like running my business The Printed Peanut but don’t want to become a manager of accounts and logistics. I just want to do the designing! I would like to license my designs to other large companies so I don’t have to worry about manufacturing them and selling them too!

“I always it could used to be really want to interesting.” make films, or be a part of the film industry as I think

Is it hard to stay motivated?

It can be hard to treat it like a normal 9-5 job as sometimes you just don’t feel like being creative. It’s quite exhausting because every design has thousands of decisions you have to make. I don’t think people realise how hard designers work. Sometimes I just have to cycle

Would you advise running their own business?

If you enjoy it! I never thought I would run a business but I do enjoy it and it’s a good way to have money trickling in, in between illustration jobs.

“I can’t help but do it all the time

into town and go round the shops to have a brain cut off from thinking!

so I should probably have more days off.”


If you couldn’t run your own business what other job do you think you would be doing?

Oh wow hard question! I always used to want to make films, or be a part of the film industry as I think it could be really interesting.

Any creative people inspire you?

Yes! I love illustrators such as Nathalie Parain form the 1930s who made pictures using lithography and other traditional print methods. I find inspiration form all sorts of people such as fine artists like Matisse for his paper cut outs, Ravilious’ ceramics,

Hockney’s etchings. I also love contemporary designers such as Donna Wilson, Sukie Studio, Yellow Owl Workshop and illustrators like Kaye Blegvad and Alice Pattullo.

You just have to do it all the time and don’t give up!

“When you do what you used to do as a hobby as a job, it takes on a different feeling and sometimes

can feel like you’re pumping out ideas all the time which is draining.”

“ I loved it at Glasgow School of Art.”

What is your best advice for young creatives?

“Sometimes brain cut I just have off from to cycle into thinking!” town and go round the shops to have a

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Overview Louise has always loved drawing, she was always making pictures, books and writing stories, the rest of her family was also creative. Her art teachers at school were dreadful, which meant she did more creative things outside of school instead. She attended the Art Foundation course, where she found out she could do illustration at art school. Louise believes art is important for children as it’s a way of exploring the world and finding out who you are and what you’re interested in. She also believes that art should be taught in different ways in school, it should be more free and creative and i’s not valued as highly as it should be. Louise attended Glasgow School of Art, although it was inspiring she struggled to find or niche or style. Her advice was that it’s OK to not have found your fully formed artistic style whilst you’re at art school. She now sees computer programmes as a tool rather than a hinderance. She can’t help but working all the time as it’s her passion and believes she should probably have more days off. It’s hard to develop your hobby into your job as you’re constantly thinking

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of ideas, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Louise thinks its quite lonely working from home, but social media helps a lot, it’s like a creative family across the world. For the future she sees herself focusing on the designing and getting others involved for the accounts and logistics. Her job is quite exhausting as you don’t know where to stop, she has to take breaks an cycle round her town to have a brain cut off. It’s easier to be more productive in Summer when it’s lighter for longer, but Christmas is a very busy period. If Louise could have any other job she would like to be a part of the film industry. She is inspired a lot by other illustrators such as Nathalie Parain, Matisse, Hockney, but also loves contemporary designers such as Donna Wilson, Sukie Studio, Yellow Owl Workshop and illustrators like Kaye Blegvad and Alice Pattullo. Her best piece of advice to young creatives is to do it all the time and don’t give up.


What I’ve Learnt It’s important for art to be free and creative in schools, which it isn’t at the moment. It needs to be taught differently and give children the chance to express themselves. People also need to value the creative industry and people within it more highly, experiencing this first hand, it’s annoying

when people don’t understand how hard you work. I’ve learnt from Louise that you don’t need to have found your niche or have a specific style, it will come overtime. Louise also highlighted the importance of social media to me and that I should use it more to get contacts and network and become a part of that creative family.

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Katie Acres

Primary School teacher, studied an Open University Degree.

Did any teachers inspire you at school to get into the creative industry?

I had a very negative experience of Art and Design at secondary school. My teacher had her favourites and gave very little support to any others in

the class, myself included. For many years I felt I wasn’t very good at Art.

Do you think it is important to keep art in the school curriculum, if so, why?

Yes, art can have a cross curricular subject and allows nonacademic children to shine in an area with no right or wrong answers.

How important do you think art is for children when growing up? 


I think the creative arts are essential as part of a holistic approach to learning. I feel children must be given opportunities to develop creative skills as it helps them to think of different ways of approaching problems. It has been said that we should be nurturing children’s creative skills

as the future work place may require more creative thinkers to take the jobs computers and robots are unable to do.

“I love writing and illustrating books
.”

“School can give children a nurturing and stable place in their lives.“
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“For many years I felt I wasn’t very good at Art.”


What was your university experience like?

I did and Open university degreeenjoyed working at my own pace and the variety I could study. Did my teaching cert on the job which was very practical which suited my previous experience working in schools.

“I love using my creative skills in this way.
“

What route did you take into becoming a teacher? 


Graduate Training Programme.

What is the best thing about yur job?

“It would be nice if it art was brought into other lessons. “

The best part is the children and colleagues. Also making a difference is a huge part of it.

“I enjoyed working with children” What is the worst part about your job?

The worst is the work load and filling in paper that no one reads, just to jump through a hoop.

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When did you realise you wanted to teach rather than go into the creative industry?

What do you see for the future of art within the school curriculum?

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I enjoyed working with children, which I did after doing a teaching assistant course. I did not feel I had enough skill or talent for work in the creative industry.

“The best part is the children and colleagues.”

“Anyone who manages to make a living through their creative.”

How do you feel about having such a big impact on children’s lives?

It would be nice if it art was brought into other lessons. 


What is your best memory of teaching?

There are too many to write down
.

A very positive or a very negative experience can make a real difference. School can give children a nurturing and stable place in their lives. 


“I feel it will change in the future”


What got you interested in teaching?

I got frustrated being a TA for rubbish teachers.


What is your opinion on the government’s role within schools and the curriculum?

It is currently too much they should give teachers more autonomy regarding where children are at.


Do you think sciences, English and maths are more important than creative subjects? 


“It is particularly hard being a creative style teacher in the current education system heavy on

How important is it to show children the jobs that are available in the creative industry?

Very! They are the future!


That is what society thinks but I feel it will change in the future.

What do you see for the future for yourself and your job?

tests pushing children beyond what they once did.”

Possibly working on my books full time, but still being involved in education. Possibly through working with different schools. 


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Overview Katie had a negative experience of art in school, teachers gave little support and had favourites, maybe art should be taught at a better level with passionate teachers. She believes that the creative arts are an essential part of learning, it helps children to think and solve problems. and that we are getting them ready for the future, where more creative thinkers will be required. Her opinion of art is it allows non academic children to shine, as there are no right or wrong answers. Katie got into teaching as she enjoyed working with children, she didn’t feel had enough skill or talent to work in the creative industry. Katie’s route into teaching began by studying an open university degree, where she could work at own pace and did her teaching certificate on the job, took General Teaching Practice route. Katie got interested in teaching from being a TA for rubbish teachers. Katie advised me to do a lot of volunteering and stated that teaching is hard work but rewarding. Apparently t’s hard to

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be a creative teacher in the current system as the current system focuses on tests and assessments, but hopefully this will change. It’s important to show children jobs available in the creative industry as they are the future. Katie’s best things about teaching are the children, colleagues and being able to make a difference. The hard parts are the work loads, and filling in lots of paper that no one reads. Katie’s creative talents lie with writing and illustrating books, she co writes and illustrates children’s outdoor activity books and he is currently writing book three. Katie loves using her creative skills in this way. Anyone who manages to make a living through their creative talents inspires her. In the future she sees herself possibly working on my books full time, but still being involved in education and maybe through working with different schools. 


What I’ve Learnt From interviewing to get experience. Katie, another Katie’s opinion on route into teaching art in schools gives became aware to hope that it could me, however I’m change if enough not sure this exists people get involved anymore. However and consider the there is still the importance of it. Her option of studying creative side gives an Open University me hope that I can Degree. I am going still continue being to take up her advice creative and even of volunteering, as I carry out personal have already done projects alongside quite a lot, however working. I wish to continue as this is the best way

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Sonia Crewe

Primary School teacher, studied BEd with art and design.

Did any teachers inspire you at school to get into the creative industry?

Teachers at school encouraged me to gain further education with my creative skills and to focus on design more as they felt it was my personal strength. Don’t recall

any teachers specifically saying a creative industry to do.

“It is fun, develops gross and fine motor skills, it is colourful, there are no right or wrong

answers. They can develop by trial and error.”

How important do you think art is for children when growing up?

Do you think it is important to keep art in the school curriculum, if so, why?

Yes, for reasons shared in above question but also not all children are academic and this is a strength for future skills they need to develop for a career. Also it develops a different area of the brain and relaxing from the demands of academic work.


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I think it is essential as it enables them to be individual with own ideas, they can express themselves, it is fun, develops gross and fine motor skills, it is colourful, no right or wrong answers, they can develop trial and error and can be in control with own personal journey of outcome.


When did you realise you wanted to teach rather than go into the creative industry?

“I had both to use in the future if the time arose.”

Why did you choose to teach rather than going into the creative industry?

The teaching opportunity happened first.

One of my A level projects was working with nursery children to create art work that I used as designs for children’s clothing. I loved it. The creative industry is very competitive and sometimes difficult to find a career in as you need to be the best or have the right contacts so I decided the sensible thing to do would be

to complete a teaching degree with art and design combined so I had both to use in the future if the opportunity arose.

“I loved going into the design studio” What was your university experience like?

Unsettled at first and a mix of positive/ challenging experiences. If I ever felt stressed I loved going into the design studio to do some creative work.

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What route did you take into becoming a teacher?

“Creative subjects were important to me.” What are the best things about your job?

BA with Teacher Primary and Art Design.

Qualified Status in Education and

How important is it to show children the jobs that are available in the creative industry? Practical teaching and seeing the children excited about learning/ achieving new things.

How do you feel about having such a big impact on children’s lives?

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What would be your best advice to someone interested in becoming a primary teacher?

Get as much practical experience as you can in a variety of settings.

Very important as this may be a future career for them.

What are the worst things about your job?

I remember OFSTED saying that children only have this opportunity to learn once in their life and it is important that we get it right from the start because it will have a big impact on their future!

Paperwork and politics.

“Seeing children learning new things.”


What do you see for the future of art within the school curriculum?

“People who inspire me are, William Morris, Georgia O’ Keeffe, Emma Hardicker”

If you weren’t a teacher, what other job do you think you would be doing?

Sadly I have seen a big decline since I have started teaching in the time we have to fit art into the curriculum. The demands of academic subjects take priority. I think that there is always a place for art for all children and I hope this will change.

What is your opinion on the government’s role within schools and the curriculum?

I remember the first job I ever wanted to do was an animator. I love printmaking and enjoy creating patterns for fabrics.

What is your best memory of teaching?

Daily achievements young children make and seeing them happy and excited to learn.

What got you interested in teaching?

Voluntary work experience.

Constantly changing sometimes for the better but at times for the worst.

What do you see for the future for yourself and your job?

Good question. To be honest I am not sure as I tend to live for the present.

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Overview Teachers encourage Sonia to take up further education with her creative skills, but not necessarily a specific creative industry. Her opinion on the importance of art is that it’s essential as it enables them to be individuals, with no right or wrong answers, in control of their own personal journey. Sonia believes it’s important to understand that not all children are academic and allows them a break from the demands of academic work. Her memorable moment of wanting to become a teacher was a an art project with nursery children which she loved. Her reasons for not entering the creative industry was that it’s difficult to find a career without he right contacts, so a teaching degree with art and design would be a sensible idea, therefore she could still use both. Sonia’s route into teaching was a BA with Qualified Teacher Status in Primary Education and Art and Design. Similar to Katie, Sonia’s advice was to get as much practical experience in a variety of settings. The best things about the job are the practicality of teaching and seeing children excited and learning new things, the

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worst things are the paperwork and politics. She believes that it’s important to get teaching right from the start as it will have a big impact on children’s future. Sonia sees a decline in art since she started teaching and the demand of academic subjects take priority , however there is always a place for art in all children and hopes this will change. Voluntary work experience got Sonia interested in teaching. She believes art is important as she wasn’t academic at school, therefore creative subjects were more important, otherwise she would never feel like I was achieving anything. If she wasn’t teaching Sonia would have liked to go into animating, she loves printmaking and enjoys creating patterns and fabrics. Any creative work she does is with the children, however she has recently I have been looking into any opportunities to go on courses. Creative people who inspire her consist of William Morris, Georgia o’ Keeffe and Emma Hardicker. Sonia isn’t sure about the future for her job as she tends to live in the present.


What I’ve Learnt After interviewing Sonia, looking at another new route into teaching, however I know from past experience these are few and far between, and most BA in Primary Education are entwined with academic subjects. From both Sonia and Katie I have seen their passion for keeping art in the curriculum and how important they both see it. Specifically in the way it’s the one subject where there is no wrong or right answer. It became apparent that it’s important to get experience

in a range of settings, which is my reason for looking at experience in secondary schools and multiple primary schools over Summer. It is also possible to use your creative talents within school and relay these to the children. Her reasons for entering the creative industry were similar to mine, that it’s hard to get into and it’s more to do with who you know not what you know, but similarly she can always fall back on her creative talents in the future.

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Dan Haycocks

Graphic Design Teacher, studied fine art and trained on the job.

You inspired me, who inspired you?

“Play and being creative are the same things.”

What route did you take to become a teacher?

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Art teachers in school were awful, however a lady called Judith who was an artist taught me to draw and paint, I was under her tuition for 3 years, most of my inspiration came from her.

How important do you think art is for children growing up?

“I didn’t make much money from it.” What made you want to teach art/graphics rather than going into the creative industry? I began with two foundation courses and lasted a year at university, in between I did various jobs from scaffolding to screen printing. I enjoyed working in youth groups therefore I found a schools who needed an unqualified teacher and I trained on the job and finished my degree at the same time.

It’s massively important,play and being creative are the same things. Equally as important as other subjects as you are solving problems, thinking visually and spatially.

I wanted a secure job for my children and had already spent 10 years being creative and didn’t make much money from it. Careers was rubbish at schools, you just didn’t get told to go off into the world.

“People who don’t go to University miss out.”


What’s your advice for someone aspiring to be a teacher?

Just have fun with the children, make sure you explain things in different ways. It’s important for them to like you, just make them laugh and be kind.

“Just make them laugh and be kind.”

What is the best thing about teaching?

What is the worst thing about teaching?

What do you see for the future of art in schools?

If there are low grades or small groups they would get rid of it, you need big classes to make it worth putting on. As long as people do a good job and show it’s worthwhile and the students want to do it then it will thrive, if teachers are dictating then it won’t last.

When people in management are constantly telling you what to do and also spending too much time on my job, I would like to spend more time on my own projects and spending time with my kids.

When children are really interested and enthusiastic about learning and what they are doing.

“I spend too much time on my job, would be nice to focus on my own projects more.”

“If students want to do it, then it will thrive.”

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What is your opinion on the role of the government in schools?

‘All subjects are creative, we’re just visually creative.”

Do you ever freelance?

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“They are constantly changing stuff when they don’t need to.”

They are too meddling and are always telling you what to do. They are constantly changing stuff when they don’t need to and are only doing it to appeal to voters.

Do you think Science, English and Maths are more important?

All of these subjects are equal, they all allow for creativity, we’re just visually creative people.

If you could have any job, what what it be?

Yeah, I do bits and pieces, I freelance for the schools all the time creating the prospectus and leaflets. I also really enjoy helping with the stage productions, creating the scenery.

I would love to either be a musician or have a shed in the garden radio on and making kids books.

“A shed in the garden, radio on and making kids books.”


What creative work do you do alongside your job?

I’m always being creative, doing visual stuff at school and also musical stuff at home.

“I’m always being creative.”

How was your university experience?

“I want to make graphics grow and grow and grow.”

“ I like people who are weird and absurd, who break the rules.”

What creative people inspire you?

I’m always looking for new people, musicians, writers, people who are weird and absurd and break the rules who are slightly left field.

It was brilliant, I think people who don’t go miss out, you meet different people who show you new things and broadens your mind.

What is the future for yourself and your job?

Anything inspiring you at the moment?

Once upon a piece of paper by Andrea D’Aquino which is a visual guide for collage making.

I would like to be retired by 52, I’ll miss the students but not the staff. I want to make graphics grow and grow and grow, but you never know, how many students will be interested.

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Overview Similar to Katie and Louise, Dan stated that his art teachers in school were awful, and if it wasn’t for a family friend, Judith he would never have found his passion or learnt about art. Believes that art is massively important to children and its annoying when people think it isn’t, play and being creative are the same thing, it’s equally as important as other subjects as you are solving problems, thinking visually and spatially. Dan chose to teach as he wanted a secure job for my children and had already spent 10 years being creative and didn’t make much money from it. It’s important to show kids what’s out there and the different jobs and possibilities that they could do. He described his university experience as brilliant and thinks that people who don’t go miss out, you meet different people hw show you new things and broadens your mind. His route into teaching began with two foundation courses and lasted a year at university, in between he did various jobs from scaffolding to screen printing. Dan enjoyed working in youth groups therefore he found a school which needed an unqualified teacher and he trained on the job and finished my degree at the same time. His advice for someone becoming a primary school

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teacher is to just have fun with the children, make sure you explain things in different ways. It’s important for them to like you, just make them laugh and be kind. The worst thing about teaching is when people in management are constantly telling you what to do, he would like to spend more time on his own projects and spending time with his kids. The best thing is when children are really interested and enthusiastic about learning and what they are doing. Dan’s opinion on the future of art in schools is as long as people do a good job and show it’s worthwhile and the students want to do it then it will thrive, if teachers are dictating then it won’t last. If he isn’t a teacher he would love to either be a musician or have a shed in the garden radio on and making kids books. Dan also does freelancing and creative projects alongside teaching, creating the prospectus and leaflets and creating the scenery for school productions. He’s always being creative, doing visual stuff at school and also musical stuff at home. He is always looking for new people to inspire him including musicians, writers, people who are weird and absurd and break the rules who are slightly left field. He wants to make graphics grow and grow and grow.


What I’ve Learnt Dan again, similar to Katie and Louise didn’t have a good experience of art at school, which shows that things needs to change and maybe I could play a role in that. It’s also important to remember that art is equally s important as other subjects and all subjects have the ability to be creative. Similar to me Dan thinks that there is not enough money to be earned in the creative industries, or if so it’s very hard to do so. He also had another interesting route into teaching, which isn’t as common now, so it would be hard for me to go through this

route. Dan showed the importance of not letting your job take over, you can still be passionate, but still have time for loved ones and it’s rewarding when children are enthusiastic and engaged. He also showed me the importance of inspiring, passionate teachers because without them, the creative subjects will decline even more. Also his opinions on how important it is for primary school teachers to be liked by the kids and make them laugh and be kind.

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Thank you to everyone who took part in the creative report and allowed for a deeper insight into both the creative and teaching industry.

Creative Report - Holly O'Connor  
Creative Report - Holly O'Connor  
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