During our Easter School we ran an Instagram competition for our Short Course students with the lucky winner walking away with a £50 Amazon voucher. We are happy to announce the winner as Mimi Ziv who instagrammed her experience of Experimental Fashion Drawing, taught by Alexis Panayiotou. Mimi’s snap showcased what happens in the Fashion Drawing classroom, including drawing from a model and her own work. Studying a Short Course with us? Share your experience! #MyCSM
Summer Term starts at Central Saint Martins Short Courses next week and coinciding with this is an amazing new exhibition at our Lethaby Gallery.
Specially selected ‘separates’ from the collections of CSM’s 2016 MA Fashion graduates following the show at London Fashion Week in February will be on display until the 27 April.
Following its launch last year, this annual unveiling returns to give visitors an introduction to the work of designers from a course with an outstanding international reputation.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 12noon – 5pm
Ewa Gargulinska is the tutor of Expressive Painting and Imagination in Painting at Central Saint Martins Short Courses. She is an internationally recognised Polish artist and the author of Poems. Her private collectors include Arthur Sackler (founder of the new wings to the Royal Academy in London and Metropolitan Museum in New York), Jeremy Irons and Vernon Ellis, chairman of the English National Opera. We chat to Ewa about her Expressive Painting Short Course, her advice for aspiring artists and mindfulness.
Who are your courses targeted to and what should students expect to leave with by the end of their course?
I don’t target my courses to anyone in particular, everyone who is drawn to their title and description can attend. Very often it attracts art therapists and doctors, alongside young people who want to study art or those who want to know how to awaken and to express their imagination.
On completion of the course students will be able to recognise their potential as creators, sustain their concentration, trust their vision, express confidently their imagination through technique; form, colour and to understand the power of the creative mind.
How did you become a painter and what is your advice for anyone wanting to become an artist?
I think it was some deliverance of fortune, I had no choice, I just knew that I had to become an artist. It may have been prompted by my hyper sensitivity and perception of the world around me and the part I play in it. I don’t think artists plan to be artists, they simply are. It is an inner call.
My advice to anyone wanting to be an artist would be to listen to your inner voice. Observe and look at everything mindfully, engage in life and the world around you. Becoming an artist is a lifetime disciplined commitment.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I feel inspired by human courage to endure suffering. By beauty and power of Nature. I feel encouraged and empowered by studying the work of good artists; not only those who explore similar emotional themes as my own, but others too who express unexpected imagination through their vision and skill, as well as an understanding of life and people. To sustain inspiration I read a lot; philosophy, poetry, literature, going to exhibitions, film, experimental theatre, listen to music, observe my mind as well as others and Nature
The next Expressive Painting course starts on 18 July 2016 with further dates throughout the year
Imagination in Painting starts on 12 December 2016
Schelay McCarter is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London, a freelance designer/Art Director and has been teaching Art Direction for Fashion at CSM Short Courses since 1997. Her expertise lies in commercial fashion branding and this includes fashion forecasting, journalism and creative project management. We spoke to Schelay about how she got into Art Direction, her advice for inspiring creatives and her passion for teaching.
What inspired you become an Art Director in fashion?
When I think about what inspired me to become an art director my early childhood comes to mind. I had a fashion savvy mother who would think nothing of running up copious amounts of summer dresses in pretty patterned cotton prints for us each season as we grew up. I have memories of my sisters and I being photographed by my father wearing fake sheep skin fur coats, made by my mother, beautifully lined, we looked like cute little lambs in them! My mother’s sewing machine was always out – she taught me to sew, I made Barbie doll clothes, tacked them onto card and photographed them ready to sell. I sold them in a local shop in Blackheath village. This opened my eyes to the potential and immediacy of style and fashion, creating an image and selling an idea. Vogue magazine was an influence, the fashion photography in particular fascinated me, the model, lighting, pose, hair and make-up, styling and location that transported me to a bewitching world of seemingly effortless glamour. It became a world that I wanted in some way to be part of.
Tell us about your work
My work is about creating a tailor made brand image formula that reflects my client’s product market position and the aspiration of the target customer for all media applications be a website or for in store visual merchandising or both.My work is varied. My previous experience as senior art director and graphic designer for M&S allowed me the freedom to set my fashion narratives in a variety of large country houses, studios or cityscapes. My vision is to make the viewer feel both voyeur as well as part of the scene depicted. I have used some exceptional locations and photographers; two photo shoots that stand out amongst many are Cliveden House with Simon Bottomly shooting a luxury lingerie collection in the Lady Astor suite and Antebellum House in South Carolina with Jean Pierre Masclet shooting all store M&S season’s ranges. At a recent fashion brand production shoot for a Chilean client called Saville Row. I had a 19 strong team with photographer Sam Robinson on location at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire. This location has been used for Downton Abbey as well as the film Gosford park. It was a surreal moment when my team and I had lunch in the Downton Abbey Kitchen! It is my creative team I have to thank for my fashion production successes.
What are you most passionate about?
My professional practice is very important to me, however it is my teaching that I am most passionate about. I encourage innovation and proactive practices, thinking outside the box is fostered on my art direction and production work as well as from my students on my art direction for fashion courses. We are living in one of the most exciting periods of modern history where through advances in internet application there has been an opening up of opportunity. Utilising the past and present with the new exiting technologies available through new media, photography and post-production there has never been a better time for being an image maker.
Which piece of creative work in any discipline do you most love?
I love the alchemy of photography. Capturing a moment. Whether created on an old box Brownie using film like Jacques Henri Lartigue or Cartier Bresson’s work, I particularly like David Bailey’s brilliant Roliflex film work from the 1960s and 70s. James Meakin and Miles Aldrige’s digital camera work is vibrant and beautiful. I find the process of viewing new images and editing the selection creates the same feeling I get opening up a box of chocolates to choose the best one!
Where is your favourite London Discovery?
My favourite London discovery currently is the myriad of riverside cycle routes by the side of the London canal waterways, there is one next to the Granary road CSM Campus that leads to Little Venice and Paddington. I often take my fold up bike along this route.
What is your Guilty pleasure?
It has to be dark chocolate ……
Name a favourite book, song or film
‘The Bolter’ by Frances Osbourne.
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Use your initiative; be proactive and positive, a team player doing unto others as you would be done to yourself!
What’s the best bit of advice you have ever been given?
The next Art Direction for Fashion course starts on the 3rd July 2017 with further dates throughout the year.
This course is also taught online with the next course starting in June.
Read a student review of Art Direction for Fashion in a previous blog post here!
Giulio Mazzarini is an Italian creative director and photographer, with a masters degree in Design Studies from Central Saint Martins, UAL. Based in London since 1998 and teaching the popular Reportage Photography short course at CSM since 2009, he is launching our first ever Food Photography short course this coming August.
You may be wondering why we need Food Photography? Well, we invited Giulio to give us an introduction to this brand new course.
My first experience with food photography dates back to the early 90s, when I helped the London-based American photographer Jay Myrdal. I was in my 20s, with sideburns, a black goatee and hair on my head.
Jay’s large Paddington studio was a maze, and that day it had been filled with colourful dishes prepared by a professional home economist.
At the time, food photography was pretty different from what we see today: studio setting could take a long time and it wasn’t possible for food to look fresh for hours. The dishes would therefore be covered with oil, deodorant and/or hair spray to keep them looking shiny and enticing.
You could not be a true professional photographer if you weren’t technically very competent – not only in photography, but also in other fields, such as studio setting and model making. Jay and his first assistant Dani where not only excellent photographers, but also amazing model makers…real craftsmen! And I would observe them in action and eagerly try to learn their tricks.
Photography-wise, images had to have a pretty long depth of field – everything in the image had to be in focus. So we would use wide lenses, with narrow apertures.
And, as we were shooting with a 5×4 Sinar camera and slide film plates, this wasn’t that easy. Exposure had to be exact too. With slide film, errors bigger than half stop could cost the job. As a second assistant, I would run from the studio to the in-house darkroom to pass exposed film to the first assistant, who would unload it and load new film. It was a very delicate process and you couldn’t make any mistakes.
I also remember practising with the light meter, going around the studio with the big Minolta around my neck. I would also help setting the lights.
At the end of my experience as a photographer’s assistant, I was able to shoot film and get the exposure right – often without the need of that light-meter.
So what is left of the legacy of that time, given that we’re now in an era when most food photography is created by bloggers using pocket cameras and smartphones?
Quite a lot, actually. First, the importance of composition: a good food image must be well composed – and studio setting can play a pivotal part in this.
Second, the careful use of light: every stunning image requires stunning light.
Finally, a keen eye for detail. It remains the only indispensable instrument for producing great shots. Rushed work is, most of the time bad work.
By the time I became a professional photographer, I had evolved my style, and become naturally attracted to lifestyle photography, using wide apertures and saturated colours.
Food photography has become a part of my travel and reportage work for magazines and brands, and not by chance, as I have always loved to document cultures, people, nature and the senses.
And in good food photography, all senses work fully. There’s our sight – the initial visual attraction; the smell, when our mouths start watering; the sound, when we touch a plate with the cutlery. And then, of course, there’s the taste. We put the food in our mouth, close our eyes and (hopefully!) are in heaven.
After all, isn’t food photography, like all photography, about “putting on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart”? *
*Henry Cartier Bresson.
Giulio’s Food Photography will take place at Granary Square from the 17th to 21st July 2017.
Thinking about taking a Jewellery course, but don’t know what to expect? Edvvin Charmain completed three Jewellery Short Courses at Central Saint Martins and compiled a fantastic review over on his blog Edvisored. Thank you Edvisored, we are thrilled that you enjoyed them!
Our Jewellery courses run throughout the year and the next available dates are:
Jewellery Making for Beginners 10th July
Organic Form in Jewellery 14th August
Jewellery Making with Plastic and Metal 17th July
Please visit the Short Course website for more Jewellery course options and dates
Easter School at Central Saint Martins is now under way and we are inviting all Easter School Short Course students to take part in our Instagram competition.
Tag your Instagram photos with #MyCSM during your Easter School course, between 21 March and 15 April 2016 for a chance to win a £50 Amazon Voucher!!
For some inspiration check out #MyCSM
When I proposed ‘Fact or Fiction’ to Central Saint Martins in 1997, the response was “we’re better known for our visual side, but let’s offer it and see what happens”. My first course was sold out, and nearly all my courses since then have been too. Lucky me! I love teaching and I truly believe that in order to be a good teacher I must be a good student. I’ve learned so much from my students, and from the challenge of answering their unpredictable questions. In the process of finding answers, I explore, articulate, and discover.
In those early days, only some students had online addresses, few universities offered degrees in creative writing, and publishers were often unwilling to receive typescript submissions by email—agent or no agent. So much has changed since then. Digital communication has flourished. The traditional book business is in a state of constant disruption. More and more corporations like to talk about ‘storytelling’. More and more individuals want to share their personal stories through social media and self-publishing. You can’t go for a walk without stubbing your toe on a writing masterclass, academy or retreat. The creative writing industry is booming. Just when people generally want to read… less.
Why should anyone read your story? Is it enough to have had a miserable childhood or an unusual ancestor / experience / hairdo? What about the craft? Is it about writing, or is it about being published?
Or is it about your very being? For me, an impulse turned into a compulsion turned into a long slow existential revelation. How many books did it take? How many rejections, deals, launches, retreats, agents, publishers, readers, critics, students…? How much research, thinking, observing, dreaming, writing, editing (and editing, and editing)? I can’t say this simply enough: creative writing is profoundly good for you.
Elise Valmorbida is the author of novels Matilde Waltzing, The TV President and The Winding Stick. Her non-fiction work, The Book of Happy Endings, has been published in four languages: English, German, Korean and Serbian. Her short stories have been published internationally. Elise won the Trailblazer Award (Edinburgh International Film Festival) for her role as producer and script consultant of indie Britfilm SAXON. She wrote ‘The Making of a Guerrilla Film’ story which was published with SAXON the screenplay. She teaches creative writing at Central Saint Martins and Arvon. She is currently writing a non-fiction creative writing guide, and an Italian historical novel.
Follow Elise Valmorbida on Facebook
In recent years there has been a resurgence in hands-on graphic design techniques with designers using old craft techniques in new and exciting ways; the latest trend is letterpress!
The Letterpress Workshop in Central Saint Martins Kings Cross building is equipped for hand composition and letterpress printing; it includes two proof presses, platen presses and approximately 120 cases of metal type. You can see some of the students from our Graphic Design Portfolio Course exploring the workshop on the course instagram
Letterpress is 600-year old technique for relief printing using a printing press. Its invention by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century and revolutionised the way books were made and led to an exponential increase in the production and availability of books. Before letterpress all books were hand-made and hand written, rare early books are available to be viewed for research purposes at the CSM Museum and Study Collection and at the British Library
Some of the most exciting new work with letterpress combines digital and analogue practices, producing block prints and type from digital artwork, or in the case of 2013 BA Graphic Design Graduate Soo Kyung Kim, designing an entirely new typeface (called Locho Sans), using a 3D laser cutter to create the printing blocks and then printing with them in the Letterpress Workshop.
Inspired? The full-time Graphic Design Portfolio Course can help you take your design skills to the next level and create a portfolio for application to BA, MA or Professional Practice. There are still spaces for the term starting in April, details of how to apply can be found on our website. You can take this term as a stand-alone 10-week course or as the first stage of a one-year course.
In her new book, Laser Cutting for Fashion and Textiles, Central Saint Martins tutor Laura Baker describes how the combination of new digital technologies and traditional craftsmanship are putting laser cutting at the cutting edge of Textile Design. The book contains instructions for 14 original designs that you can try at home to develop your skills in Laser Cutting.
Laser Cutting has become more readily available through small-scale bureau and you can create designs using vector-based software on your computer at home. All of the designs in Laser Cutting for Fashion And Textiles use Adobe Illustrator but you can also use SketchUp, Rhino, AutoCAD and other vector-based software to make your own designs.
Laser cutting machines create a concentrated beam of light that is capable of cutting through an amazing amount of different materials including (but not limited to) fabric, glass, plastic, ceramics and wood. You can use laser cutting to cut areas out of your material or to mark the surface in different ways and on different scales depending on your creative idea. This process is not limited to Textile Design and these ideas and processes can be applied to all areas of art and design.
Laura Baker is one of the Course Directors of our Textiles Portfolio, a course designed to help you develop a portfolio for application for further study or professional practice. She is specialist technician in digital textiles for Central Saint Martins and teaches on BA Textile Design and MA Materials Futures as well as running short courses in Laser Cutting for Textile Design and Digital Print on Textiles and Digital Print on Textiles
Some of Laura’s designs are currently on display in Real Dirty Blue, an exhibition about the playful and innovative approaches taken to Textile Design at CSM. The exhibition is on at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins until 1 April 2016.
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