‘Your Creative Self’ course – hello insights!

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I’m really enjoying teaching my brand new course, Your Creative Self, for undergraduates in the Faculty of Communication and Design.

The idea of the course is clearly expressed in this first bit of the course blurb:

This course is about self-driven creativity – making media, making inspirations, and making a difference. Everything begins with creative individuals. We may move in and out of creative communities, and collaborative environments, but the one constant is your own creative self.

Because the course is personal, and we obviously want it to be meaningful, that means we spend very little classroom time on ‘content’ such as already-established arguments or ideas. We do stir in some of those via homework readings and videos. And we talk about our responses to those, in class, for a short bit of the time.

But mostly we do reflective exercises where we have to dig deep into our drives, ideas, inspirations and plans, thinking about the ‘why’ of what we do and considering if we can do things differently. I invent new exercises each week, and I do them myself in class too, for the first time for me, as it is for them — typically thinking “Oh, this is hard!”. Of course the reason I do it too is not because I think my responses are especially important but just because I want to be participating as well, alongside the students — we are all uncertain creators, finding our way, individually but also together.

In the last hour of the three-hour session, after a break, we have five-minute presentations from students about their current creative projects — with a particular emphasis on the personal challenges, and lessons learned.

The students have shared amazing ideas and discoveries, and most of all have moved us with their courage in dealing with difficult things.

I’m really enjoying Your Creative Self. We are only up to week four. The adventure continues!

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