Studying During Lockdown: Students from the Emmbrook School Wokingham

by Cass Art

The past year has been a creative challenge for us all, studios becoming bedrooms, living rooms and desks in the corner. But for students studying creative subjects the challenge has been even greater, having to adapt to learning new skills via their screens with materials they had to hand at home.

As schools are back, and the country begins to open up we spoke to a few students from The Emmbrook Secondary School in Wokingham to see how they managed to keep their studies going during the lockdown.

CHARLOTTE


Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat to us here at Cass Art. Firstly, could you introduce yourself, what you’re studying and enjoy making?

My name is Charlotte, I am in Year 10 at The Emmbrook Secondary School in Wokingham. I have started studying GCSE Art as one of my options, that I really enjoy, I especially enjoy creating my own pieces of art at home where I have a lot more free time, since the pandemic.

What creative projects are you working on at the moment?

Over the last year, I have started many projects of my own at home in my free time with mediums like gouache paints and acrylics. Examples of these projects are my portraits of dancers and animals.

I have also been studying different artists for school in lockdown and have created pieces inspired by them, these artists include Shepard Fairey and Andy Warhol. I have also started creating a composition of the Italian culture.

And what are your favourite materials to use?

Through making these projects and personal pieces, I have developed a love for using paints, particularly watercolour and oil depending on the painting I’m doing.

Has the type of work you’re making changed from your experiences of the last year?

At home, I still have my work set from school to motivate me but in my own time I get inspired and motivated by artists online and on social media. I have looked at a particular artist called Leonid Afremov, who I’ve gotten the most inspiration from in both style and use of colour. I do my best work and enjoy painting and drawing the most when I listen to music. I think this is because the music puts me in a good frame of mind and can provide ideas for my work that I wouldn’t get without it. It then also frees me from detractions.

It’s been challenging for all of us working from home! I know sometimes I find it difficult to keep myself going - how do you stay motivated while working from your bedroom, kitchen or living room floor? And what advice would you give to your peers that may be struggling?

Advice that I would give to anyone lacking motivation would be to always write down or sketch any ideas that they get. They then have something to build upon and this can also inspire other art works. I would also suggest just playing any music that stimulates any emotion and therefore creativity for them. 

And finally! What creative thing are you most looking forward to doing when we can all be out and about again?

When lockdown is over, and I can leave the four walls of my room, I can’t wait to be able to go out and find new places, people and views; like museums, monuments and my favourite art shops.

POPPY


Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat to us here at Cass Art. Firstly, could you introduce yourself, what you’re studying and enjoy making?

Hi my name is Poppy and I am studying graphic communication as one of my A Levels. I enjoy illustration and typography and especially like working on a big canvas with acrylic paints. 

What creative projects are you working on at the moment?

Currently I am working on typography as part of my school project but I am always setting myself mini projects at home, at the moment it being painting canvas’ for a wall in my bedroom. 

And what are your favourite materials to use?

While I like to use a lot of mixed materials for my work my current favourite is acrylic paint as I love the flawless finish you can achieve. I also love using a black sharpie to really make my work pop. 

Has the type of work you’re making changed from your experiences of the last year?

I find art really helps clear the mind and in times like these it’s really important to stay positive and art is the way I do so, I find it easy to be motivated to do work when I am doing it for my bedroom as I have something to look forward to at the end. Having art all over my walls also is motivating to do more.

It’s been challenging for all of us working from home! I know sometimes I find it difficult to keep myself going - how do you stay motivated while working from your bedroom, kitchen or living room floor? And what advice would you give to your peers that may be struggling?

When struggling to be creative I go to sites such as Pinterest as there is so much work to look at, and I find things I’ve never thought of or seen before which really helps expand my art skills. Sometimes I find even just going for a walk to look at my surroundings can fill me with creative ideas as I feel most creative when looking at different scenery. 

And finally! What creative thing are you most looking forward to doing when we can all be out and about again?

Taking my own pictures really helps me see new visions for my own pieces of work so When we are allowed out and about again I can’t wait to be able to go to different places and take pictures of the different surroundings in the hope to find more inspiration from places other than just my local areas. 

HOLLY


Hi! Thanks for taking the time to chat to us here at Cass Art. Firstly, could you introduce yourself, what you’re studying and enjoy making?

Hi, I’m Holly and I enjoy making artist studies and painting.

What creative projects are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m studying Shepard Fairey and just finished making a research page on him.

And what are your favourite materials to use?

My favourite materials to use are paint and pens.

Has the type of work you’re making changed from your experiences of the last year?

Art is something I’ve always loved to do and I find it relaxing and fun just to do art and that’s what motivates me to do it.

It’s been challenging for all of us working from home! I know sometimes I find it difficult to keep myself going - how do you stay motivated while working from your bedroom, kitchen or living room floor? And what advice would you give to your peers that may be struggling?

Listening to music helps me get in the zone and just relaxing.

And finally! What creative thing are you most looking forward to doing when we can all be out and about again?

I’m looking forward to being able to go back to school and study art there than at home, also engaging with peers and teachers to help me with my work.

KYMANI


What creative projects are you working on at the moment?

I'm working on a collage of different parts of Japanese culture for school. I'm also working on a stylized portrait of a person in “90s Hip-Hop" attire.

And what are your favourite materials to use?

I like to use coloured pencils as they're easy to understand and give the best results.

It’s been challenging for all of us working from home! I know sometimes I find it difficult to keep myself going - how do you stay motivated while working from your bedroom, kitchen or living room floor?

I surround myself with art forms that I like and keep me motivated. For example, animated films/tv shows keep me reminded that if I keep practicing, I can work on one in the future.

What advice would you give to your peers that may be struggling?

To find something that someone else has made and had to be creative to do like a fictional story (comic, manga, cartoon etc.) then you can look behind the scenes at how that person came to the final project. For example, if you're looking at a character from a story you can look at the first steps the creator took to come to the final project (initial character designs, colour scheme)

And finally! What creative thing are you most looking forward to doing when we can all be out and about again?

I'm looking forward to trying out animation, either 2d or 3d.

Thanks so all of you for sharing your experiences, and good luck with the rest of your studies! 

 

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