We wrapped up a lot of big, messy, fun, time-consuming projects and are now transitioning with some drawing practice and formative assessments/scaffolding activities to get ready for working with "pattern" in all grade levels. Since 4th grade did so much work on cartooning, and many students had to be encouraged to "leave their marks" instead of erasing as they designed their cartoon layouts, I'm including the link (to title) of Monet's sketchbooks. A beautiful resource that illuminates how building a drawing requires lots of lines, even ones that may be less than great are still part of the process.
Now, I've compiled some pedagogical resources on how using some guidelines (or limitations) actually fosters creative growth:
"Creativity is often misunderstood. People often think of it in terms of artistic work -- unbridled, unguided effort that leads to beautiful effect. If you look deeper, however, you'll find that some of the most inspiring art forms -- haikus, sonatas, religious paintings -- are fraught with constraints. They're beautiful because creativity triumphed over the rules. Constraints shape and focus problems, and provide clear challenges to overcome as well as inspiration. Creativity, in fact, thrives best when constrained" (FEBRUARY 1, 2006, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Insight by Marissa Ann Mayer:"Turning Limitations into Innovation").
"The enemy of art is the absence of limitations." (Orson Welles)
"In fact, the worst thing a designer can hear is an offhand 'Just do whatever you want.' That's because designers understand the power of limits. Constraint offers an unparalleled opportunity for growth and innovation" (Wired Magazine, "Design Under Constraint: How Limits Boost Creativity" by Scott Dadich, 02.23.09)
“When forced to work within a strict framework the imagination is taxed to its utmost – and will produce its richest ideas. Given total freedom the work is likely to sprawl."— T.S. Eliot
"If I ask students to do whatever they want to do, they often avoid risk by doing something they already have learned in the past. The amount of creative thinking may be zero. When there are limits, there is a better chance of having a challenging task. Limits can encourage new and creative problem solving." Prof. Marvin Bartel - © 2001 to 2011
"Lessons without limitations are not very effective. Without limitations, students are prone to fall back on easy left brain habits and fail to practice new or difficult skills. We naturally avoid the risk of doing the unknown unless a good teacher assures us that the new way can help us grow. Well planned lesson limitations make it harder for the left brain to dominate while encouraging the right brain to practice." Prof. Marvin Bartel - © 2001 to 2011
So, there you have it, and it is an ongoing practice to balance limits and expression to promote artistic growth.
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