Style and Aesthetic

Start Here: Drawing
This resource forms part of Start Here: Drawing, designed to help teachers facilitate drawing in school
aesthetic definition

We all have our own prefered aesthetic, shaped by our individual experience, our likes, dislikes and by our personalities too.

As a teacher facilitating art with pupils, we need to be aware of when we allow our own aesthetic to weigh too heavily on the experience we offer the children. The best and most inspirational art teachers are usually those who nurture a sense of openness in children which crosses a wide range of styles, aesthetics, cultures, and opinions.

In our experience, the following areas can become problematic when a teacher has too strong a sense of his or her own aesthetic which s/he brings to the pupils*:

  • The messy scribbly child v the neat accurate child.
  • Assessment.
  • Rigid outcomes.
  • Fixed teaching as a result of fixed thinking.

How do we make sure we facilitate with openness?

Here are some pointers and things you might like to consider:

  • Widen our own experience. Attend InSet and visit galleries to build your own experience and confidence.
  • If you use tools like Pinterest, you will already be familiar with the kind of words you type in. Try to widen your key words. Deliberately challenge yourself.
  • Always try the activity you are proposing yourself. Which bits do you actually enjoy? Why?
  • Help the children understand how many different ways there are of being an artist. Are you a precise realist? Or an experimental mark maker? Are you messy? Great at working digitally?
  • Devise and use warm up exercises as a way of opening minds and establishing new ways of thinking about something – yourself included. Generally when we experience, we begin a new understanding…

*Please share your experience and voice your opinion if you disagree!

This is a sample of a resource created by UK Charity AccessArt. We have over 1500 resources to help develop and inspire your creative thinking, practice and teaching.

AccessArt welcomes artists, educators, teachers and parents both in the UK and overseas.

We believe everyone has the right to be creative and by working together and sharing ideas we can enable everyone to reach their creative potential.