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Drawing Inspiration: Developing a Creative Practice

Monday, June 26, 2017
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From 40,000-year-old prehistoric cave paintings to the latest digital emoji symbols on our phones, making visual marks—drawing—has been a fundamental form of human communication, expression, and creativity. As children, we have an innate ability to access creativity and to express ourselves through drawing, but as we get older, we are trained to judge what we do as either “bad” or “good” (usually “bad”) and to leave the making of art to the “experts.” Many people find themselves cut off not only from drawing but also from their own creativity. This course is designed to reignite a sense of creative experimentation and exploration through drawing.

The core component of the course will be short daily drawing prompts that can be responded to anywhere with little more than a pencil and a small sketchbook. Unlike a studio class, the focus of this course is not about learning to draw or making an expertly rendered piece of art; rather, it is about the process of drawing and how it can support creativity in our lives. At first, we will focus on jumpstarting our creativity, tapping into our imaginations, and circumventing the critical tendencies that can inhibit us. Later, we will experiment with different ways to make marks, observing the world around (and within) us and exploring the inventive possibilities of drawing. By the end of the course, students will have the tools and confidence necessary to maintain their own creative drawing practice.

This course is designed for beginners, those with limited drawing experience, or people who want to build a creative outlet into their daily lives. Students must purchase their own art supplies for this course and can expect to spend an additional $15–$25 on these materials.

This course may not be taken for a Letter Grade.

This is an online course. Because of the higher enrollment compared with a traditional on-campus art studio course, students will not receive instructor feedback on daily drawing posts. Students may request light instructor feedback on two drawings during the course. The course also includes instructional videos, interactive exercises, and discussion with fellow students, as well as optional online videoconferencing sessions.


Trevor Tubelle, Artist

Trevor Tubelle is a San Francisco–based interdisciplinary artist working with hybrid forms of drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, and performance. He has taught at Stanford Arts Institute (Honors in the Arts program), UC Santa Cruz, and elsewhere. His work is included in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Tubelle received an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.
Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.


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