Creative Arts Today has been my first course with OCA and certainly has not been easy for the very wide range of subjects to investigate and even more than that for the great effort it implies to develop an awareness of the ways in which all these cultural disciplines are strongly interconnected and not forget the common cultural ‘broth’ when studying them specifically.
The accent on the cross-disciplinary nature of culture and the invitation to test it by exploring how the same themes, in this case time and place, have been dealt with in different areas have been for me definitely the most fundamental and precious outcome of this first course and shall be my ‘fil rouge’ in future studies. So I am very happy to have started my learning journey with OCA from here even if it has been difficult.
Two other basic aspects that this course has helped me to focus on are the importance of theme on one side and of communication on the other and also their mutual dependence: to communicate effectively is possible only if the message is adequately expressed and this applies to all creative disciplines. The artist, the writer, the visual communicator, the photographer or the designer, all need to convey their vision if there has to be an exchange with the audience or the public.
In this respect my ‘discovery’ of the reader-response theory in Part 2 has been really inspiring and has triggered several lines of considerations as I explain in my conclusion to Creative Reading. But this is not all: the theoretical aspects covered by this course are another very strong feature and a good reason to tackle it before engaging into specific areas of study. Creative Arts Today has offered me a chance to come to grips or at least get the first notions of fundamental thought movements – modernism/postmodernism, structuralism/poststructuralism etc – that are at the heart of contemporary culture.
On a practical note I am also very happy of my decision of keeping a public learning blog at the beginning of the course: this has helped me a lot to organize my work, make useful cross-references that I shall be able to use also in the future and keep a good pace. What I shall try to do is add also personal research, details of exhibitions, books read and so on. I have not done so in this blog and my tutor suggested me that this would be a good idea even if it implies more work. Another area that I shall try to develop is critical thinking: I have been a bit ‘shy’ during this course since as a student I felt that I was not entitled to question what I was reading, but I am beginning to see that to ask oneself questions is a fundamental part of the learning process and is also very useful for self-assessment.
My next course will be Sculpture 1: Starting out in 3D and I am sure that what I have learnt so far will be valuable. Many concepts that I am researching for this new course are familiar now, but what I especially notice is that my level of awareness and attention and my capacity of establishing connections have much improved. It remains to be seen if and how I shall be able to feed all this in my burgeoning creative process. It shall be another voyage of discovery, I am sure.