Thought Leadership

The Art of Creative Education

Curiosity is vital to all artists and designers; a fact which makes the creative fundamentals the vital ingredients of a good creative education

Liz Fernando

Head of Academic Operations Arts


Famous expressionist and Russian born painter, Mark Rothko explained in an interview in the second half of the 20th century that art is one of the most powerful forms of expression. In the age of an increasingly visually fixated society, we witness the validation of this projection now more than ever before. Aesthetic decisions accompany us every day, even when just taking a simple snap.

Over the span of his active years as a painter, the later New York-based Rothko accumulated his own compilation of descriptions on how creativity transcends, can be unlocked and encouraged. Curiosity is fundamental to all artists and designers; curiosity about the visual and material world and the need to preserve the mind of an explorer. It is not only essential, it is the bedrock in defining a creative pathway, en route of creative discovery.

In line with Rothko’s reflective expressions, the question is how creative education can create curious creative explorers while embedding and introducing both the generic art, design and media concepts, as well as practical approaches.

Curiosity is fundamental to all artists and designers; curiosity about the visual and material world and the need to preserve the mind of an explore

Liz Fernando, Head of Academic Operations Arts at the Berlin School of Business and Innovation

The question for educators is how do we help to transition high school students into higher education into the arts. For the challenge at a high school and secondary school level is that arts subjects are limited in their ability to offer budding creative minds a framework to nourish their creative development.

The transitional period from higher education onto university level is, therefore, key to preparing the students and developing their confidence and technical skills to study highly demanding and competitive creative subjects.

A design for a (creative) life

Sustained engagement in design or arts courses requires the transfer of tools and practical experience into informed creative skills. Students, therefore, need to be supported in learning the productive habits of conceptualization through visual problem solving while using a variety of media in order to respond critically to prospects and responsibilities of career progression as a designer or visual artist that is always linked to highly fluctuating industry standards.

Therefore, the backbone - the educational framework and equipment - matters more than at any other point of time during design developments. In an increasingly digitized industry, students should be equipped to make quick decisions based on their own knowledge and belief.

This means that students need practical support during their creative education, as well as the time to really think and acquire knowledge; embedding that into art and design practice.

Alongside this, it’s important for students to learn how to write project proposals, boost their academic writing skills and research methods. They should also be taught how to present that research and develop listening and reading skills to gain the practical understanding to undertake creative briefs or tasks.

In Germany, the creative pathway is rooted in the Bauhaus movement and university, The university, which had to close its doors in the wake of World War Two in 1933, is famed for its focus on building creative foundations. A preliminary foundational year for students. 

The Bauhaus movement has also impacted the Anglo-American educational environment. Primarily because it helps students to develop tools and techniques necessary to create a convincing portfolio. Which in turn will enhance students' chances for acceptance on very competitive programmes in graphic design, animation, game design and illustration to fulfil the rising demand in digital agencies. A foundation year in these disciplines can open the doors to successful careers in the creative industries. 

For despite where your career takes you, this foundational creative pathway will always be relevant. As it roots the connection between the artist or designer and the viewer. As Rothko told LIFE Magazine in 1959: ‘Painting is not about an experience, it is an experience’.

Guest Author

Liz Fernando

Head of Academic Operations Arts


Liz Fernando, is a graduate from the prestigious LCC, School of Media, University of Arts London. Her works were exhibited at Tate Modern London and were showcased by the leading publisher Photoworks, Brighton. Her works have been acquired for numerous private collections including the World Bank Headquarter in Washington D.C. Her industry and educational experience in the field of Art & Design ranges from executive level agency experience at Saatchi&Saatchi global network to multinational design education institution Raffles Singapore, Asia Pacific as well as developing and conceptualising long term art educational projects in Asia for the cultural institute of the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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