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PROTOTYPING CREATIVITY:
PERSONAL GROWTH, REFLECTION AND EMPOWERMENT
THROUGH HANDS-ON ART MAKING

 

OVERVIEW

Art is not just for artists. Typically, Art is feared, misunderstood or underrated. I believe that the process of making art is actually an invaluable skill for business. It’s not a crafty pastime, but a powerful tool for building essential skills including focus, confidence, teamwork, and ingenuity. In our Art of Making Workshops, we will learn to trust our hands rather than our brains.

During my MFA studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, I learned about the power of Bauhaus ideology, of learning and exploring with our hands instead of simply conceptualizing the answer. Art, like mediation, has the power to create a mindful state. With a weekly creative practice, the Art of Making creates a personal connection with the now. Time stops as creativity flows. The hands lead, before the mind knows what it wants.

The idea of prototyping aligns with tech innovation, and is an essential skill for everyone not just creatives. Beyond the merits of the design process, the Art of Making opens up personal growth. It expands limitations people put upon on themselves, empowering confidence and creative problem solving.

We want to introduce five short “Creative Experiences:” workshops during a weekend retreat that have different personal benefits. The process is more important than the product, as each method highlights diverse goals that have direct long term applications.

 

BUSINESS PROPOSITION

  1. Creativity is, at its core, inventive problem solving
  2. It is more in demand than ever in a world of increasingly complex business challenges and key to the success of fast-innovative teams in a competitive start-up environment such as the Silicon Beach 
  3. It requires a mind shift to tap into individual and collective potential
  4. A hands-on experience is better than abstract thought and ethos is paramount
  5. The key benefit is to ignite and/or reinforce a "Makers and Doers" culture within the company
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OBJECTIVE & GOALS

We are a "making" lab at the new frontier of business and a pioneer in wellness and self-care. We design Creative Retreats with real-world, business implications.

The curriculum creates time for connection as well as reflection, as participants learn about their own inhibitions and inspirations during several art experiences. How students approach a simple process, how they deal with unexpected detours, are all important Creative Experiences. Each Creative Experience highlights distinct skills like practicing calm, building teamwork, and creating confidence. 

The overall goal of the new proposal, is to extend the mindfulness and business curriculum of Multiversity into embracing the new frontier of Art Making for Business. Meditation has had a resurgence as a business tool to clear the mind and allow better focus in a world of constant stimulation. I believe that making art is an alternate way of creating focus, one where your hands stimulate your brain into new directions beyond what it thinks it can achieve. 

Like Stanford's Design School opened up a new path for design thinking as business thinking, we propose that structured Art Making has extensive benefits in opening up creative flow, building confidence and encouraging authentic connection. This is not a "paint by number" wine night. It is a prescribed, "no fail" designed experience where participants are led through a series of art exercises with tangible results. 

The broader goal of our Crave Retreats is to teach global skills to our local community. Crave Workshops bring global crafts learned from my extensive travels and transform them into modern workshops. The crafts come from Japan, India and Turkey. They aim to pass on skills learned firsthand from master craftsmen and transform them into easily accessible interpretations.

 

Our difference

  1. Blending Creative and Leadership Consulting approaches
  2. Offering Out-of-the-Box immersive, engaging, collaborative experiences
  3. Encouraging a hands-on "test and learn" approach that can be translated to a business environment + an "apprentice then master" ethos when it comes to leadership in an organization
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EMPOWER

EXPERIENCE 1
PRACTICING PLAY: THE CRAFT OF EMPOWERMENT

“Everyone is an artist” marbling warm up
Loosen up! Marbling is fool poof method for generating lots of unique solutions. Each piece is as unique as their maker, and this fun hands on workshop embraces play and free flowing fun. This workshop promotes spontaneity and builds creative self esteem with a little bit of paint and a little bit of magic.

 

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LET GO

EXPERIENCE 2
LETTING GO: EMBRACING THE UNEXPECTED

Before we get into the weekend of making, it's essential to let go of preconceptions and control. Art is best when it flows freely, rather than be overtly planned out. Shibori is a process that embraces the art of the unexpected. It is the play between structure and chaos, between planning and letting go where every outcome is a surprise. The process is perfect for those who tend to get creatively paralyzed. Students start with the same techniques, but the results are susceptible to indigo's own will. Shibori is a wonderful practice for embarking on a journey without knowing the answer, and for trusting creative instincts rather than over-thinking perfect solutions.

 

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INVENT

EXPERIENCE 3
INFINITE CREATIVITY: EXPLORING DIVERSITY & INVENTION

The art of business is being creative with what is given. This workshop inspires coming up with unique solutions with a standardized set of tools. It showcases individuals' unique approaches to similar beginnings, where ten different people will have ten different solutions. Diversity is encouraged and required. We will teach about the art of stencils and pattern mixing. In this workshop, participants learn Katazame, a historic stenciling technique that creates works with bold, geometric designs. Participants will mix a natural paste, paint on the stencils and then use indigo dye to create custom printed textiles. 

 

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FOCUS

EXPERIENCE 4
PRACTICING FOCUS: BUILDING COMPLEXITY FROM SIMPLICITY

Sometimes the act of simple repetition becomes the most powerful tool for reflection. Block printing inspires mindfulness and patience. Our block printing workshop builds mindfulness through a meditative art practice. Printing each block one by one builds patience and practice for slowing down. Participants are rewarded with a complex product that showcases their careful process. It's an infinitely creative piece made from the simplest of building blocks.

 

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BUILD

EXPERIENCE 5
MAKING BETTER TOGETHER: BUILDING TEAMWORK ONE LAYER AT A TIME

Team work is an essential business tool and difficult to truly master. In this Making Workshop we will work in teams of two to silkscreen individual works of art. Team members have to collaborate on designing the piece and sharing materials. Each layer is built as a team, while individuals learn from each other's unique approaches. 

 

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ABOUT AGNES PIERSCIENIAK

Agnes is a designer, artist and teacher living in Los Angeles. She is passionate about travel, meeting good people, and making beautiful things. Having the opportunity to travel and attend art workshops in far flung places like India and Japan, Agnes was inspired to build a community of shared interests in her “backyard.”  Agnes has been design faculty at the University of Southern California, Otis College of Art and Rhode Island School of Design for over fifteen years. She learned about teaching complex skills through a Bauhaus methodology of experimental creativity and play.  

Says Agnes, "For me, creating is essential, like eating and sleeping. Ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon, I was making things. I studied art every chance I got. When I got into Rhode Island School of Design, it was heaven on earth to learn a new photo process one day and take a bookbinding class the next. I loved taking classes to learn new skills, but more importantly, to be surrounded by other creatives. I painted watercolors with my artistic grandmother as a seven-year-old, took life-drawing workshops in high school, sketched piazzas on my college semester abroad in Italy, practiced block-printing on a life-changing trip to Bagru, India. As I grew older, I traveled the world in pursuit of learning new arts. I have made life-long friendships as regardless of cultural differences, creating together forges unique bonds. I want to share my love of art, travel and friendship one afternoon at a time."

 

What lessons can be learned for businesses whose products or services may fall outside the realm of craft? We must remember to slow down. We must take the time to value skillful design and precision processes. We must remember the past and the lessons we’ve learned from our most basic traditions. The traditions of simplicity, function and quality. The tradition of patience. The tradition of dedication. Too often, businesses chase modernity and quick answers, losing sight of what lies at their core. We must not convince ourselves that victory comes from everything new and everything now. Let’s combine equal parts then and now. Let’s harness the craftsman’s mentality. Have we strayed too far from what’s made us great? When we return our focus to the fundamentals – the products we create –we will naturally produce for quality, design for continued relevance, and tap into your authenticity. As the 21st century craftsmen are showing us, these qualities build a true connection with the customer.
— Back to Basics