Katy started coming to the Royal Drawing School as a teenager. She now works as an Art and Photography teacher in Hackney and comes to evening courses at the School with some of her colleagues.
Why do you think
drawing is important for students and teachers?
Drawing is an essential tool for artists for seeing, recording, understanding and communicating. It provides a space for noticing and contemplation, things which are too often side-lined in the busyness of life. Drawing can be seen as the foundation upon which everything else is built, and if we learn to draw we are also learning a hundred other things. I don’t think you ever finish learning to draw - I tell my students that it is like physical fitness – it is hard at the beginning but the more you draw the better you get, but if you don’t do it all the time you can get out of practise.
How did you hear about
the Royal Drawing School public courses?
When I was a teenager I attended Saturday morning life drawing at the Royal Drawing School, probably on the recommendation of one of my own art teachers. Last term, I signed up for the Drawing the Contemporary Portrait evening course on the recommendation of one of my colleagues. Now there are 3 of us from our department who come to the Royal Drawing School together after work. This term I will be doing evening course, Drawing a Head: Expression and Colour with Ishbel Myerscough.
How has the course helped to develop your drawing practice?
Having a weekly time committed to drawing has been really useful in re-engaging with my own practice, it has helped to build my confidence in my own drawing skills. Despite being surrounded by art at work, having the time and headspace to do my own art is sometimes a struggle. Even though it is a very long day, going straight from a busy day at school to drawing until 9pm, it is a really treasured time and allows me to re-connect with looking and recording in different ways, and also helps with inspiration for painting or printmaking when I have the time.
In what way has this course impacted your professional
It is really important as an art teacher to have new ideas and be continually inspired in order to be able to find approaches that help children learn, and the best way of doing this is by continuing to learn yourself. Even though I enjoy attending drawing classes for purely my own pleasure and to keep up my practice as an artist, it is inevitable as an artist-teacher that this feeds into professional practice in a productive way. Also, lots of the warm-up activities introduced at the beginning of each class are very transferable to a secondary school context, and will definitely be stolen to be used in the classroom at some point!
To find out more about public courses and to book click here
I don’t think you ever finish learning to draw - I tell my students that it is like physical fitness – it is hard at the beginning but the more you draw the better you getKaty English Art Teacher & Public Programme student