So I appear to have been slightly absent on blog posts recently… my apologies folks! Been busy as usual! On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I helped out at a project run by Aces (Access to Creative Education in Scotland) at my uni. It was held at Duncan of Jordanstone with kids between the years of S4-S6. It was great having a chance to talk to the kids at an age where they are possibly thinking of applying to a university because I had experience and advice with the General Foundation course that I was able to offer to them. The workshop focused on the importance of sketchbooks which reminded me of the blog post I wrote a year ago on the subject. The days were split up between talking about sketchbooks, making sketchbooks and using the sketchbooks. We had many examples of sketchbooks to show the kids including our own so it was easy to explain to them the different uses and emphasise that sketchbooks are not supposed to be perfect articles. They are working documents and can be used for anything from writing shopping lists to experimenting with different materials – this was easy to show as we had lots of different sketchbooks from different specialisms from Fine Art to Textile Design and Architecture. We showed the kids how to make a sketchbook from some relatively inexpensive materials to accentuate the fact that you don’t need to buy pricey books (although i’ll always have a soft spot for my moleskines.) It was great when the kids got to use their sketchbooks – they had a choice between life drawing, botanical drawing and landscape drawing. Our job was to chaperone the kids to and from the various choices and it was great seeing the sheer amount of talent they all have at such a young age. I hope the workshop encouraged them to keep sketchbooks on a regular basis as they are such an important part of any artist’s working practice, and most of the high school courses don’t encourage sketchbook keeping within the course. Also hope to help out with Aces workshops in the future, wish i’d had an opportunity like that when I was in high school!