A Glimpse into Ms. Hulan's Art Studio
In the study of creativity, constraints are often seen as motivating, rather than limiting. "As an Art Educator, I must admit, I agree", says Ms. Hulan, Prep School Art Teacher.
It often helps to have a prompt when dealing with a plain empty sketchbook page. Ms. Hulan's constraint was to figure out how to teach visual art online to students who may not even have a sketchbook, all within days. A monumental task, indeed. "I am truly grateful and fortunate to have a technically-skilled and supportive spouse, as well as a home art studio. With ingenuity, trial and error, (and a lot of lighting equipment), we were able to assemble a functioning space. From here, I can shoot videos, record screen casts, run live drawing sessions from a web cam, as well as greet my students from an ergonomically feasible position. As the weeks have passed, various aspects have been “upgraded”. I now have a cordless mic and I no longer stack my computer on top of a crate, books and two post it note pads."
Together, Ms. Hulan and her husband designed a purpose-built shelf to angle her computer and store a keyboard. Although not what this space was initially designed for, it was always meant to be a creative environment to accommodate visual art in all forms.
This set-up has been very well-received, with appreciation and excitement expressed by students, faculty and parents. Leslie Gao in Grade 7 says, "Art class has always been the class I look forward to the most, even through the process of moving to online learning. I love and always will love Ms. Hulan's warm ups, they stretch out our creativity and give us a relaxing break from our screens." Tin-Chi Gianotti in Grade 8 says, "My favourite part of Ms. Hulan’s art class so far has been the way that she is able to make it seem like we are all in the same room. It is still so easy to ask for help, communicate and learn, while being in different places."