First year illustration students have recently completed their final project of the year. The title of the project was ‘Long Story Short’ and spanned five weeks, with the students experiencing a different form of storytelling each week and visually communicating their responses to these stories.
Week one involved a fantastic session of Scottish tales told by professional storyteller David Campbell. The tales were vivid and imaginative, evoking rich imagery and providing great source material for creating illustrations. The following week we met with Tom Clelland, who sang us some of his own story songs. These ranged from love stories, to dark tales of murder. We changed things up a bit the next week by visiting The National Museum of Scotland with author Vivian French. The students wrote and illustrated some non-fiction pieces in response to the objects we saw. Next the class was encouraged to look to the people close to them for their fourth story. Each student recorded a conversation with a friend or relative, and made images based upon the dialogue that emerged. Finally we allowed an element of chance into finding our stories. Each student went out to sketch people in public places, taking an open-ended statement as a starting point and allowing the people and places they encountered to build the story.
The students embraced the challenges presented by this project and have all produced lovely and interesting work as a result. Each student took a different approach, and the outcomes were displayed in a small exhibition held at ECA. We invited David, Tom and Vivian back to see the work and chat with the students. It was a great way to round off the project, as well as a very good excuse for tea and biscuits.