Out of the Box – Getting Creative with Jemma Westing

9780241286906As I type this, I notice out of the corner of my eye the big bag of cardboard tubes that I am storing in the corner of my living room… I wonder what the tubes will become. The tubes are destined for the Oxford Story Museum, where my BrilliantBuilds workshop has been invited to run a short session there in the spring.

I put BrilliantBuilds together at the beginning of 2013 and the first event for the workshop was Latitude festival. Sharon Reuben (the lovely organiser of the kids’ field) took a massive chance on me and I am forever thankful to her. I go to Latitude every year and it is one of my favourite places.

BrilliantBuilds is simple: it’s a not-for-profit, drop-in style, cutting and sticking workshop designed to give young families the time and space to be creative together. I was inspired to set it up after having been involved with various widening participation initiatives over the years that support the creative arts and help to make art education programs accessible and inclusive. My opinion is that anyone can be creative and I set out to prove that every time I run BrilliantBuilds. When the workshop is underway you get to see families collaborating, solving problems together and sharing ideas. It’s great to see such variety in the makes when you set a simple theme like ‘car’ or ‘city’.

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I am very lucky to have a pool of creative friends who come and volunteer their time to BrilliantBuilds. I could not run it without them, especially when there are instances where 40+ people are trying to visit my tent in one go!

Whenever there is a quiet moment during a workshop session, I try to take photos of the workshop makes and over the years I have compiled a large portfolio. I have photographs of hand-held makes, larger items that took collaborative efforts to finish, projects that move, and some great costume pieces.

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When I’m not running the workshop, I’m a full time designer for DK. A big part of my role at DK is to help to visualise new book ideas and I do this by scamping up book jacket designs and spread layouts. One day I wondered whether I could come up with a books worth of recycled cardboard projects. I designed a book jacket and a few spreads for my publisher and that’s when discussions started. I am now sitting here knowing that on the 1st of March, a fun looking book called Out of the Box will be published which is almost totally inspired by BrilliantBuilds! I have seen an advance copy and the amazing DK knowledge team have done a super job! The steps for each project are really clear and I hope that everyone who buys the book will share photographs of their makes with me and the rest of the BrilliantBuilds crew. Photos of makes can be posted here: http://www.facebook.com/BrilliantBuilds

 

Buy Out of the Box at Hive.co.uk

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