Meet the Future Creatives Tutor: Seán Myers
Seán Myers recalls discovering the art of printmaking as a student at Chelsea College of Art. “Opening the door to that workshop unlocked a lifetime fascination with the possibilities of print experimentation,” he says.
Seán’s love for printmaking led him to Central Saint Martins, where he studied printmaking and photomedia and now teaches experimental and mixed media printmaking.
We caught up with Seán to find out more about his practice and hear his thoughts on the arts scene in Hackney, the vibrant east London borough where he is currently based.
Seán first came to London in 1987 and found work as an apprentice graphic designer for a design agency in Kings Cross. After enrolling at Chelsea College of Art the following year, Seán quickly realised a passion for printmaking and the “huge potential” the medium offers to cross over into many other art disciplines.
Now an experienced tutor, Seán is passionate about sharing his skills and knowledge with students. “My early printmaking and mixed media experimentations definitely formed the foundations for how I approach my art practice and teaching to students of all ages,” he tells us. “I understand the need for young people to engage in active ‘learning through doing’ to help build their confidence, progress and grow in their creative endeavours.”
The freedom to experiment
Seán encourages students in his classes to relax and enjoy the creative process, providing them with the space and freedom needed to experiment with different techniques and approaches. “The arts offer alternative and creative ways to think differently, as well as a lot of freedom to experiment and express yourself. I tell students not to be afraid of making mistakes as this usually leads to making successful work,” he says.
When working with younger students, Seán is keen to show them that “there is more than one way to solve a creative problem and that they can enjoy and express themselves while they do it.” It is this kind of positive approach to problem solving that Sean believes boosts a child’s confidence and helps to form their personality and creative identity. “These qualities have been echoed throughout my practice and my teaching for the past 26 years with UAL Short Courses and Future Creatives,” he explains.
Seán particularly enjoys seeing how students in his classes respond to tasks in different ways. “Every class I teach is different, informative and most of the time truly inspirational,” he says, “when reflecting on how a class progressed, I’m often pleasantly surprised at the different thought processes and creative reactions I ask students to demonstrate.”
Hearing students discuss their ideas is also something that always inspires Seán, and he is committed to helping them achieve their goals: “Sharing my skills and knowledge with students is just as satisfying as listening to students who share their ideas with me. I like to create an open dialogue between teacher and student, to set the right tone for successful creative outcomes, and I know that I can help teach people, if they are willing to work hard and are open and honest with me about what they would like to achieve in a task.”
Hackney arts scene
Seán has lived in Hackney since 2001 and has taught art and design to young people in numerous schools and colleges in the borough. “Hackney’s history, past and present, shows a rich mix of diversity and expression,” he says, “in my opinion this has and always will be a catalyst for people’s creativity and originality regardless of their age, differences or cultural and social economic backgrounds.”
The Hackney Carnival remains a favourite for Seán, who feels it is a good representation of “the creative driving force” which empowers artists and designers of all generations from the borough.