Wanting to reconnect with his artistic side, Haroon Khan took our 100 Design Projects short course at Central Saint Martins at the start of 2020. He shares with us how the course gave him the confidence to get back into making art again and in-directly prepared him for life in lockdown.
For many people the prospect of a New Year conjures up plans to learn a new skill or kick a bad habit. For Haroon Khan, the start of a New Year - no less a new decade – was reason enough for him to reconnect with hobbies he enjoyed, but never quite had time for.
“I definitely think there was an element of Marie Kondo in my decision to do the 100 Design Projects short course. There was all this talk about starting a new decade and I guess I wanted to make sure the things I was doing sparked joy,” Haroon tells me.
He admits he didn’t really know what to expect when he started the course. The allure of the course title alone was enough to pique his interest - “are we really going to make 100 things in 5 sessions?” and fortunately for him he says on the course you do hit the ground running.
“I remember within the first five minutes of being there on the first day the tutor gave us a task to complete and we had around three minutes to do it in. We had all the materials, so we could let our imaginations run wild,” Haroon says.
This ended up being the running theme on the course as students were told not to be focused on perfection but rather make the art and then move on. Haroon recounts using paint, charcoal, crayon, wire and collages all in one session to create several pieces that he would show the rest of the class at the end of the day.
“For one class we could only use three colours for the entire day and at the end we’d showcase our work like a mini gallery in the classroom. The tutor and the other students on the course would comment on your work and ask questions. It was a new experience trying to explain your creativity to other people.”
Haroon looks back fondly at his time on the course. Not only did it give him a creative outlet free from judgement, it also prepared him for the months ahead.
“I did the course in January/February and then the world went into lockdown because of Covid-19 in March. While everyone else I knew was scrambling thinking of how to entertain themselves at home, I applied the skills I learned on the course and used random materials around my house to make stuff to occupy my time.”
During his time in lockdown, Haroon managed to make collages from old magazines and hand-made birthday cards for friends and family. He says to help him cope with working from home he took to doodling and posting the drawings on his Instagram account.
“I really got into just making things with my hands like I was at school again! I didn’t want to spend all my time in front of computer screens or using a tablet and the 100 Design Projects course absolutely reminded me that making things by hand is so much more fun,” Haroon says.
When asked what he would say to students thinking to do a short course, Haroon is quick to say it’s a worthwhile investment. “The course really helped remind me of the simple joy of just making art. It was a welcome change to do a course where there were no right or wrong answers and that led with using your imagination because before this course that side of me was sorely out of practice.”
Do you want to reconnect with your creative side? Our 100 Design Projects (Online Short Course) champions originality and innovation over rules and restrictions. Head over to our website to find out how the course can get you thinking outside the box.
As ever, we are always here to aid your creative journey. Our list of online short courses continues to grow so we can help you flourish.