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Creative Process And Self-Expression

Creative Process And Self-Expression

Central Saint Martins
Taught by
Mary Caddick


The course emphasis is on creative activity, authentic expression and on the value and enjoyment of creativity and the insight it can bring. Serious play with art materials - this course offers a place and time to explore and re-charge individual creative processes and to support self expression. Through developing the skill of becoming more aware of and less judgemental about our creativity, we move away from habitual reactive patterns of thought and behaviour, and begin to create more freely and authentically. Changing well-established habits of mind and learning to look afresh takes persistence, courage and effort. Many factors may inhibit us. This course aims to reduce creative inhibitions which may have been caused by the working environment, our education, personal experiences, family life etc.

The course aims to facilitate rather than teach and, as such it values and encourages learning from each other. There will be a series of guided exercises using a variety of supplied art materials. Regular group discussions offer the reflective process through which ideas are shared and developed. A supportive, non-judgemental and playful atmosphere evolves. The course does not aim to teach technique or theory, although these may be discussed.

The course structure adapts in response to the interests and issues arising from the group as a whole and the individuals within it. Therefore each course is different and consists of what each participant brings to the group. Generosity and risk taking are important - the more you put in, the more you get out. It is essential to participate in an atmosphere of trust. Tears and laughter happen in these workshops. Judgement and assessment are replaced with curiosity and enquiry.

Workshops may include:

  • Ink + colour + words
  • Playful shared observational studies
  • Exploration of clay
  • A week in the life of ‘peg’!
  • Mirror-less self-portraits
  • Signature + identity
  • Mixed materials discovery
  • The worst piece of work I can make!
  • The 5 senses – mind + body

Participants are encouraged to fill up their own journal during the week - a treasure book to take away at the end of the course, to inspire and guide the next creative steps, wherever these may lead!

This course is not art therapy, but discussions about art therapy are welcome.

Course Level: All Levels

Entry Requirements
This course is only suitable for those with good conversational English as there are frequent discussions and these are as important as the artwork undertaken. Participants must be committed to working with the group and this involves attending all 5 days with good time keeping. Motivation to explore creative processes and generosity towards self expression within a sharing, confidential group are essential.

Who should take this course?
This course will suit you if you are curious and enquiring, wishing to explore creative processes and self expression. Perhaps you are looking for the opportunity to play with art materials, get messy and find out what happens in a sharing group! Join this course if you are feeling stuck or stale, creatively isolated or at a turning point. Suitable for trained and working artists/designers as well as the enthusiastic beginner, cross arts practitioners and teachers. It is essential that you are committed to your creative development and wishing to engage with others in the creative process. 

Related Courses
This course may lead you in any direction - the aim is to open up possibilities of where your creativity may take you and not restrict it. Some participants have gone on to creative writing courses, stand up comedy, art therapy or decided it is time to have a family and so on... These ideas may be discussed during the course. 

This course may seriously change your life!

Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older

Tutor Description

Mary Caddick, BA Central Saint Martins, Post Grad Dip Art Therapy Goldsmiths College and MA Tavistock Clinic/UEL, is a maker, tutor/facilitator and art therapist. She has been leading short courses that have evolved from art practice, teaching, work as an art therapist and the development and running of a post graduate course in teaching and learning Architecture at UEL for more than 20 years. She is passionate about supporting authentic creative expression for the benefit to the individual as well as for society.


There is no materials list as everything is provided for you.

Students may find it useful to also bring: 

  • A camera or phone with camera so that you can photograph your work during the week. These photographs can be added to your journal to support your creative work after leaving the course.
  • Up to three things that are inspiring you at this time in your life and bring some way of showing us these, whether the thing itself or with photos, photocopies, postcards, books, recordings etc - but only three!
  • Up to 3 representations of your creativity from work, interests or home life to share with the group

Available dates