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Arts Education Conference 2018


The Arts Education Conference 2018 was organised by the Singapore Teachers Academy for the aRts (STAR).

What we did

There, we were tasked to graphic record all plenary or keynote sessions, as well as selected concurrent sessions. This photo shows two of the ten boards capturing ideas from the conference sessions!

Prior to the conference, we also trained a team of art teachers in basics of graphic recording. These art teachers were subsequently deployed to selected concurrent sessions as graphic recorders.

After the conference, we facilitated the debrief session for the teachers involved.

How was the visual output used?

The client identified parts of the various graphic recordings to be commissioned. These were combined with new illustrations, into a fresh poster visual that summarises the key takeaways from the AEC. A series of postcards, each “zooming in” to a scene of the poster. The poster and postcard set was distributed to schools in Singapore.

Our client also found exciting ways of featuring parts of the visual output in their publications.

Here, the client worked with Garcon Design on the design and layout of one of their magazines. Garcon extracted parts of the graphic recordings as illustrations accompanying the feature article on the AEC2018.

Here is the closing plenary by Deputy Director-General of Education, Mrs Chua-Lim Yen Ching, featured in another client publication, STAR-POST (Art).

Reflections on the Process

It’s not often that a graphic recorder gets an (almost) blank canvas to work on. The biennial Arts Education Conference in Singapore has been one such dream event where I left bubbling with inspiration (and some ear worms from the music made during the music masterclass)!

Intersections and Distinctions

Shown in the photo above are the “bookend” or last two charts of the day. The distinctions between these two charts, which are part of a larger series, become apparent once placed in their respective categories. I intentionally chose a primary colour theme (based on the organisers’) for the concurrent sessions/masterclasses; the plenaries had a more vibrant and blended use of colours.

On a side note, I’ve been drawn to mixing media (acrylic, oil and soft pastels, markers, prints etc.) on my graphic recordings. This also happens to be the most “white space” I’ve seen on my work in a long while!

INTERSECTIONS happens to be one part of the conference theme. As one panelist shared, sometimes just intentionally introducing a different element can break you out of the proverbial creative bottleneck to find new aesthetic solutions.

Process is valuable and valued

One FAQ from participants was, “How did you do this? (points to a chart element)” I am refreshed by the curiosity about the process and gifts of encouragement from Arts educators in the room. In this age of insta-everything, process often gets obscured by the obsession with overt output. But if we are to get to the end that matters, there’s no sidestepping process. Thank you for the heartwarming reminder. 🙂

p.s. the featured photo at the top of this article was taken by Swee Keng, one of the lovely participants who came by to encourage us! Thank you, Swee Keng!