As part of our new blog post theme, that of ‘Meet the art teacher/artist’ each month we will highlight either an art teacher/tutor or artist and ask a handful of questions, nothing too serious but something that could encourage some interaction between art teachers, artists also college tutors.
Welcome Claire Platt, artist and art teacher – if you would like to take part or know someone who would then download the questions here and fire them back to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Claire Platt and I am an art teacher at Coulsdon Sixth Form College. You can find out more about the college on our Visual Arts blog, here. I’m also part of a collaborative project, IHeart Teaching Art, which shares ideas and inspiration for teaching art.
2. When did you decide you wanted to be an art teacher/tutor/artist?
I never set out to become an art teacher, I just kind of fell into it. After finishing my studies I was doing trying everything practising and exhibiting, miscellaneous jobs, volunteering and interning to try and work out what to do with myself. It was through this that I ended up discovering my passion for being an art teacher. As part of one of my intern positions I got thrown in at the deep end, teaching people how to knit at an event during London Design Week, it was terrifying until I realised I was actually enjoying it! After that I did more workshops both in schools and galleries then got myself on a Graduate Trainee Programme to get myself qualified to be an art teacher in schools and colleges.
3. Where and what did you study?
I studied my Art Foundation Course at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication then went on to study BA (Hons) Drawing and Applied Arts at UWE Bristol. After that I had a short break before embarking on my MA in Design: Textiles at Bath Spa University. When I decided to move into teaching I was fortunate to get onto Graduate Trainee Programme at Coulsdon Sixth Form College which is affiliated with Greenwich University and I achieved my PGCE with them as part of the programme.
4. What is the best thing about being an art teacher/tutor/artist?
The fact that I get to practise what I love everyday! I love being able to put the skills I’ve developed into practise and to be able to transfer the knowledge to others. My students also play a key role in this – watching them develop and experiment inspires me!
Claire Platt | artwork
5. How would you describe your style (clothes, art, home…. whichever you choose)
I think my dress sense is probably best described as eclectic, colourful and layered. I like to wear lots of different colours, patterns, textures and layers all at once. I also have a wonderful collection of brightly coloured tights, which normally pop into my Doc Martin boots, which I practically live in, unless its very hot in which case I may opt for a more summery shoe!
6. Do you listen to music while you're working? If so, what?
Yes! Music is probably my next love after art (except only for listening, not making). I can see this turning into a slightly long list… my favourite band is No Doubt but I love all sorts of things. I love older stuff Bowie, T.Rex, Elvis Costello, Sparks, The Kinks, The Damned, The Rolling Stones, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly. At the moment I’m listening to a lot of Alkaline Trio, The Filaments, The Causalities, The Skints, Kraftwerk, Of Monsters and Men, First Aid Kit, Beck… I could go on. I love music! I’ll listen to anything once.
7. Which artist or designer inspires you most and why?
This is something which constantly changes for me as I’m always finding new and inspiring stuff, it depends what I’m working on or what projects I’m doing with my students. Some of the firm inspiring people though are Vivienne Westwood (for the wonderful structure and patterns and for her political and ethical views) Kiki Smith (for subject matter, style and presentation) and Eva Hesse (for the simple beauty)
8. If you could give one bit of advice to your 18-year-old self, what would it be?
Try things – go to that gallery! Apply for that position! Travel to that place! Enter your work to that exhibition! Talk to that person! I can imagine I missed out on things just from day dreaming too and not pushing myself to get involved with everything that was going on!
9. What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become an artist or designer?
Make sure you are confident and proud of the work your making and make sure you are confident getting out there and showing it off – you are going to be our biggest champion!
10. What’s your greatest achievement?
Perhaps I haven’t had it yet…. But I feel very fortunate to have found a career I enjoy and that I’m passionate about!
11. What three things would you still like to do before you die?
Go to Japan, Try Wing Walking, see the Aurora Borealis
12. What’s your favourite food?
Satsumas and pancakes – not together mind but I have equal love towards them both.
13. Where was the last place you went on holiday?
Berlin! It was wonderful!
14. What was the last book you read?
1Q84 (books 1, 2 and 3) by Haruki Murakami. I love his books and it was wonderful to read new works by him.
15. What is your biggest distraction?
Everything, but mostly the Internet.
16. If you ruled the world, what single act would you carry out?
I’m not sure… that’s too big a question for me unfortunately
17. Do you have any regrets?
18. In no more than five words, write your own epitaph. (Optional!)
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