One of the biggest successes of the iPad Art Room has been seeing the fear of making mistakes reduced for our students. Art is inherently individual and personal, judgement abounds. The iPad is ‘a confidence building machine’ as students have the freedom to manipulate the elements of art with decisions rendered impermanent and infinitely changeable. The anxiety of making a mark on a fresh, white piece of paper fades away as anything can be replaced, altered or manipulated on the iPad using the extraordinary range of apps available of the App Store. Students find the ability to be experimental is easier when they can instantly revert to previous work and this is obviously conducive to the creation of original art.
Sadly, so many students say, ‘I am not good at Art’. This self-assessment is often made in relation to producing work that is judged in terms of accuracy of representation and dexterity of technique. The iPad allows students to trial and perfect techniques virtually. This is an exciting premise, as apps produce simulated versions of etching, lino printing, silkcreening, etc, increasing their understanding of these often messy and multi-stepped processes, becoming proficient before they use expensive or difficult materials, etc. Their improved confidence is almost always also related to further enjoyment of the subject. Using digital images created with respect to these traditional methods has also broadened their knowledge and understanding while bringing ‘old’ techniques and technologies into the future.
Students are often more confident and willing to try new things using technology. Often the iPad is a more familiar to them than charcoal or paint and is a great tool for engagement in these instances. Poor technique can often be minimised by making the most of a proficiency in other areas, or substituting tools and mediums on the iPad. Many students who are intimidated by abstract painting create incredible non-representational works on their iPad that demonstrate many of the same skills, based on digital manipulation. It is so exciting to assist learners to navigate through these kinds of ‘roadblocks’ during the art making process to allow them access to success in other parts of the task.
Enjoyed this post? Read more about the ‘Best Bits‘ in the iPad art room here.