Design & Style, Arts & Entertainment

Meet Your Instructor

Es Devlin

Lesson time 05:55 min

Es welcomes students, explains the intent of her class, and gives an overview of the lessons students will learn.

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Topics include: Meet Your Instructor: Es Devlin


[PEOPLE TALKING] [MUSIC PLAYING] ES DEVLIN: I used to spend quite a lot of time in the dark when I was a kid, on my own. And I guess one place where you could go and have some kind of control over the environment was a small, magical dark cupboard under the stairs. It was a place where using a light, using a torch, using a small projector, you could create a world of your own. And I think that what I was perhaps really interested in was how do you give physical form to something that's abstract? How do you give physical, concrete form to something as abstract and nebulous as music, or to an idea, or to a thought, or to a piece of imagination? And really, I think that's maybe what's carried forth in my practice is that act of taking something that's abstract, that's nebulous, that doesn't have feet of clay. How do you draw it into something that can exist in concrete form? We, as designers, solve the problems that are thrown before us every day. We put so much of our energy into solving the Rubik's cube of the puzzle that's thrown before us in any given moment. I think so many artists, designers, makers, once you start to peel away the surface, you realize that they're making in order to conquer a sense of loss, or a sense of something that's been taken away. And certainly in my experience, I made a decision to throw myself into my work because of a loss that happened in my life. And that can carry you a very long way. My practice began in small scale theaters above pubs in London, 70 people. Then from there, gradually to larger theaters. And then from there, to larger scale opera houses. And then into the world of pop music. I think it's important to define what it means to be a performance designer, and what it means to be a designer, in general. The label itself is sort of straining at the seams. And the hierarchies that we place in any given environment are tricky. So recently, I tried on a garment that I like the look of called, I'm an artist. And I kind of liked it. I like wearing it. And it actually felt more descriptive of what it is that I do every day in my practice. I think more and more what you will find as you enter out into the world is that we are entering definitions that are somewhat more borderless and less boxed in. And you should be part of that. You should define yourselves as a multi-hyphenate, whatever-you-want-phenate. Honestly, make it up. Call yourself artist, designer, director, choreographer-- hyphenate away. Because these narrow niche boundaries are not helping, in general. And they're certainly not going to help you. If you are already an artist or a designer, whether you're a video designer, whether you're a furniture designer, whether you're a clothes design, whatever it is, ask yourself, do you ever find yourself bored with your own train of thought? Do you ever find yourself circling but not perhaps gaining escape veloc...

About the Instructor

For more than 20 years, Es Devlin has sculpted immersive experiences for opera, drama, and performers like Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, The Weeknd, and U2. Now the artist and designer shares her process so you can cultivate creativity in any form. From sketching to collaborating to creating powerful visual stories, learn how to turn the abstract—your ideas and imagination—into art you can see, feel, and share.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Es Devlin

Designer and artist Es Devlin teaches you her approach to creating powerful visual stories and cultivating creativity in any form.

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