Design & Style, Arts & Entertainment

Research, Then Sketch

Es Devlin

Lesson time 13:40 min

Es sheds light on one of the most important elements of creating art: the audience and the power of the audience’s physiological responses as a collective body. Es walks you through the audience’s experience at the Adele World Tour.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Research Then Sketch • A Pencil And Paper • “Forest Of Us” • Your Sketch Is Your Intent


[MUSIC PLAYING] - Everything really does start with a pencil and paper. One of the most important things you will have to learn is how do you go from the idea and the sketch into actually bringing that thing to life as it occurs in your imagination. Pretty much every project begins with entering a world that you will then transform into a new world and communicate to people. And to enter a world, often the easiest way is through research, and that can take many forms. It can be googling away on the computer, or it can be through books. And usually the first thing is to find in the books, in the research, some patterns. Find something that speaks to something else that maybe lots of people have looked at this thing. Lots of people have looked at that thing. But maybe you might be the first person to make a connection between them. So maybe a lot of people are interested in origami architecture, in the art of paper folding, right? This kind of thing fascinates me personally, the fact that this was in two dimensions. And, look, now it's in three. It was black and white. And now it's color. These things are simple but, for me, endlessly fascinating. How many variations, permutations, and combinations in this really simple gesture? And then every child loves a pop-up book. Why? Because it's the most simple thing in the world, 2D to 3D, but a world in three dimensions popping out the pages of a book. But to make a connection between that and, for example, one of my favorite books, James Gleick, "Chaos," from 1987. An extraordinary book that just reminds us that so many processes in life are governed by one simple or not so simple mathematical equation. Your life will be an endless and, I hope, fruitful and happy journey of endlessly not knowing enough. Maybe just forget about the "re" and just say "search," because really what you're doing is you're searching. You're searching for a way in for you. Everything really does start with a pencil and a paper. When I went to study stage design, I had a wonderful teacher. I had many wonderful teachers. One was called Kandis Cook And she said, never think without a pencil. Always have a pencil in your hand while you think, and then you'll leave these traces behind. And you'll be able to pick up the traces after. Because often in the flight of thought and the flight of ideation, you can get lost, and you forget where you came from, and so you need to leave traces. Tracing paper, people who say they can't draw, I defy you to tell me you can't trace. Just trace, there is no shame in tracing paper. Stick a piece of paper over what you'd like to copy. And then what you'll find is as you start drawing, whatever information is coming through that little veil of the tracing paper into your pencil, into your hand, will start to have an influence on the way that you think and the way that you ideate because it's a physical process. And it just releases you a little bit fro...

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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