BIOGRAPHY

Ilga Leimanis

Since 2004, Ilga resides in London, UK where she has developed a career as an artist, art education practitioner and consultant, writer and researcher.

Ilga’s art practice explores contemporary issues of identity through collaboration and interdisciplinarity. She is a member of Five Years, a long-standing artist-run gallery in London, and contributes to its programming. In addition to her solo practice, Ilga has been working collaboratively for the last 10 years as one half of the duo Ortelius Drew, together with Amsterdam-based artist Doreen Wittenbols. Ortelius Drew draw on location in urban environments, are commissioned for site-specific drawing installations and launched an annual European Tour in 2015. Another ongoing collaboration, Architecture of Conversation together with architect Bidisha Sinha, is currently working on a textile design collection. 

As an educator, Ilga has been invited to consult and deliver drawing and creativity workshops for a broad range of students and professionals, including architects, urban planners, public sector practitioners, engineers, design students, portfolio preparation students, school children, teachers and pedagogy students. This work has brought her to Shanghai, Beijing, the Art Academy of Latvia, the University of Latvia, as well as for the University of the Arts London, and various companies and organizations, including Foster + Partners among others. She has been teaching short courses in drawing, creativity and portfolio preparation at Central Saint Martins since 2007.

Ilga is engaged in the question of the visual in teaching, through drawing. She has combined the teaching of basic drawing skills, visual literacy, with a process-led form of iterative drawing used as a tool for generating ideas and developing creativity. This process is as beneficial for visual disciplines, as well as for business, marketing or events planners, for visualizing concepts or time-based processes. Together with colleague Chris Koning, at the University of the Arts London, she researched the question of access to drawing skills, and their impact on developing confidence, communication and creativity. 

In 2007, Ilga founded Drawn in London, a monthly, free, urban location drawing group in London. She is author of three chapters in Creative Sketching Workshop, published by Apple Press (UK), North Light Books (North America) and Tan Yang International (Asia) and is currently writing a new book on Freehand Perspective Drawing for The Crowood Press.

Website: www.ilgaleimanis.com 

@ilgaleimanis Instagram and Twitter

ABSTRACT

"Visualising through Drawing"

As an artist, an experienced art education practitioner and researcher, I have been engaged in the question of the visual in teaching, in drawing, for many years. I have combined the teaching of basic drawing skills, visual literacy, with a process-led form of iterative drawing used as a tool for generating ideas and developing creativity. How to use drawing to access and visualise what you see in your mind, as well as how to use drawing to conceptualise, and “see” ideas, to find new directions, make possible connections, etc. These drawings would be quick 'thinking' drawings, demonstrating creative process and design development, and why it is so important to have the confidence and skill of drawing to succeed on a course or within a brief. Together with my colleague, Chris Koning, I have researched the question of access to drawing skills, and their impact on developing confidence, communication and creativity.

This proposal invites conference delegates to participate in a drawing/visualising/communicating workshop. Producing our own images, primarily to communicate to ourselves, as well as to others, then once they are visible on the paper, expanding upon those images in a potentially endless process of exploration.

I have facilitated drawing/creativity workshops in the past for diverse groups including urban planners, librarians, public sector practitioners, architects, landscape architects, film production designers and primary school children and teachers. This process is as beneficial for visual disciplines, for example, set designers, ceramicists, etc., as well as for business, marketing or events planners, for visualising concepts or time-based processes.