Teal Triggs, Associate Dean at the Royal College of Art, has teamed up with illustrator Daniel Frost to create a charming new children’s book which offers an illustrated introduction to art and design.
The School of Art is published by Wide Eyed Editions and includes 40 lessons introducing readers to basic principles in art and design, accompanied by practical activities and colourful illustrations.
Concepts are explained by five professors: a professor of ideas; one of form; one of senses; another of making and a professor of the planet, and the book begins with an explanation of why art and design is important and how it can improve our lives.
It then presents a series of basic lessons in drawing lines, curves, surfaces and 3D objects, before moving on to colour, patterns, shading and texture. Each ‘lesson’ begins with an explanation of the concept being introduced, before setting a practical task.
Readers are also introduced to key principles from grids to composition, perspectives, proportion, balance and hierarchy. These are explained in simple terms using anecdotes and dialogue between the professors, making each lesson accurate yet easy to comprehend.
Other sections include a look at how design thinking can be applied to different mediums, including maps, posters and infographics, and a lesson on the importance of experimenting with new ideas and materials. The book ends with a note on aesthetics, explaining that while our response to art and design is subjective and often shaped by our backgrounds and training, we can make more informed judgments with a basic knowledge of form and composition.
Triggs was asked to write the book by Wide Eyed Editions editor Jenny Broom and says making it was a collaborative process. “I came up with the five professors and their studios, Daniel helped to realise these characters through his evocative drawings, and Jenny helped to contribute to the overall shape of the project,” she explains.
“I was hesitant when Jenny first approached me to be involved when my own work is primarily as an academic writer, with my teaching firmly positioned in higher education,