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Awakening the caveman DNA of creativity in each one of us - through the power of art!

Drawing is seen as some ways as the quintessential act of creativity. For many kids art classes are also perhaps where most of us get our first ‘creative scars’. But as the 30,000 year old cave paintings of of our ancestors show, art is in our DNA.

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Drawing is seen as some ways as the quintessential act of creativity. Formany kids art classes are also perhaps where most of us get our first ‘creativescars’ – and we’ve discovered through our work with adults that most of thesescars endure for decades.

But as the 30,000+year old cave paintings of our ancestors attest, drawing/painting is in our DNA. It’s an essentially human act. We all knew how to draw before we could speak, write or use numbers.

EGAKU Workshop is an art incubation program created by the artist, Kuni Yazawa. The program was inspired by his own personal experience with art and his sense of the limitations of traditional art education in Japan.

Yazawa’s first positive encounter with art came about by accident – it was when he was in middle school and dispirited by his consistently poor grades in art, almost as an actof rebellion he decided to change his approach to art class. Rather than following the crowd, he decided to experiment, challenge the perceived wisdom of using brushes to paint and instead used his fingers to dab paint onto the paper – and to his surprise he was given an A! That was an eye opening experience – it made him realize that there’s no answer in art. It’s perhaps the only subject at school where there’s no answer: it’s all about creating your own answer! 

The program hasbeen designed by an artist for artists of all ages and backgrounds. It’s a compact 3 hour program which allows everyone and any one to rediscover the creative potential curled up inside each one of us. There have been over 7,000 program participants – from primary school students to high-powered CEOs – and to date and not once has a participant failed to draw/paint! 

In this challenge, we want to create ideas with young people, not for them. Outline how you’re planning to involve young people or other end-users (parents, teachers, etc) in designing, iterating or testing your idea during the Ideas phase.

• This is essentially an approach that seeks to create a framework that effectively ‘unblocks’ the creative energies of young people. • Hold workshops where both adults and children participate as equals – mixed workshops. We have actually held workshops where adults (parents, teachers) participate with children – not as teachers but as participants, undergoing the same experience of creative discovery. We’ve found that this enables the adults communicate better with children and understand how to empathize and nurture the embers of creativity in their children. • Those who’ve participated in the program in the past a few times, and are familiar with the EGAKU program can learn some aspects of facilitation and becoming ‘enablers’.

How might you envision your idea spreading across geographies or cultures so that it inspires young people around the world to cultivate their creative confidence?

• Working with other artists around the world who share our passion regarding the possibiltites of art to enrich our lives, and to unblock the creativity curled up in each one of us. • Partnering with other organizations and artists around the world who could see a way in which we can design an EGAKU program that could be integrated into their current activities/work.

What skills, input or guidance would you like to receive from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea further?

• Other organizations working in a similar field • Looking for potential partner organizations around the world who would be interested in testing out our EGAKU methodology, incorporating it into their projects • Partnerships with artists, creators from different fields – music, dance etc.


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