Early Fee

Big Picture Thinking for Artists


ONLINE: 29 April – 17 June 2023, Saturdays 10am-2.30pm AEST. Early fee ends 27 March 2023
Kelly-Ann Denton

Figuring out what to create is fundamental to creative success in the arts and creative industries. In this short course we learn key principles in developing and building concepts. Methods include visual thinking, drawing out ideas, visual learning maps and more.

Full details below: course outline, course delivery, lecturer profile, home-studio requirements and art materials

11 Available

Full Details

Term: Term Two 2023 Online
Start Date: 29 April 2023
End Date: 17 June 2023
Day: Saturday
Time: 10:00am – 2:30pm AEST
Number of classes: 6

Lecturer: Kelly-Ann Denton
Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
New Student Fee: $490.00 AUD
Early Fee: $440.00 AUD
Previous Student Fee: $465.00 AUD
Location: Online via Zoom

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

Course Outline

Figuring out what to create is fundamental to creative success in the arts and creative industries. In this short course we learn key principles in developing and building concepts. Methods include visual thinking, drawing out ideas, visual learning maps and more.

When we draw our ideas and think in pictures, symbols and metaphors, we generate ideas that are non-sequential, place-based and connected in multiple ways. This is critical for the imagination. Big Picture Thinking as strategy is working out what to do, and what not to do. In this course, you’ll learn visual strategies for lateral thinking. No particular skills set is required to do this course, your lecturer will work with you to expand on what is possible.|

Kelly-Ann Denton leads you through the neuroscience of imagination, the visual mind, visual mapping, metaphor, visualisations, meditation, psychology, curiosity and actually learning to see new connections, preparing you for a personal and transformative journey into your own imagination. Each week she presents new skills that either generate imaginative processes or remove blocks, extending an invitation to explore and expand in unique and personal ways. Students are encouraged to share ideas and support individual growth and the diverse concepts the group will contribute to a whole.

The course is suitable for those with an existing artistic practice as well as those just starting out in their artistic life. It is open to all who are looking for an adventure of the creative mind and anyone who wants to enhance their ability to picture concepts or just use the imagination in new ways to transform ideas, whatever the medium.

Week by week overview of the course

  1. The Visual Mind
    The Imagination
    The Observer & The Observed
  2. Blind Thinking
    The Subconscious
    The Law of Noticing
  3. Visual Capabilities
    The Alpha State
    The Mirror
  4. The Creative/Ideation Process
    Metaphors (Imagination exercises)
    Presentation of Concepts
  5. Fleshing Out Ideas
    The Art of the Critique
    Flow & Eureka
  6. Presentation of Final Concepts
    The Possibility Principle

Course delivery

Kelly-Ann’s online studio course is taught with Zoom and takes advantage of the full range of tools that this program offers. She is present in the online studio for the whole session and she responds directly to student questions in live critiques and discussions. We are also using Padlet in this course, Padlet is a web application that allows users to post information and images on a digital wall.

If you are unfamiliar with the Zoom program, some tutorial assistance is available prior to the commencement of the first session to ensure you can join in with ease and get to know the online learning environment. You will be guided in Padlet usage by your Lecturer and you can get additional tutorial help from NAS.

Class sizes are limited to a maximum of twelve students and the sessions are not recorded.

*Short courses are open to students of ages 16 years and over. For students under 16 years of age there are School Holiday Workshops, Art Club and other youth art programs.


A computer, laptop or iPad with good quality wifi connection.
The computer screen positioned in a stable place in front of you, at a distance that allows you to see screen images clearly, and to be heard through the inbuilt or external speakers and microphone.
A quiet, private space without interruptions is also important.


A large, flat table with enough room for laying out up to an A3 size paper and any materials you wish to create with e.g. pencils, pens, paint, markers, digital tablet etc.
A Visual Diary to draw out your ideas, this can be digital or physical. The lecturer will show you diary options in the first class, so it is not necessary for the first week.

Lecturer Profile

Kelly-Ann Denton practices as a visual artist and teaches visual thinking to enable people to connect with and foster their visual language skills. She commenced a visual art and visual culture practice in 1993. She has designed visual education and imagination programs over two decades and written curricula for universities, government and schools. She has lectured extensively on both the historical and contemporary practices of visual art, whilst training students in the technical components of digital picture making. She worked as a professional digital artist from 1999 – 2015. Her personal work has received finalist standing in the most significant contemporary art prizes in Australia. Her expertise is founded on a comprehensive understanding of how we see, how we imagine and how we remember in order to make sense of our environments and create realities by visually externalising them. Kelly-Ann holds a Masters Degree in Visual Art from Sydney College of the Arts, The University of Sydney and is the Chief Visual Officer of imagineer.me

*Ref: 1889, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain, Quote Page 421 and 422, Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York.

Fine Art Supplies

Parkers Fine Art Supplies have a location of the NAS campus and offer a discount for NAS short courses students. To discuss and order art materials please contact Parkers on +61 2 9247 9979 or email [email protected]
Website https://www.parkersartsupplies.com/

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