Thinking Art-Of-The-Box

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Crestar Hougang shows you how art can be a tool of advancement for your child’s career in the future by teaching them to think out of the box.

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Most parents send their children to art lessons to nurture their creative potential; some are hopeful that their children may be the next Ong Kim Seng or Liu Kang, while others just want to develop the connections in their child’s right brain.

Parents are spoilt for choices when it comes to art schools. However, our star find is Crestar Hougang. During the year-end school holidays, Crestar Hougang offers a palate of interesting art programs such as Kinder Art, Junior Picasso, Birds Paradise and Make Your Own Christmas Ornament classes. What got us really excited is their new Visual Communication Design Course!!

This is a brand new art program to introduce design concepts to their art students. Children who attend these courses will learn about designing and how to make their presentations more visually appealing for their audiences. In addition, they will be trained to think out of the box to produce distinctive visuals.

Design As A New Form of Art


The Visual Communication Design course was conceptualized by the art teachers at Crestar Hougang to resolve the parents’ misconception about art. Parents, who are practical about the time limitation and realistic about an artist’s economic earnings, after a period of time, wonder about the return of investment in their children’s art classes. Are the time and monetary investments worth it? How will art help my child advance his/her career path?

Mr. Lawrence Koh, one of the art teachers at Crestar Hougang said that “art class is not just about painting and sculpture. We are also introducing visual design as a new form of art.”

Visuals are not just about drawing. When used in the right way, its creativity can transcend all areas of the industries – finance, science, advertising, and sales. Learning design will help the students to shine in their future projects, said Mr Koh enthusiastically.

He cited one of his friends, a banker, who used his training in visual design to compile his presentations and proposals in a way that appealed to his clients and was very successful in clinching several deals as a result.

A Headstart In Design

But, isn’t designing a tough concept to teach the young children? Mr. Koh explains ardently that the teachers at Crestar Hougang were successful in simplifying the terms of designing so that the children could understand its techniques easily and in a stress-free manner.

For example, his students are taught the principles of design like repetition to make a design in one lesson, and contrast (application of light vs dark colours or patterns to complement each other) in another. Mr. Koh also teaches his students the designing principle of “cropping” inspired by Picasso’s Cubism.

Mr. Koh emphasized that the art teachers will impart knowledge of basic techniques to all their children and work with each child according to their levels of progression. Madam Soh, another art teacher who has been with Crestar for a decade, developed a simplified stroke-by-stroke drawing method to break down every subject to basic lines, to teach her younger and newer students the techniques of drawing.

Although suggestions are offered by the teachers, the students are also given enough freedom in exploring the subject with their own imagination and creativity.

The Science of Design

Designing also has a science aspect, said Mr. Koh, using the Gestalt Theory as an example. The Gestalt theory holds that the whole is more important than the sum of its parts. It explains how the human mind and psychology pieces information that is not related to each other, to form a bigger picture. It also challenges the visual perception to see beyond the obvious.

For example, a square and a circle in itself are simply a square and a circle. However, when you place them into patterns, you create a new dynamic that permits different permutations.

Mr. Koh says that the Visual Communication Design course encourages students to utilize both their left and right brains to collectively produce distinctive visuals they can call their own.

Another senior teacher who has been with the school for over 10 years, Mr. Lin, combines fine arts and designing to teach the older students (in secondary level) about interior design. Some students in Crestar Hougang see their art classes as an “escape” from the stressful schooling lifestyle, while others have expressed interests in venturing into higher arts education in the future.

Visual Communication Design is available exclusively at Crestar Hougang at the moment. It is a twice-a-week course, open to 2 age groups, 5 to 6 years old and 7 to 10 years old, on Wednesday and Friday. The course is held over 10 sessions at $139.10 and $148.90 respectively.

Crestar Hougang is offering a 2 days free trial lessons conducted by Mr. Koh at the following times:
• 3 & 10 Dec (Friday), 7:30 – 9pm
• 4 & 11 Dec (Saturday), 4:30 – 6pm

Limited seats are available, so sign up soon! For more information on the courses, please call the Hougang branch at 6287-6385 or check out the website, www.crestar.com.sg

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