Big Picture Thinking
for Artists

ONLINE course performed live at National Art School


Figuring out what to create is fundamental to creative success in the arts and creative industries. 

In this short course Big Picture Thinking for Artists 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 required to do this course, your lecturer will work with you to expand on what is possible.
Big Picture Thinking for Artists is a live, lecturer-led, six-week online course where you are invited to explore and build-out your own ideas via your chosen medium across any visual art practice including painting or sculpture, digital art, creative writing, or even app development.

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.  The diverse concepts the group contributes as a whole further develops creative outcomes.

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.


Frequently asked questions


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.


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.

What our students think about the outcomes of the course.

Great course with fabulous energy. I will definitely be taking everything I've learnt with me. Thank you Kelly-Ann
A key takeaway from the course for each participant was the development of a well thought out mind map for each individual’s chosen project and clear a directive on how to implement the plan and achieve a creative outcome.
Thank you Kelly-Ann, one of the most imaginative and exciting courses I have taken. Highly recommend your unique education style and content.
Utilising this framework and the visual mapping tools provided I have been able to develop meaningful goals/ objective ("the end game") and achieve those objectives using creative visualisation/ mapping tools that allow me to "deep dive" into the objective and have an outcome that exceeds my original goal.