Turning ideas into art with Es Devlin

In a new lesson for educational streaming platform, MasterClass, artist and designer Es Devlin offers her tips for unlocking creativity and bringing ideas to life

Es Devlin Masterclass
(Image credit: courtesy of MasterClass)

It’s an age-old complex for any creative: how to transform a groundbreaking abstract concept into a tangible piece of art. Renowned artist and designer Es Devlin might just have an answer by unlocking the door to her creative process. 

In a newly-launched lesson for educational streaming platform Masterclass, Devlin offers top tips on how to go from concept to concrete art. Devlin’s renowned large-scale sculptural installations and designs across music, theatre and visual arts have seen her create everything from installations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum to set designs for Beyoncé and The Weeknd. 

Es Devlin MasterClass lesson on art and creativity

(Image credit: courtesy of MasterClass)

‘We should be part of a world where we aren't defined or diminished by narrow labels but can instead continue to grow and learn throughout our careers,’ Devlin says. ‘In my class, I will help members turn their ideas into something they can hold in their hand and encourage those that might meet a fork in the road and don't know which path to take to take both, and then take both again.’

Over two decades, Devlin has carved a corner as one of the most influential creatives of a generation. In performative sculptures and environments that fuse music, language and light, she collaborated with some of the world's most leading international artists, including Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and U2, and traversed a range of disciplines including drama, dance and opera.


Images of Forest of Us

Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami.

(Image credit: Photography: Andrea Mora)

She was responsible for both the 2012 London Olympic Closing Ceremony and the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremony. Most recently, she took the role of artistic director of the London Design Biennale and created Forest for Change — a temporary forest in which visitors grew familiar with the UN global sustainability objectives at London's Somerset House.

The artist’s recipe for success involves two key ingredients: curiosity and research. The lesson will see her share her innovative processes for using light, sculpture and technology which tell compelling visual stories and leave audiences stunned. Focusing on case studies, Forest of Us (now on show at the new Superblue Miami) as well as her stage sculptures for The Weeknd and The Lehman Trilogy, Devlin will discuss the key to working effectively with collaborators, a core element of her practice. They will also learn to imagine the spectators as a collective mind, and how to conceive work that feels natural to create, and hard to forget.

Es Devlin MasterClass lesson on art and creativity

(Image credit: courtesy of MasterClass)


Es Devlin’s MasterClass is now available exclusively to subscribers. masterclass.com