Abstract Affect often arises unexpectedly within the process of making art (along with other creative activities). In this article I argue for affect as a necessary and constructive dynamic within educational processes specifically for art
and design. After a consideration of its recent neglect within art education, I revisit the notion of affect with reference to a number of thinkers who provide different perspectives, but particularly through the lens of the US psychologist Silvan Tomkins. Through him and others I seek to
understand how affect can be recognised and cultivated in pedagogic situations. I do so by reflecting on the making and teaching experiences of students following an MA in Art and Design in Education and a practice‐based PhD, as witnessed by me (supervisor/co‐tutor), as recounted
by students and as discussed in post‐event conversation/semi‐structured interviews.