Friday, 14 September 2012

End of year review (I realise the text is rather small, but please do 'zoom in')

I began my first year brimming with confidence and overflowing with ideas. My art had always been a very personal thing, something that I have always been more than happy to share with a wider audience, but something that I have always used as a personal coping mechanism, I have always expressed myself and my emotions through various art forms, So to take something I’d always used on a personal level and showcase myself to my peers was a very different yet exciting prospect for me.

My confidence grew even further when I first exposed my work to my peers. Initially I was slightly worried that I hadn’t done enough work. Not coming from a ‘traditional’ art background, I wasn’t all too sure just how much work was expected of me, but knew that I had many ideas and wanted the opportunity to take those farther and develop my skills. My personality was immediately evident to everyone in the room when my work was shown, which for me is, in a strange way some kind of achievement as I believe art is a powerful tool which can be used to ‘sing someone’s life’ in a moment or a glance, this is something I have always found a beautiful prospect and to actually see that my own work contained this quality , was a very proud moment for me.

I was pleasantly surprised with the freedom involved on the course. Although structured I found it very helpful that you could basically have the freedom to be yourself and express your art in any way shape or form you so wished, all the while knowing that if you needed guidance , it would be there.

I am extremely proud of the first module I completed (Visual investigation,, The legend of the black fox) I had always drawn on a very small scale at home, mainly due to the fact that I simply do not have the room in my already crowded house. But I felt that I should challenge myself , and instead of just developing the content on a small scale I decided I would make a wonderfully elaborate character, based upon the legend of the black fox, My aim was to have something illustrative, a character you may find in a book, and to then bring her half to life, not fully, just a little as though once you read of her tale she began to become more real and reach into your world, very much the way I like to experience books, I find it much more magical and interesting when you make the characters come to life. I suppose as well as visually I wanted to express that love I have for books and how the author is in fact an artist who has the ability to draw many different images in many different minds through the ‘art of words.’

Visually I was very pleased with this piece, to me it represents magic the wonder of imagination, and also clearly documents my mark making skills and how they have improved.

Another skill I found I had was etching. I’d never had the opportunity to do etching before, but have always been deeply influenced by artists who have mastered this skill, and am hoping to possibly use more of this in my future work.

One of the main events within my first year was my essay and presentation. I have always been fascinated with Victorian mourning etiquette and relished the opportunity to possibly pass on my knowledge in both an informative and visual way. I don’t know if everyone enjoyed my performance, and quite selfishly I didn’t really care if they didn’t. For me it was a way to express a subject that I personally have a great interest in, it was a way in which I could perform and create a visual spectacle at the same time as delivering an informative talk. I’m very proud of this moment as I feel it was a different way of doing things , and I feel that keeping things interesting and fun is a very important part of not just art and design , but life in general. I am always interested in a different approach, and I realised that a lot of people might perceive Victorian mourning as a subject quite grim, so by presenting it in such a way I feel I succeeded in getting everyone involved and more interested in my subject rather than just standing up and drilling it into people, (I think this was a success amongst most of my peers , but I know not all) Never the less I thoroughly enjoyed it and am proud of my courage/ or perhaps sheer stupidity to stand in front of what were quite frankly a room full of strangers. I feel it is a good attitude I have and still am developing as I feel the whole world is a giant room full of strangers and every one of them have the opportunity to be your audience. I think this skill development has put me in good stead for the future.

One of the projects I really enjoyed and feel taught me it was ok to have direct influences and make them your own was the piracy project. After discovering Analle Carlstrom’s work I immediately knew I was going to enjoy making her work fit into a niche of my own, and I feel although you can tell that the artist I was given is in there, I also feel that I have developed enough of my own style and persona within my work to know that there is an awful lot of myself in there too.

One of the main skill developments I am extremely proud of is my use of narrative within my work, At first my narrative was just that, written in words, but as my line quality and scene setting skills developed I feel that my work tells a visual story all by itself, even though I still love words and writing things to fit along side my work , I feel the images have come that far that I could , if I so wished, leave the text and it would still tell it’s story.

To further develop this story telling ability , I decided to collaborate on a stop motion animation, something I am also very proud of. It was the first attempt I’d ever made at stop motion animation, although I’ve always been a fan of stop motion animation work I just never thought I would be able to do it, so again I challenged this notion and just dove in at the deep end, and I must say , I feel the animation looks very magical, I don’t believe it looks like someone’s first attempt, having said this I know that as I continue to develop this skill it will become more precise, professional and ’perfect’ in my eyes.

My collaboration was a very interesting experience all round for me. As I said before all my work has always been very personal and always executed my me and me alone. Although I still do like to work alone the collaboration gave me the opportunity to work along side like minded people, and grasp the opportunity to ‘borrow’ and learn other people’s skill sets, for example , I learnt a lot about photo shop from Olivia on the magazine collaboration. I do have a lot more to learn but know that this task made it a lot easier for me, as if I hadn’t worked with Olivia I probably wouldn’t have bothered to learn about the wonders photo shop can indeed offer.

Another way of thinking I have gained from the collaboration reverts back to my animation, I realise that representing stories in a visual way is certainly something I am interested in and something I want to develop further going into my second year. I’ve always been a big reader and as an only child, characters from my books were a very important part of my life, and still are to this very day. In a way I want to play out the art of both my self and others poetry in a visual way , representing what it is that I see and feel when I read and write myself.

Overall I feel through the years highs and personal lows I have proven to myself and perhaps others that sometimes I may be melancholy, sometimes I may be loud , theatrical and even ‘fun’ but no matter what happens to me I will always create and have the ability to develop and create beautiful work through the midst of whatever is thrown at me, and I feel because of this and the developing skills I have and am still developing I know that I’ll be ok and I think with this attitude in mind , hopefully I’ll do well. But I do know this, I am very proud of everything I have done within my work and don’t regret a single thing

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