Personal Development Plan (Critique)

Personal Development Plan

This year has been an interesting year in constellation because it was so different from last year.

The study group that I got assigned this year was the Sustainable Lifetimes group. I was glad about this because I had done the Sustainable Practices group last year so I already had an interest and knowledge in it. I did sort of miss having a second study group and keynote lectures to go into though because I enjoyed the variety of last year. I also did not really feel like there was much variety in terms of the study groups we could choose from, they all seemed very object heavy.

I learned a lot about how we can control the way people treat objects and how long they hold onto them by considering certain design choices. Overall I enjoyed the study group and I think it was easy to see the relevance it would have on my practice. The only thing I did not really enjoy was the group work because it felt like not everyone wanted to be there.

In terms of what I would take to my practice, it was a little unclear. Obviously to be more sustainable but I have had trouble defining what it is I actually do and so it was hard to find a way to be sustainable when my interests are as changeable as the weather. If I am going to be honest I found that doing this module had a lot more impact on my personal life than anything.

The essay I wrote for this part of constellation was about the fashion industry. It was essentially a history of unsustainable fashion and the people who are looking to change it. My initial idea was to do something on the idea that we should stop indulging in fast fashion and pay more money for less clothes that last longer. It was going to be an argument for idea that less is more and we should pay for quality. It was also based around a question of whether or not people would take more care over their clothes if it cost more. For example I have a very cheap scarf from Primark that I just sling over my chair or shove in my closet when I am done with it. However I also have a Valentino scarf and I keep it in a dust bag in a box and am a little more selective of when I wear it because it cost so much money.

I have been interested in the sustainability of the fashion industry since my primary ‘television’ viewing shifted to YouTube and I discovered that people film themselves talking about things they bought when they went to a certain shop or bought online. Often these items are clothes. Whilst I do find this kind of content a little self-indulgent, I find it interesting to watch because it makes me wonder if this level of consumption is normal for anyone and does this kind of content make people want to buy more things? I wondered if it made people gain a skewed philosophy about the ownership of objects and what that means.  Through my research I discovered that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries on our planet and it is a fascinating area of reading.


In terms of the feedback for my essay the main takeaway was that I sometimes go on a tangent and I would agree. I am a rather tangential person, I do it even when I am talking most of the time. I think to rectify this I will need to just be very careful and purposeful when I am writing and also to remember what it is I am trying to say.

I am also aware that sometimes I have strange turns of phrases that make sense to me and not so much to others and, again, I need to read my work and be mindful of that.

When it came to the dissertation proposal I was a little nervous. I have chosen a topic I like but I am very fickle with longer term projects. This is to say that I often struggle to retain interest in things. Even in my subject area I tend to do for weeks or so of a project before losing interest and starting something new. I do not know why I am like that. I have chosen to write about video games and anime however because they are my world or at least a large part of it. I have been an avid gamer since I was eight years old and have been watching anime since I was 12. Whilst I am no academic expert in the subject, I would like to think that I am, nonetheless, quite knowledgeable. I am at the very least very passionate about it.

Actually writing the proposal was a bit of a rollercoaster. Some of the sections came quite easily to me and others did not. The literature review was one of the sections that I struggled with because I was not sure on how to write one, I was not entirely sure what it was. I did go to a writing workshop though and learned how to write one there. It was very helpful and I am really glad that I went. Despite this though I still struggled to write the proposal because I had not read that much on the topic. I feel as though I might have read too much into the wrong kind of thing, I am not entirely sure. The other thing is that I was struggling to read fast enough and I felt that the reading was taking too long to actually get the literature review done and so I am perfectly aware that it is not the strongest part of my proposal and I am somewhat dreading having to do another one.

There were a lot of sources that I had planned to read that I will need to look into at a different time so that I can utilise them.

Overall I think constellation has been a mixture of good and bad although I am just looking forward to getting the dissertation done.


Make Your Mark 3

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 is a science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury. It is widely considered to be his greatest work.

The thing that I most love about Fahrenheit 451 is the premise. The story is set in this future where books are considered dangerous and therefore reading them is illegal. In order to stop people from getting hold of books, government employees called Firemen come to burn the books. fahrenheit 451 is the temperature at which paper burns.

Books in this world are considered dangerous and filled with nonsense and the government goes to great lengths to hide information in order to control the public. When the main character asks ‘is it true that firemen used to put out fires?’ he gets told that this is a lie even though it is true. Bradbury’s story is an interesting blend of dystopia and utopia.



Make Your Mark 2

A New Idea

I have decided to change what I’m doing for my project. I’m deciding to do this because I just feel like I struggle a lot on these longer projects. I tend to lose interest and feel like I’m drowning, I’m not sure how to explain it.

I realised when doing this project that I was getting upset by the project so instead of working on it I would just work on personal stuff that I like doing and I understand how to do. It’s a strange thing but it feels like I don’t know how to do long projects without getting overwhelmed. I feel like I also should have gotten a smaller sketchbook.

I decided that I would rather do something to do with costumes because I feel like I understand where to start with them better, they just make more sense to me.

I recently listened to an audiobook of Fahrenheit 451 and I thought that it’d be really cool to do a costume for the Firemen. I decided this because I found that I tended to skip out on doing coursework to work on my costume projects and so I thought it might be more engaging to make a costume.

Make Your Mark 1

Theory Research 1

Since my project is based on the idea of Utopia, I wanted to research different political stances and theories about Utopia as well as ones found in science fiction films.

The first theory about Utopia that I wanted to look at is Marxism.


To get started on learning about it I watched this video about Marxism from The School of Life, an organisation that teaches emotional intelligence using philosophy but they do also do videos on individual philosophical theories.

I found it fascinating and when I was looking at the kind of answers I was getting when I asked people what their Utopias, I noticed that a lot of people wanted economic and social equality. This interested me because those ideals are actually in alignment with Marxism, however I think we become suspicious of it because its failure to produce a viable alternative to the capitalist society we have now.

Whilst I personally like the idea of there being a system where people are equal and work becomes more rewarding, I do feel rather wary of some of the proposed changes that might be made to capitalist society. For example this idea that people would contribute to society based on their ability. That scares me a bit because do people get forced to contribute if they are deemed able to? What happens to those who can’t contribute, do they end up getting looked down on?

The other main thing that is questionable about Marxism is that the attempts to carry it out have ended up in disaster. Communist regimes are some of the cruelest and most repressive that we have in the world. Take, for example, North Korea a totalitarian dictatorship and commit some of the worst human rights atrocities on the planet.


I thought it would be good to read about Marxism because it is the recognised modern Utopia in some ways.

Pewter Live 3

I decided that for my actual submission for pewter live, I would make a koi carp with Aztec influences. They’re very zen creatures and I have always used them in my work. I find their presence extremely calming and in that sense I feel a connection to them.

I think it’s given me an idea for my third year project but I don’t know if it’ll be any good. I was thinking I could make pieces to connect people to animals on a spiritual level. To help people relate to something. I’m not sure yet, to be honest it’s hard to feel any enthusiasm for anything right now.

I started with a lump of wax. 
I shaped a basic body shape. It took a long time to settle with something. This was very much a wrought over piece. 
I made the fins and tail fin. 
I carved the patterns onto it and then I attached the parts on and I had a fish. 


Acrylic and Pewter

This is one medal out of three. It’s the mostly acrylic and a littler pewter one. I don’t entirely know I feel about it. It didn’t really work like I would have liked it to because I could get the hinges on it. It’s also kind of fragile because the pewter bits are only glued  onto the acrylic. I don’t hate it though. I’m also thinking that I could bring a stronger light with me and then get more of the effect that I was looking for.