A New Project
Now that I have finished my Field module this year, it’s time to get back to the ranch, my own desk. This is both a comfort to me and also bit daunting.
Whilst Field was a very mixed bag for me, I did enjoy the fast pace of it though, admittedly, it is not a sustainable pace for me. I am nervous about going from a very punchy ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ speed project to a very long one.
I know from past experience that I can struggle a lot with long projects. It is mostly to do with retaining my interest in a topic for a prolonged space of time, thus I have devised a couple of strategies that I have not previously tried before. I am, however, confident that they will help me (they better!).
My strategy for surviving the long haul project:
- I am not going to think much further than the week ahead. I have to take it week by week, one day at a time. If I start thinking about how many months I have left to do this project, it’ll stress me out or drive me crazy, I’m not sure which.
- I am going to pick a ridiculously meaty topic. That is as it says on the tin, really. I am going to pick a topic that is really dense and I am going to interrogate it from all angles.
- I am going to break things down into sections. I want to do a variety of things and so I will make different types of things to ensure I won’t get bored of doing one thing (I’m basically a five year old and have to retain my interest in this way).
I feel confident that I’m going to have more fun with this half of the year than I did last year, I think it’s partly down to not having had this brief given to me at the start of the year. I felt like last time having a brief going on for the entire year was far too much for me.
I have also been doing a bit of reflection since field and thinking about some of the things that I could have done better with and I want to use this project as a way to achieve some of my goals.
My personal goals:
- I want to be a better public speaker. I want to become better at speaking in front of groups. I used to actually be pretty good at this however, I lack consistency as to whether or not I’m going to be ok about talking. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes I’m a wreck. I find it easier when I am the first speaker, but there are many situations when I cannot control when I am set to speak. I have also found that if I am talking about my work, it doesn’t necessarily matter if I’m happy with the work or not, I may still find it difficult. I saw in the assessment criteria that I would have to give a presentation about my work and so I just want to get better at doing so.
- Writing. I want to be better at writing. This is a strange one because I actually love writing and I am quite good at it, but when I was reading my past blog posts, I was really appalled at the quality of my writing. It feels like it has deteriorated. I think that also reflects on how little I’ve read because I have a visual stress problem that has only very recently hailed a solution. I always think that when you stop reading, your writing goes to hell too. The main problem I found is that all my sentences were running into another, it was a little chaotic, really. I think it was that struggle to control and edit my stream of consciousness whilst writing but also retrospectively. I’d like to improve the quality of my writing and hone my voice, not for academic writing but for more leisurely writing. I love writing and I really find myself missing my A Level classes in the timetable. I especially love creative writing and poetry. To bring myself back on point, what I essentially want to do is to improve the quality of my blog posts, I think to do that is to respect the readers time , which is important to me.
Lastly, I’d like to set out and reflect upon more creative goals I have for this project.
When reading through the brief there was a lot of thinking about future endeavours. Making connections, gaining work experience and contextual gallery visits. This really terrifies me. It is hard to do these things when you struggle to define yourself.
I do not know if I am an artist or a designer, I do not know if I want an MA or to look for employment. If I did look at employment I wouldn’t even know where to look because I have no idea what I want to do. I know what I like doing but I don’t know what kind of job would be good for me.
All I do know is that I do not want to be self employed or a freelancer. I don’t even really know how to talk about my practice to people because I don’t know what my practice is. It comes from loving a lot of different things, for example, I love graphic design, have done for years. I also love illustration, drawing characters, making costumes, making small pewter objects and then there’s the part of me that just reveres the written word. The part of me that grieves the fact that I am no longer (formally speaking) a student of the English language. There’s the part of me that loves film and finds analysing things like film and books fascinating. I also love helping people in all kinds of ways.
It just feels like a bizarre limbo that I’m stuck in, it’s like a still phase of time and I think that’s an introspection that academia risks inducing, being trapped in one’s bubble of life because there’s no immediate major change, it’s all one huge phase of education.
I hope that doesn’t make it sound that I hate education by the way, because I don’t, I just feel overwhelmed by the constant reminders that I am completely lost but all I know is that at the moment it’s safe to be but it won’t be forever. At some point, I need a career, that is the fact of it.
My current ideas in terms of creative goals are to explore working with small metals, because I enjoyed that for BAMS and to teach myself some other skills.
My creative goals:
- I want to do even more with metals. This will most likely be small metals like copper and pewter but I wouldn’t oppose working with bronze or other metals like that. I want to explore jewellery making and see how I feel about it. I have admired various jewellers for a long time, my favourite being Thomas Sabo. I love their ethnic designs, the boldness of them whilst retaining a degree of class by not being too ‘blingy’. There are also other jewellers that I like such as Tiffany, Chan Luu, Isabel Marant, Eddie Borgo and Chloé. I also like some of the small leather items by Prada.
- I want to learn to put videos together. I want to learn to make videos and animations. I think it would be such a good skill to learn and since I love films and art direction in films it makes sense to me. Also because I want to look at making commercial ‘jewellery as escapism’ and so narratives of complex themes will help tie pieces together as well as the way that they’re displayed.
- I don’t want to be afraid of doing ‘straight up art’. This is going to sound like a strange one, but hear me out. I have, for a really long time, been terrified of producing fine art. I love looking at it and I’m not afraid of it as such. Some of my favourite creators of all time are fine artists. I just never wanted to be in that category myself. Which is kinda weird and I would get fed up of having to do activities that felt too fine art orientated. I need to not feel that way anymore. Because I know that, on an instinctive level, I am never going to fully be a fine artist. I am not going to create that kind of thing. Not out of deliberately not doing that, but simply it is not my inclination or rather nature to do so. However, I know that I can draw things and reach into more abstracted things to inform all kinds of decisions and that doesn’t suddenly make it a ‘fine art’ project. I think I’ve really come to that conclusion after going into the graphic design Field project.
- I want to learn low key publishing and book making methods to help document things that are interesting elements of my projects. This is also a weird one in some ways. I want to create a explorative and curated medium for things that are outside of my sketchbook. I want to include more creative writing and practice and reacquaint myself with really low tech methods of publishing such as print making and college. Honestly, I just watched some videos about home publishing and as someone who loves printed media such as magazines and books, I just got really excited about it.
I think that’s really it. This has been a lot of rambling and reflection but I needed to put it out there for future reference and I want to make sure that I feel fresh and ready for a new project.