Self-analysis and critical reflection
Initially, my personal project was going to be an exploration purely based on process spurred on late last year by Jo’s encouragement for me to find ‘me’. Over the summer I started to experiment with dyes and fabrics and saw the different outcomes I could achieve according to the different processes and techniques I applied. As much as I loved experimenting with these materials and stitch the project had no backbone and no final goal; it has been a steep learning curve but I am starting to discover that I need a very tight prescriptive brief to stick to which will allow a specific outcome and a goal for me to aim for. You can see the start of my original personal project with the work handed in to be assessed; I thought that it would be necessary to include it as it shows my development over the summer months and through the first half of September.
When we were given our first brief after the summer holidays I committed myself 100% and the result was really encouraging. I enjoyed producing the work so much and I could see this final outcome that needed to be achieved. This is why I eventually made the decision to switch the project that I had started over the summer to the Helping Uganda Schools Christmas story book which I then went on to present in a PowerPoint presentation a few weeks after. I have had my work professionally printed for this project and I feel that the majority of it looks great. You can most certainly tell which pages were rushed, these have been highlighted in the book with post-its which I hope to work further on over the Christmas period, but I did know at the beginning of the brief that completing all the pages for the deadline was going to be extremely demanding. Overall, I am proud of the finished piece as I finally have some work which I am really confident with, enough so as to present to prospective clients and employers in my portfolio.
Colour has been a major issue in this first project and one which will need addressing over the next project to eliminate the ‘zaney’ quality from reappearing. I think that I have been producing individual elements and thinking of their colour individually too rather than the individual elements together making up the whole composition. In future projects it will be vital to limit my palette and stick to those colours for all elements in order for the end composition to feel united.
It was encouraging to receive such kind and encouraging support from Denise Ead the Helping Uganda Schools project manager; in particular she liked the tactile quality of my work. I seem to prefer working with wet media such as paint and drawing inks and I intend to carry this forward as it appears to be working well for me. This tactile quality that is evident in my work is obviously a positive one with Pete Adlington and Ben Jones also commenting on this feature and thus I intend to try can carry this forward too.
Helen Taylor at Taylor O’Brien brought the type on the work to my attention as she didn’t think that it offered anything extra to the images. I used a default Photoshop font Myriad Pro and type is often something that I shy away from although I understand that originally type too was a means of illustration. I could try to hand render the type for future projects but for now I’ve taken all type off these images for adding to my portfolio.
Of course, in the original personal project work, there are some very interesting thoughts and ideas emerging and threads that could possibly form the basis of my final major project next semester. My subject matter was DNA and this provided the ideal opportunity for me to work with pattern which I haven’t really experimented with or explored before.
Over the next project I will pay particular attention to colour with a view to researching appropriate colour palettes. Although as a rule illustrators don’t use mood boards, I think that it may help to achieve the appropriate outcome as I did struggle with colour on this project. Using wet media gave me an outcome that I really like and one which I think is aesthetically pleasing and so I will continue to use acrylic. I will also address the issue of type should it raise its head and try to hand render it where possible and appropriate.