Looking back on the term I think the one thing I have learnt more than anything is to keep re-evaluating the work and the brief. I spent a lot of time this term trying to create new styles and pushing myself to experiment more, and even if in some respects I did, I am also still disappointed with myself for not trying in other areas such as digital processes and larger scale pieces.
We started the term with a brief called de-constructing the grand master. I found this project the hardest out of the three, because it took me a few weeks to decide on a piece of art I wanted to focus on, and even when I did, I couldn’t break the image I had chosen down, I did not understand where I could take it. I chose James Herbert draper’s ‘Lament for Icarus’, and I think I did this purely because I found it beautiful, not necessarily because it had a deep background and lots of meaning. For this reason I think I struggled, I continued to experiment with different media, but I felt I was just redrawing the image as it was, not taking it apart and analysing it, eventually I began to understand the artists focus on beauty and recreated the image in a less beautiful light. However I didn’t like the outcome as it was very simple, very basic and I lost a lot of the processes that I was experimenting with. If I was to start the project again, I would have stuck with some of my original choices of artists.
The reading and responding project turned out to be the one with the better standard of work and in my opinion the one with the better understanding of the brief, and I think that is because I chose to study a poem that I have liked for along time, Emily Dickinson s ‘Hope’.
In the poem hope is depicted as a bird, so for the start of my project (and for most of it) I began to study birds, again experimenting with different media. I think with this project I began to develop a style, and in the end I was really happy with the final piece. Throughout the project I tried to create a more contemporary approach to illustration the poem as it would create a link, that the feelings expressed in the poem years ago still exist in today’s world, and today’s art. What I accomplished in this project compared to the grandmaster project was my research into other artists. I believe this helped my with my processes and ultimately help me create a style for the final piece.
Throughout the term we had an ongoing project called ‘drawing transformations’. My aim for this project was to work on the other two and try and create a new style, which through working on the reading and responding project I believe I did. I took a holiday to Scotland over the Easter break and spent a lot of time drawing the surroundings, which was also a challenge because we were on the move and I didn’t have many materials with me. I created a small book of studies and am happy with most of the quality of work in there, It was a change to work in a small sketch book and quickly get as much information down as possible, I believe this small project helped with my observational studies. I also attended some life drawing sessions, which although were quite short and I didn’t use large range of media I felt myself pick up some of the techniques I learnt last year, this gave me a bit of a push with my projects because I remembered the different processes that I used to go through with my work.
There are quite a few things this term, I wish I had achieved, such as printmaking, as I used to do a lot of this last year, also so larger scale works as I feel I limited myself to my sketchbook again. I think I lost sight a few times which direction the project were going in. The grandmaster project has made me understand why projects have time limits, as quite a few times I fell behind, mainly from uncertainty and making bad choices for starting points for the project.
Next year I hope to engage more with other elements of illustration, such as digital work and printmaking, I also want to stick within the time constraints, so I create an even level of work for all projects as I find the last project is always the most accomplished.
Over the summer I hope to create a body of work which expresses the nature of different ‘Surroundings’. I aim to go on holiday a few times over the summer and will take inspiration form this, and also from my home town of Manchester.