In terms of personal development, I think this brief has been really successful for me. At the start of the term, I wanted to do something that I hadn’t really done before, and what I was imagining in my head wasn’t what was coming out. I wanted to get away from the style that I used in Making Connections in second year, because towards the end I really didn’t enjoy it. So in my head, anything vaguely similar would bring the negative from that brief with it. The turning point during this brief was when I decided to try some paper cutting (I can’t even remember now what gave me the idea!), and I really liked the look and playfulness about it. So I produced a few more paper cut images in time for the interim critique and presented both styles of work I had created, but the preferred was paper cutting, I think because it was quite obvious I was more happy with the paper cuts than the watercolour/fine liner work.
It was suggested at the interim that I changed my colours to brighter ones, not necessarily natural. I took this advice, and I think it was another turning point in the brief. Sarah said that it would be much more commercial, with people more likely to buy it, and I can definitely see that now; if I’d stuck with my more autumnal colours I would have struggled to create nice looking designs.
I have enjoyed learning how to use the laser cutter this term, even with some of the technical difficulties that Steve and I had fun fixing! However, I think I’m going to go back to paper cutting next term because it was suggested to me last Thursday that the paper cutting has more of a personal playful feel to it than laser cutting, because the edges aren’t perfect and it won’t be exactly precise. The reason I liked laser cutting was because of the perfect edges but I understand why it was said, and the paper cuts that I first did do have that more playful feel. I think I went to laser cutting because I was stressed about time and it seemed quicker (I don’t think it was in the end because of all the technical preparation in illustrator!). With paper cutting, the paper can be used more sparingly, cutting right to the edges, whereas the laser cutter sort of decides where it’s going and I had to give a bit of space between each piece to allow for the paper accidentally moving. This is important to me because I don’t like wastage and feel quite passionately about the environment! All the papers that I painted were (sort of) recycled, being either from the backs of old sketchbooks dating right back to A Level or from the ‘Craft Cupboard’ at my parents – which now only ever gets opened when I’m home! 😦 I hope that I can do similar or find recycled paper for next term and hopefully whatever my final designs end up on will also be ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.
Overall, I am pleased that I managed to pull this off, and even though I already know that there are a few adjustments to be made, I am happy. I’ve learnt quite a lot about myself and my style, I know that I need to stop procrastinating and get on with things to stop getting so stressed out – but I also know that once my dissertation is handed in I’ll have less on my mind. I’m looking forward to the next module!