A1: Self Assessment

DEMONSTRATION OF TECHNICAL AND VISUAL SKILLS:

Since the Assignment is comprised of a selection of experimental samples they lack the quality of finish I would normally associate with a resolved piece. Hopefully, they demonstrate that I am comfortable to work with and manipulate a range of materials. Using drawing to record my outcomes was a welcome task, I felt more confident in my mark-making than my making. Stopping to reflect as I drew often gave me time to appreciate the sample and to decide where to take my investigations next.

QUALITY OF OUTCOME:

I swapped to working in a loose A4 binder, rather than the spiral bound A3 sketchbook that I am used to. The idea was that I would be able to remove pages and review them side my side. I don’t think it was a good choice, my sketchbook which is normally one of my strengths has become more like a physical log. I don’t think it was the size I found constraining but the opportunity to fiddle with organise and rearrange pages was a major distraction. Since I rely on my sketchbook as a ‘thinking space’ I found this affected the outcomes.

I found the Selection Process much easier than for ATV. I would like to attribute this to a growing sense of judgement, however, I suspect I wasn’t strict enough with myself and submitted too many pieces.

DEMONSTRATION OF CREATIVITY:

I always think this is the hardest category to self-assess. I tried to be bold in my experiments and treated each exercise as an investigation. I wonder if I could have taken more risks and been more adventurous in my selection of materials to work with?

I have thought and wondered about the existence of my ‘personal creative voice’ in the past. I definitely feel mine is beginning to develop, I feel able to distinguish between what I like and what I don’t like and am beginning to be able to explain why. (I find it easier to say why something works than why it doesn’t). More importantly, when I was struggling at the beginning of the course I simply felt the work ‘wasn’t my own’. I remember commenting later on that I had “hit my happy” because I began to recognise myself in the work again. This sense of ownership is really just a feeling, yet I can feel it building.

CONTEXT:

I researched and referred to a number of artists, becoming more and more interested in the thoughts behind their work, than just its appearance or the technique they are using. I felt that I communicated these links better than I included my own personal, visual research. The photographs and observations I made of trees over Christmas seemed to subconsciously sneak their way into my work. I didn’t realise their effect until I wondered where the green drawing in 3.2 came from! Once I realised I tried to communicate this in my ‘sketchbook’ and blog. This could have been made clearer.

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3 thoughts on “A1: Self Assessment”

  1. I just came back to read this again – and share my experience. I too find it a bit disturbing with the loose pages – but on the other hand they have some bonuses (the ability to manipulate and print on the eg.). First time (during atv) I tried was very cumbersome and tended to be chaotic (I am one that needs things to be in the right order….yes, know it silly, but what to do!?! 🙂

    For Part two I tried again, this time I brought a study A4 plastic folder (6 cm deep) – and kept all the finished pages (in order), This was a bit better than first time. At the end of the part I took them all out and just slid a spiral through all of them. But still I missed the ‘flipping through aspect’. It was more a ‘black box’. I am really looking forward to get it back and spend time with it. I think I will try it once more this way – for the printmaking part. But how to keep a sketchbook is really the big question. My idea is to try as many ways as I can think of – to discover the methods to take forward for the rest of my life.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your insight Inger, I feel we are alike in our need to be methodical and organised!
      I think sketchbook work is usually one of my strengths but when I packed up ATV for submission, I really only had sketchbooks… To mount or present anything would have meant tearing into them so I tried loose pages for MMT- which drove me crazy!
      I like to stick everything I make in, so when I come back to the work I know what I was thinking. Having loose samples and loose pages and the blog seemed to make 3times as much work as usual.
      I have started part 2 in my usual A3 book, but I get my feedback any day now so I will see what Cari thinks. I agree printmaking is a good opportunity to try loose pages, I admire you for continuing to experiment, to find out what works for you.
      Like you, I also miss my books while they are away from home!
      Do you always work A4 for sketchbooks?

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      1. Nicola – yes until now I have been using A4 (standing) as I then have A3 on a a spread. I always use both sides (with the bleed though and all). I sometimes work big – but then it is on loose pages as I have to think about international postage.

        I have been very, very tempted to ‘stick’in as you say. But I instead took to use and keep a ‘lab’-log thingy, where I instead note all thoughts and ideas (lately I don’t even send that in). Cari calls it my ‘tech-file’. I have years in lab behind me so for me this is a natural evolution (plus I have bad memory). Linkage between sample and lab-log is a number. I totally know this is not a method that is very free and ‘artistic’ (to the point where I am almost ashamed of doing it this way), but as I a need to have the overview; I find it totally liberates my energies to be more creative, as I know I can always link sample to the log-page. So my samples are just in shoeboxes for MMT, rather randomly thrown in at this stage. I know this process is rather nerdy, but I start all parts with printing out an A4 sheet of adhesive with all potential number (takes five minutes) – so on the daily basis it is super easy just to stick on the label to each sample. For now this works for me – but I am open to other suggestion! 🙂

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