I finished work on Project 4: Developing Design Ideas a couple of weeks ago, so this review is well overdue. Partly the delay is because an earlier draft vanished into the ether, but more importantly it’s because even more than previous topics, this isn’t a thing that you complete and move forward. I want to – and I have to – keep working on this. I need to practise and repeat and extend and hopefully get to the point where it’s so ingrained in how I work that it’s become a part of me. Not automatic, because I want to work with thought and intention, but one of those tools which is so familiar that it fits your hand like an extension of yourself.
Sometimes I can be embarrassingly earnest, but that doesn’t make the idea less true.
So, to the review questions:
Did you manage to ‘make space move’? Yes, in parts. Looking back at Stage 1, I now think I wasn’t very adventurous, but some examples in later exercises were moderately successful – and in one case I was able to recognise that space was moving rather too much and sliding off the page!
What are your thoughts about the drawings you did in Stage 3? As mentioned above, one had a problem with balance. Others I still find interesting and have developed further. Over the months of doing this course I have become much more relaxed about drawing and painting. It takes off a lot of pressure to see them, and the resulting work, as one step in a process, not a finished or polished thing in themselves. Plus it doesn’t have to look like the thing I’m drawing. Further design work could change it out of all recognition. In fact I’ve found that less “realistic” images are often more energetic and easier to develop.
Were you able to use your drawings successfully as a basis for further work? Are there any other things you would like to try? It was definitely a struggle at times, but I think some of the work I showed here is really interesting and has possibilities. I hope there will always be more things I would like to try. I’m very happy with the inclusion of computer-based work, which I think is a good addition to the “toolbox” of techniques and, well, tools.
Now that you have a good working method, do you feel confident that you can carry on working in this way independently? I can’t really claim to have a good working method yet, but I definitely have the beginnings of one. I’m going to have to keep returning to this, keep working on it. I expect there will always be grinding times as well as flowing times, but I’d like to change the proportions! I am confident that I will be able to keep working on this, able to keep improving and learning.
In my sketchbook work starting 9th February I worked on an idea based on one of my shell sketches. I tried various iterations and developments over a few days up to 16th Feb, and to an extent was able to follow the general working method. I didn’t reach a fully resolved design, but more material was developed and I may well return to it in the future.
I want to keep extending what I do, and have just re-read “Finding Your Own Visual Language” which has ideas and exercises very relevant to this topic (one exercise tried in the sketchbook here). Overall I feel very positive, very committed to carry on working, experimenting, reviewing, questioning, thinking, learning…
Dunnewold, J., Benn, C., Morgan, L. (2007) “Finding your own visual language: A practical guide to design & composition” (Committed to Cloth & Art Cloth Studios)