Thoughts on a year of learning

I’ve been putting together some bits and pieces for the Unit 1 assessment which is now only a week away. This has been a great opportunity to reflect on the last year (and a bit) as a whole and see what I have learnt in that time. Reading back though my blog from when I started last September was quite something. At least the quality of my blog writing has definitely improved!

I wanted to capture some of my key learning points, things I think I understand now which I didn’t before:

On motivation 

  1. You have to OWN IT
  2. You must follow your own path – you can be inspired and collaborate with everyone, but you must walk alone.  It doesn’t matter what your colleagues do or don’t do, you direct your own learning.
  3. I see people I admire and am fascinated to listen to and others who I don’t get inspired by at all.  This is fine – we do not have to click with everyone and everything.

On the art process 

  1. Intent: something made when you know why, what and how, can be so much more powerful than making on the go. Improvisation can still be intentional, but winging it will always show.
  2. You cannot separate your process from the object being made
  3. An object must be understood as more than a thing in itself, it must be placed within its whole system – its surroundings, history and context all change the way the viewer will interact with the object
  4. The making process is at the heart of turning concept into reality; process and material go hand in hand
  5. You can declare something ‘ordinary’ (such as a humble sheet of paper), but in the act of drawing attention to this aspect of its nature, you change that nature, generating an extra-ordinaryness about the object
  6. Fundamentally, I think I look at the world differently – or perhaps I just see things I would have otherwise missed before.
  7. However important I think the concept of an art piece is, I also value craftsmanship and quality; I think both need to work together.

On materials

  1. Just because something is there, it doesn’t mean you have to use it; just because something isn’t in front of you, doesn’t mean you can’t find it
  2. What is everyday to you may be brand new to someone else
  3. Even the rain means different things to different people
  4. I finally understand the agency that the material itself has in generating meaning
  5. Designers do not create meanings – they create form; it is users who create meanings
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