This year has been a strange one, lots of big events happening within such a short space of time. It also meant I had to decide on what I wanted to do after the course. Whether it be continuing at Luton, move to another university or stop completely. I had to really think long and hard if graphic design was what I really wanted to do. The year had many moments where I really was unsure if this was the profession I wanted to pursue.
The year was off to a pretty rocky start due to us losing our building. This meant we were sent back into the main college with childish fifteen and sixteen year olds. From knocking on the door and running away to breaking and stealing our equipment, what little maturity feeling we had last year had totally disappeared due to the move. Trying to gain motivation and finding the drive to do work was defiantly the hardest part of the year. Now looking back, I believe that the room wasn’t the main problem, it was just the thing in my head that was an inconvenience, that all of the other problems in life and the course latched itself to. At the end of the day, it’s just a room! A horrible little green room but none the less a room is not the reason you don’t want to do work.
One of the biggest challenges of the year was completing work experience, this meant finding a job for the first time in my life, this in itself was terrifying! I have always had very little self-confidence so thinking that my work would be good enough for someone to consider hiring me was a daunting task. This is what I believe knocked me back during the start of the year, just the thought scared me. I got increasingly more frustrated when I discovered no one would hire the under experienced, under qualified teenager trying to just keep her head above water. When I finally had a job, I didn’t get the necessary feedback to get the work complete for the client to want to use. Over coming self-confidence issues is something I need to work on, however even applying for jobs and creating a social media presence to publish my work for the world to see (and judge) has helped me massively. I learnt that not everyone is going to like my work or my style or even me! But it’s okay because someone else will…even if it takes time.
However, with all of that said the biggest change this year was in my time management skill. In my previous reflective summary, I said “I’ve had a few melt downs this year towards deadline day, I’ve had far less than I had in the past so my time management has improved wildly.” This year I have yet to have a deadline melt down (touch wood) this is because all of my work has been handed in days before the actual deadline. I have tried to keep on top of my work as soon as I got the brief, I did it. This has made me extremely organised and have made me enjoy the briefs slightly more. One of the big things that did eventually motivate me to get stuff done was what did the future offer, was I continuing at university or not once the year was over?
Before applying for the current course, I had only been doing graphic design for a matter of months, I enjoyed it but was it something I wanted to dedicate 3 years and that huge amount of money to? My tutor at the time was the one who really encouraged me to do design at the University of Bedfordshire as the course was held at college. It was cheaper and I could live at home. Now that the second year is nearly up I began my search for universities that would accept me into the third year without having to retake a year. Two years earlier I had looked around a university in London, I really liked it there. I found out they allowed people like myself who had studied before to join their course at the third year! (Woohoo). Having to create a portfolio, then have them judge me based on the work I had completed AND having to attend an interview all gave me a much-needed confidence boost as I realised I could do it. This doesn’t mean it wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be but when my offer came through I was chuffed to say the least. I have accepted a conditional offer and already have my accommodation lined up ready for the big move!
The thing I believe my tutor will be most proud to hear me say is that I finally understand art! I believed that this course would teach me what art is. I thought I’d become a short-fringed lady who loves the modern art while listening to the indie records on a portable cassette player, all meanwhile drinking on my latte with extra cream no sugar (of course). However, this is simply not the case.
This year I have tried to avoid as many pompous art galleries as possible (and at any price). Places such as Tate Modern and V&A (which I have both visited) aren’t filled with the things I think of as art, I simply do not find them inspiring, very much the opposite. I mentioned this to my tutor who referred me to a book by John Berger: Ways of Seeing which was based on the ideology that the way we see things is affected by our personal knowledge and beliefs. I hundred percent agree with his comments. I wasn’t bought up in an art loving family, I wasn’t surrounded by beautiful architecture or general fanciness but was around the London streets filled with graffiti and dirtiness. That makes it sound awful but I’m trying to say that the people who appreciate the art in galleries aren’t going to have the same appreciation for street art.
Overall, I have learnt what art is during this course and as cringe as it may sound, art is what you make of it. I see my personal art not in galleries loved by rich people and selling for millions. Although, I say this but I have no problem if someone want to pay me millions for scribbles or art sculpture of chairs that mean love, darkness and decay or whatever the people you see in galleries, with the very serious facial expressions, who occasionally nodded their head as if to emphasise their understanding (if they have their hand at their chin it means their extra serious!!) I see my work liked by the ordinary people, like me.