My project started off with the shoe box idea. I then used this as a basis to work with and then eventually led my ideas to focus on memories. Throughout my project I tried many different techniques and processes to experiment. I started off with drawing and then editing on Photoshop and Illustrator. I also looked at printing methods, predominantly mono printing with text and image, which I could then edit afterwards. Along with this, I incorporated collage making which tied together all of the processes that I tried out. I used research to help me identify relevant material and ideas for what I could create, and by selecting these artists carefully it ensured that they were related to my pathway of Graphic Design, and also some other areas of art and design, so that I could experiment further. The main strategy I used when developing my idea was having a base and then building upon this. So I would add bits to it, edit it and refine it so much that I could do nothing else with it. Then I would move on to the next process and do this all over again. This ensured that I was developing my ideas properly and that I was getting the most out of a particular type of experimentation.
For my project, I researched ten artists. Most of them were Graphic Design related, however I also made sure to look at other artists, such as print and collage so that I could create broad pieces of work, outside of my particular chosen pathway. All of my research was relevant, as I used each designer to influence my work. Some examples of how I used my artists to influence my work is certain people such as Ben Rider who I used as a basis to form my printing techniques, Michael Volpicelli for Typography and Annegret Soltau for collage. I expanded on using one sole artist to use in my work, and I also had a look at Pinterest and other people’s blogs, to see what other people were creating and this actually gave me lots of ideas of what I could also try out. A lot of the time on Pinterest, it has walkthroughs and guides which show you how to do a particular process, which is really helpful, especially when you haven’t tried out a certain technique before. I think that all of my research has positively impacted my work, as without it, I would not have had as many ideas and so much experimentation. By researching artists, I was able to reflect on my work and see what I could add or try out, and along the way I learnt some new processes, such as printing and collage, which I had only really ever tried out once. I think this is definitely a positive reflection of how my understanding of theories and processes has improved over the course.
Throughout my project, I explored a range of media, such as printing, drawing, sketching and collaging. With all of these processes linked together, I have been able to develop my work by linking pieces together and I have also improved along the way as well. By trying out different experimentations, I have learnt that it takes several tries to perfect a particular process and also that not everything you try is going to look great. If I was to go down a different route, I would have liked to have focused on my illustrated designs, as I feel that these were some of my best pieces and I could have done a lot more with them. However, I think that this would have limited my experimentation as it would have been focused mainly on Graphic Design, and I am proud of the fact that I have gone outside of my comfort zone and tried out different processes such as printing and collage making. This also shows that I am not only limited to one pathway, and the combination of several of them can work really effectively.
I would say that the key strengths in my work was my ability to combine digital and handmade designs. I used illustration a lot in the beginning, however I also looked at letter pressing and I was able to link these two types of art and design together. Another strength I would say is my research. Without this I would not have been able to come up with so many ideas for experimentation, as I feel that it helps to form the basis of a stable idea to experiment with. I would say that research is a key component in any process, as without it you may not be able to produce so many ideas and it also helps to add improvements in your work. On the other hand, my key weaknesses were my lack of a main idea. I wanted to focus on the idea of Memories, however this is so broad and vast, I could not decide on a particular area and I think that this stopped me from going down a particular route and made my work have quite a big range, rather than solely focusing on one single idea. The aim of this project was to move on from the shoebox academy piece and produce a series of work, relevant to a pathway of your choice, and I think that I have successfully done this through consistent research, experimentation and grouping my work together so that it reflects my pathway of Graphic Design. I would say that my understanding of art and design has improved and developed overtime because I’ve realised that you do not need to focus on one main topic, you can combine and use lots of different ideas. I feel like I have a lot more possibilities for my work now, as I want to try out some more processes and experimentation, such as Photography and also maybe incorporating some textiles as well. If I was to expand on the work that I have produced I would have liked to create several posters related to memories for my final piece. I would have liked to have done about 4, so my family and I could have featured in all of them. I was going to incorporate most of my experimentation together to form a collage styled picture and so that it would show how different memories and connotations are individual to each person.