- What learning/ learning topic or learning process did you find yourself using throughout the semester?
I focused more on the process of making work which lead to trail and error explorations. Instead of simply thinking of an idea and pursuing it, I did a lot of explorations before I came upon the final product. For studio, I would make a piece and if I didn’t love it I would develop and change it into something new. Seminar was the same way. Specifically for the final essay, I hopped from one concept to another until I settled on one that I could make the strongest points about. With almost all of my work prior to this school year, I would always go with my first idea and find ways to make it work when problems arose. The process I used this semester has taught me the importance of perusing different concepts before settling on the best one. As a result, I am happier with the end products because I know I put a lot of time, research, and energy into them.
- Where did you use it (in life, in class, in other classes)?
I used this process in other classes. It has also impacted the way I make art for fun. I will stop working on something and step back from it to make sure it is coming out how I want it to and then I will make changes if needed. This process has also taught me the importance of documenting my work to show it’s progression.
- What learning did you make about systems or strategies (in society, in making, in research, etc.) do you want to bring into your future semesters, dig into deeper, or explore with other people?
I learned that process is as important as final products in both art and research fields. I will continue to put an emphasis on process in all the work I do from now on. In the broader sense, I learned that everything has impacts. My sustainable class had a lot of emphasis on systems and strategies as well. Every action we do impacts and disrupts the environment in some way. That’s why the green sustainable movement is so important. We need to take responsibility for our actions towards the Earth and work harder to adapt to climate change. The concepts of resource circulation and sustainability have already made their way into my artwork. From now on, I am going to be more conscious of the materials I use and how I dispose of them, because it does make a difference.
- What is one ah-ha that you had? What did you learn?
Through class exercises and discussions, I learned the importance of rhetoric and choosing words carefully and precisely. I realized that everyone interprets language differently so it should be expected that readers will take away different things from the same piece of work.
- Select two highlights from your first year. These highlights might consist of major projects or papers. A highlight could also be a productive class debate, a journal entry, a materials experiment, an illuminating course trip, or a new skill. This is a deep look at your work.
- Planning: Show your preparatory steps for both highlights. What initiated these? How did you plan for the different steps? How would you prepare differently next time?
- Outcome: Show what was explored/ made/ written/ researched. Write a clear description of each item. Add media components (images, galleries, video, excerpts, etc.).
Two highlights from my second semester studio and seminar classes were my piece of artwork on the vulnerability of self expression and my definition of war.
The art piece was one of a collection of pieces I presented together. The whole concept was initiated by my object, the paper notebook. It inspired the question of how we use paper to express ourselves. I didn’t plan the steps out. I simply thought of an idea and went for it. I didn’t love the initial idea but since I couldn’t think of anything else, I went for it knowing that I might think of something better during or after I made it. Which is what happened. I wouldn’t have changed the process I took for making this piece because I used the trial and error approach to help me come up with a better idea. After scrapping the first idea, I came up with this.
For the final piece, I used colored pencils and Bristol paper. I included thumb tacks and a metal ring as well. This piece represented the creativity yet vulnerability that comes with self expression.
During the middle of the semester, we had a seminar class where we discussed the importance of word choices and what certain words meant to us. For homework, we chose a word that we would have to describe and make a definition for. I chose the word war. I sat down and researched what different definitions described war as. I then came up with my own definition. I didn’t have a set direction that I wanted to go in. I let my mind take me to different concepts around war as I wrote. It was nice not having much of a direction because the process of letting my mind float around the concept ended up giving it one. I wouldn’t have done the process any differently. I’m so used to planning everything out so having no plans and just writing whatever came to mind was very refreshing.
- Thinking: Show your thought process. What do these two highlights represent? Why are they important to your learning? What is most successful or interesting about this work?
These highlights represent two new ways of creating. Before I took these classes, my creative process would consist of thinking up ideas and choosing the best one and then pursuing that. If any obstacles came in the way, I would adjust the piece without changing the concept. I used the trail and error process for the art piece on self expression and saw what happened when I didn’t have a plan for the definition writing. Taking different approaches to make these pieces of work was important because it allowed me to experiment and see which one works best depending on the project. I highlighted these two works because I’m very happy with how they came out, which was a result of the process I took to make them. I think what was most successful with the art piece was the fact that I was able to translate vulnerability from an emotional characteristic into a physical representation. Visualizing creativity was easy because I could draw whatever I wanted since I believe creativity is anything someone does to express them self. However I also wanted to include vulnerability into the piece because it is something that happens when someone expresses themselves. I’m happy I went beyond conventional colored pencils by adding in the spikes and ring. It added a whole new dimension to the piece, inviting people to examine it up close, but keeping people away because of the sharp spikes. What was most successful with my word definition was the outcome. I went into the assignment thinking of war as a negative thing but came out with an understanding of how it can be positive. The realization of what the real meaning of war was made the project very rewarding. I started with saying that war was awful because it represented hatred. I truly believe that killing people is the easy way to solve a problem. However then I realized that when a country goes to war, they are trying to protect their people and the beliefs of the nation. So really, isn’t war the greatest act of love? It’s sacrificing one person to save another. This project make me realize two things. First, the importance of word choice. Second, instead of dismissing something because we don’t agree with it, we should take a deeper look at it. We should be less judgmental about things we don’t like and try to see both sides of it.
- If you could tell future students anything from what you learned during this year, what would it be? (Not just in this class – but overall in life about first year at college.)
The thing that I would tell future students is the same as what Tim Gunn said to me when I met him. “Be a sponge.” Take everything in and be open to everything. Don’t be afraid to try new things and meeting new people. Also don’t be worried about changing. I was worried moving to New York that I would be influenced in ways that went against my beliefs. However hoping that I wouldn’t change was irrational. You want to change and grow.
- Write a conclusion that looks toward future interests, questions, and courses. This is where you’re heading.
- What new questions do you want to pursue in the future?
- How might one project generate another?
- What new skills/techniques do you want to learn?
I want to do more personal work in the future. This year I did a lot of projects that were more focused on construction and material use as opposed to concepts. I want to peruse the topics of gender and it’s barriers. I never expected to work with those concepts because I didn’t think their was anything that interesting about how I identify as a straight woman. However, I realized that these concepts impact everyone in different ways. For me, I would explore what people wear to express themselves and how other people view them because of it. It is such a big topic that I could make a bunch of pieces that all tie together. I could do written pieces about this and make clothing based on these topics.
I want to utilize as many facilities that the school offers as I can. I want to learn and get good at using all the different machines. Once you know how to do something new, their are so many more posssiblities to making and executing a piece of work.