Sunday, 23 February 2014

Where Is Home?

I'm back blogging again for my learning journal, which is something I really need to get in the routine of doing at the beginning. Luckily, I have easy access to a computer now (all thanks to my lovely housemate), so this will mean more blogging from now on!

So the Final Major Project has just kicked into gear and here's more about it...

Friday 7th February 2014

This was project launch day and basically this last project will span approximately 10 weeks in total, choosing any subject matter of my choice. At the end, all of our outcomes will be displayed in the final exhibition...eeeek, exciting times!

We were shown a power point presentation displaying the outline of the project and factors we needed to consider. 

(Here are just some slides as a reminder for myself for later reference)

Having looked at some past student's work I admired the level of work produced up to a high standard- this made me inspired to also create a good, high quality work for my final outcome.

The tutors that displayed their own work enabled me to get an insight into their processes and the illustrations they produce for clients. Things that I also need to consider for my project are function (what is the purpose of my work?), target audience and what messages would I want to give to people in response to viewing my work.    

 After the presentation I just felt so overwhelmed and the thought of managing my own project daunted me, but also excited in some ways as this might turn out to be an enjoyable journey that I will encompass, through hard work and dedication. I feel much more motivated for this project compared to the previous ones. I just hope I don't fall into the trap of getting distracted and leaving things to the last minute; I'm going to have to pull my weight on this last project!

Next steps to take:

  • Generate and develop two ideas in sketchbook, along with some initial research (contextual and art practitioners) 
  • Identify audience, function, the reasons why might I conduct this project, and consider how the end product might appear. 
  • Produce a power point presentation to present at pitch day.
  • Try to get into the habit of writing in the leaning journal (on this blog) frequently- reflect at the end of the week, avoid doing this at the last minute!

Tuesday 18th February 2014  (Lecture day- Semiotics)

Semiotics are the study of signs. Under almost everything there is a meaning behind it; some things may relate to other factors or draw together different ideas. 

For example:

From the sun we might instantly think of happiness, the summer holiday, etc. 

We usually use this as a sign of communicating to come over. 

Some key theorists commenting on the subject are:

Ferdinand de Saussure

"All signs are made up of 2 parts"  1. the signified -the concept the sign represents (the thing you think of)

2. the signifier -the form which the sign takes over (word or image)

Charles Saunders Pierce

He developed the idea of there being 3 types of signs:

1. Icon- directly resembles the thing it represents. 

2. Index- a sign that is linked to its object/ concept.

3. Symbol- has no logical connection to the meaning. It relies exclusively on the reader having learnt the connection between the sign and its meaning.

(Activity sheet)

Roland Barthes 

Denotation- literal meaning (e.g. footprints directly signify the presence of a person)

Connotation- the further meaning that is suggested or implied by the thing denoted (travel, beach holidays, leisure, desert islands, isolation, human trace).

The use of signs in advertising

Black representing luxury, expensive, sophistication, Iconic painting in the background could be describing it as a work of art/ masterpiece.

Promoting the enjoyment of eating toast from the boy illustration and surrounding text. 

Semiotic reading

When considering type, different fonts could be read differently, like so:

Different signs are read and interpreted in many ways. Everything can be read- from the colour, font, image. Having been informed from the lecture, I will consider carefully of what I include within my work. 

Some actions to consider next:
  • Think carefully about the fonts, colour, text layout, images used within my work in order for the audience to engage with the message of what I am trying to convey.
  • Perhaps conduct some further research on semiotics (online sources, books).
  • Start using resources on the library website,
  • Prepare power point presentation for pitch.

Wednesday 19th February 2014

On Wednesday was pitch day and I can't even tell you how much nervous I was on that day- I just get scared and have mini panic attacks when I talk to a group of people- unfortunately, this was the case but luckily I managed to reach to the end, fully alive!

In basic terms these are my two ideas:

1) 'Where is Home?' -everybody has different ideas of what they call home. I wanted to explore the notion of belonging and finding out where you fit in. Seeing as I have a profound interest illustrating children's picture books one day, I decided to pursue this for the final project. My aim is to write and illustrate a narrative story based on a character who is a newcomer to a different country trying to find out her place of belonging. Out of the two ideas this is my favourite one as  I could incorporate some of my own experiences in the book. 

2) Daily reportage- this would consist of drawing everyday, recording my surroundings- this might be done on the bus, whilst eating lunch in the cafeteria, at home in the kitchen, anywhere that might be filled with activity.The drawings might be conducted location or based on memory. Almost everyday something new happens and documenting the mundane seems exciting. The end product would be a collection of drawings suitable in a gallery context.

Slides from my presentation pitch:

At the end of the presentation everyone had to vote based on what they think is the best idea for me to go with, and luckily mostly everyone had picked my favourite- 'Where is Home?' I found it interesting hearing and looking  at other people's presentations and ideas, which some I thought were complex compared to my own which are much more simplistic.


  • I delivered my presentation pitch to the group stating the function, audience, areas of contextual research and giving examples of art practitioners that will inspire my work.
  • Gained some useful feedback from the group and tutors.
  • Selected the best idea for the final project- 'Where is Home?'
  • Didn't state the reasons behind the ideas.
  • I was quite nervous during the pitch, I may have come across lacking confidence.
Actions for improvement/ next steps:
  • Think about why I want to conduct this project, ask myself  a few questions.
  • At least get some sleep before doing a presentation! 
  • Show the development of the 2 ideas in sketchbook (the reason being that I bought my sketchbook late)
  • Evaluate the pitch in my sketchbook.
  • Start writing up proposal.

Friday 21st February 2014

Handed in the proposal.

What has been achieved?

  • Completed the proposal for the deadline (hurrah!)
  • Clearly identified the theme for the final project, stating what I intend to create at the end, its function and areas of proposed contextual research (including theories, art practitioners)
  • Produced a time plan,  to help clearly organise the structure of the project. 
  • Created a bibliography, stating the sources of where I have obtained my research.

Next steps I need to take:
  • Show the development of the 2 ideas in sketchbook leading up to the pitch
  • Use the next week to research in depth of the theories and how different artists produce their work (visit the library and use the online sources on the AUCB website).
  • Update the bibliography as I conduct more research. 
  • Perhaps get a head start on some initial sketches or draft a rough outline of the plot line.
At the end of the foundation course I desperately want to achieve a distinction, so this will mean a lot of hard work on my part. I knew that from my last projects I got 'distracted' a few times- I must avoid falling into that trap! I'll ensure that I will create work up to a good standard and keep focus on the task at hand. 

I apologise to any viewers who might be reading this and don't have a clue what I'm talking about, but these long, self-reflective learning journal entries are a requirement for my course. 

I'm quite excited about showing the journey that will take place over the next couple of weeks. Here's to a busy, fun and productive week ahead! :)

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