WARNING: This is going to be a long, really long blog post entry. So beware! Feel free to just skip the words and look at the images if you wish. This is just what was inside my crazy little mind from the last two weeks...
Tuesday 15th May 2014
Today was a crazy day. And when I mean crazy I mean psychotic, mental, dancing around in my room crazy. I started off the morning really frantically, splatting paint on some photocopies that I made from my horrible screen prints. I just hated them because I was in a rush and didn't really think about the quality of my images. I didn't get a good night's sleep the day before so this would explain why I haven't been myself. Working in the classroom meant that everyone around me were stressed but didn't show it like I did- I just had a meltdown. Sometimes I dislike working with a room full of people because I always end up comparing myself to them and hating my own work. I would rather work in a quiet room with my music and create magic. I took one of my tutor's advice to go on a long walk. I did this because I had enough of the noise and buzz from the room- everything in the room felt like a blur. I just went a little bit around the campus and one of the places I always end up going to was the library. In our magical library we have this really cool plastic museum which I have never been to. So I took this opportunity to go in and explore inside. And it was wonderful. I fell in love with the quirky items and started getting some crazy ideas for the visuals in my book; I didn't have my mini sketchbook with me so I came back after lunch. I just loved being in that little museum full of plastic items, it was quiet, hardly anyone was there and I was just there in the room with my colouring pencils- this made me a happy girl indeed. I spent the duration of the afternoon in there just drawing away and I felt like one of those young, cool, hip illustrators that draws using their imagination and observation. I did this to get away from all of my worries which I was so cooped up in Passive House (our classroom), which by the way is quite ironic because I don't like to follow people. I like to stand out from the crowd sometimes. Having gone off on my own really helped me to be creative and increased my independence, I just felt so free and alive- no one told me what to do. Overall my day was pretty hectic, a lot of things happened which I felt they just hit me in the face all at once. My brain is still so scattered and my eyes feel so droopy not getting any sleep, I even started hallucinating and kept hearing things that people didn't even say. That to me proves that I am not completely myself- physically and mentally I wasn't well throughout the whole day. I feel all over the place and I am stressed out. My improvement would be to sleep earlier than usual and just relax slightly, take it easy and don't feel like the need to do everything at once. I have my tutorial to tomorrow so this would be a good opportunity to ask some questions which I have written down- because I am so prepared! Phew, this is a lot coming out of my brain/ subconscious right now. I am going to go to sleep. Night!
Wednesday 16th April 2014
I had my tutorial today; talking about my project as a whole really helped to address the problems and obstacles that I might face during the next couple of days or so. Out of the whole foundation course, this was probably the most I have talked in a tutorial- I just felt so confident about talking to my tutor about my project and what I have been doing. I loved the fact that he picked upon the fact that my drawings had a heart in them and this made me really inspired to just draw and go for it. I just felt so confident, full of passion and I feel like I just exploded. I felt like I was starting to become independent because when I asked my tutors what size book I should scale my illustrations up to, they suggested a small landscape one, whereas I wanted to go for the bigger size because I want to take a risk. I just think this just shows how I have just grown, having started the foundation course where I was timid and shy. This is probably one of my highlights during the course and just in general it make me really happy just talking about my ideas. I just felt so motivated to create the book itself, which might seem really impossible, but I think I have the courage to finish it. I feel very strongly about what I should do and I will try my best to just go for it. One thing mentioned as also to set up my 'factory' before production to ensure that I don't turn to chaos.
Thursday 17th- Tuesday 22nd April 2014
These past few days were pretty hectic. Just to generalise what happened, I started making the spreads for the final. I began well, getting into the swing of things and then CHAOS. By the time I was drawing the 3rd double spread I began to panic and stress, and this showed in my work. Beacuse of this sudden outburst of panic I just went downhill and began to think too much about everything and that I might not get this finished in time. I also reflected back around these couple of days and I realized that I wasn't taking care of myself. I wasn't eating properly, couldn't sleep properly and I forgot how to even breathe properly! This being said, this is probably, not even probably, but mainly the reason why I haven't been functioning properly or thinking straight. My mind was just all over the place and I was turning into some crazy monster. I honestly think that it's good being a little bit crazy but it just got to a point where I wasn't myself and this obviously slowed my pace regarding producing the work. I think I was definitely worrying a lot and just had a lot on my mind. My eyes were always tired and my stomach was talking to me constantly- I was too focused on work and other little distractions that prevented me from working. Well, the obvious thing to do here would be to just take care of myself a little bit more and not create problems in my head that don't exsist. The main thing to point out here is that I stayed pretty much in the house for the majority of this time and I hardly got any fresh air. At one point I just had to go outside and just walk; I eventually found some children's books (surprise, surprise) to help inspire me, and also for reference material.
Wednesday 23rd April 2014
Today was just one of the worst days I experienced (probably next to my bad experience from the induction of screenprinting). Well the night before I didn't get any sleep, having to catch up from my slow pace of work the days before; I didn't finish a page- my aim is to at least produce 1 coloured double page spread a day before sending it off to BLURB. To begin with I rushed to uni this morning, being in a hurry to get my things ready for uni. When I came in today I was just a total mess. And when I'm a mess I tend to show my crazy, wild, not myself side. I tend to blurt out random things, shout a lot, say what's on my mind without thinking and just having the need to go a little bit balistic. Everyone was just looking at me, just giving me one of those looks that say 'What's wrong with her?' Most people don't even show they panic, but I do- I show it on the outside as well as the inside. It was just the worst day ever- even the rain was matching my mood. I wanted to talk to my tutor but he seemed busy- everyone wanted to talk to him but I didn't want to show this side of me in a tutorial, it just didn't seem right. Everything was just falling apart. I broke down when I went to my house and I thought everything was just a disaster. I just kept saying to myself- 'How am I going to finish this book?' One of the things that I thought helped a lot was talking to people about what was on my mind and some problems I was going through. For me, this was very therapeutic and in the beginning of the course I rarely did this . I just kept things to myself a lot without telling hardly anyone what I was going through. I kept these feelings to myself and suffered inside. On this day I was just so full of pain, anger and distress. To end the day I went to bed early because my head was just so heavy, filled with montstrous thoughts. I did something to help me relax before I went to bed and having done this lightened up my mood the next day.
Thursday 24th April 2014
Today was a much better day than yesterday. So much better. Even the sun was shining today. I woke up deciding that I should take more responsiblity of my health. I went out for a walk to the shops and got some fresh air, bought some food to help me function properly and some children's books to help inspire me. My room was just a mess and this matched with my mood so I decided to give it a clean after my disaster from yesterday. I started getting organised again, as I did early on, making lists and drawing a calendar for visual reference, leading to my inevitable doom. Overall, I was pretty relaxed today, I was less worried and my anxiety was slowly beginning to fade. I felt so much better as well, just eating properly and taking deep breaths. Also, I found that by listening to relaxing piano music on Youtube helped a lot to calm myself down and relax- this made me slow down a little bit and my work was starting to become more expressive than usual, I felt a sense of movement within them. Tomorrow is the last ever teaching day of the foudation course and I can't believe it's ending so soon. I started off the foundation course being fairly confident, then after the Media project and after starting the Illustration pathway, things just went downhill from there- I didn't work hard enough and I was just avoiding the work. But now that I'm near at the end of the finishing line I just have to get there. I think I've pulled it out of the bag on this Final Major Project. This is the most hardest I have ever worked in my life (I know, sounds dramatic but true) and I just feel like I have to jump over some hurdles and obstacles to get to that final stage. And then I can rest for a little. I know it might sound crazy to make a book within a couple of days, but I have faith. I feel confident to finish this- I want to take a risk and just go for it. I can do it!
Friday 25th April 2014
Today was our last ever teaching day! I felt really sad that the foundation has ended, if I could do it all over again, I would! I had mixed emotions- happy, sad and excited for next near to start my degree in illustration. I have learnt so much just by having this extra year and I definitely think I'm ready for next year. I understood now why it was suggested to do a foundation from my degree interviews last year; it has helped to build massively on my confidence and practical skills within illustration. I just cannot explain in words how I'm feeling right now. I feel like I am a lot more independent and have stayed away from having my tutors help me too much. Before starting the foundation course I definitely knew illustration was what I wanted to pursue and one of my fears was creating authorial narratives/ stories. But now that I've finished the foundation course I think I have definitely gone past that fear..I love storytelling! It's been an absolutely wonderful journey, there have been delightful moments, as well as the disastrous ones and I just can't believe it's all over. I am just speechless. I do think that I didn't show that I worked hard enough during the middle- I was comparing a lot myself to other people and just avoided my work. But then I just had a moment where I said to myself- just be your own person and just go for it! During stages 1 and 2 I don't think the projects were long enough to develop my ideas and my slow pace of work meant that I couldn't show the best of my ability. I have definietely learnt from my mistakes and grown from them. Utilizing the creative process has been tremendously helpful for this 10 week final major project- I will definitely use this during my degree. Wow, I can't believe it's all over. This last project I have definitely shown more of what I am capable of and I have learnt more about different drawing approaches to make my work unique. The fact that the tutors are specialising in the world of illustration I think is amazing and because they are so enthusiastic about their field, this has inspired me so much to become the illustrator that I am now. As cheesy as it sounds, I will miss them, even though they will be just across the campus! The foundation course has exceeded my expectations and I am grateful having been part of the illustration pathway 2013/14. On one last note, if I could give a word to describe this whole experience it would be... SPECTACULAR. An absolutely amazing experience, and like I said earlier I would definitely do it all over again if I had the chance. I highly recommend it to anyone if they are unsure about their degree choice or just want that extra year to develop their skills. It's worth it! Aghhhh I just can't believe it.
Here is a sneaky selfie with my friend Anna and our favourite tutor Roland- he puts the fun in illustration and has made my experience a wonderful, funny, hilarious, fantastic, epic journey. Thank you so much, if you're happening to be reading this!
We have a couple of days to get our stuff ready for the show and to add last refinements to our sketchbooks, so stay tuned to see my gallery space for the show! I promise it won't be as long with words next time. Aghhhhhhh, signing off.