A Few Additional Reflections on Study Group Experiences

(Oops! This blog post was made in confusion with a ‘Constellation Reflective Text’ but instead of deleting it I’m going to post it anyway to save the time and work going to waste)

I have already written reflections on my constellation experiences for year one and for each session however I noticed that I needed to reflect more about how each of the constellation sessions is linked to my practice. In this blog post you will find the vast and valuable connections that I recognise from this resourceful Constellation module that has helped to stimulate ideas and boost my knowledge, ultimately developing my role as an Illustrator.

My Constellation experience so far includes my attendance to two compulsory study groups that I self-selected being in term one Visual Thinking and secondly in term two Creativity and Cognitive Development in Art and Design that took place every Thursday also followed by enticing series of Keynote lectures that occurred every other Thursday.

A Reflection on my Visual Thinking study group experience:

My learning experience within my term one study group entitled ‘Visual Thinking’ led by the engaging Professor Clive Cazeaux was consistently very mind opening, energizing and thought-provoking.

Seminar One:

Within the very first seminar based on addressing the questions of “why are we here?” and “what is a concept”. To answer the first question, interestingly I was introduced to the principle teaching approach at university and the constellation course being that my education is not about filling a bucket but about igniting a fire meaning that it’s about feeding my appetite for knowledge and inspiration. From this understanding of university I have realised that its my responsibility to equip myself to meet this principle by being interested and attending scheduled classes throughout my university experience to gain and benefit from as much inspiration, understanding and to stimulate ideas to improve as my role as an illustrator.

To answer the second question is to see the world as constructed and to reflect on history, theory and value following a gained understanding of knowledge as a construction and that facts are manufactured. To visualise this I see facts as being the bricks to a tower that ultimately reflects our human understanding of the world with bricks being replaced, removed and added as time goes on as new discoveries and evidence arises.

I also learnt through examples of how changing a viewpoint can change a perspective creating more than one correct answer when it comes to identifying and I saw how this can also relate to an argument. The examples also helped me to realise that by taking more time to look at an art piece by changing the way you look at it, it can reveal hidden perspectives leading to surprising discoveries with this reminding me of how our knowledge is constructed from experience through our senses. For example magnified microscopic imagery of trees looking at their cells helped us to understand how trees function.

Most valuable to my role as an illustrator the discursive tasks made me realise how valuable it is to share ideas and to listen to others as this worked to really open my mind to so much more possibilities and to learn from and provide ideas to each other. The discursive tasks helped me to make new connections to other interdisciplinary creatives preparing me for my later field experience and helped me grow more confident and comfortable with sharing my ideas with the class.

(I have an original blog post based on each lecture that I will place a link too at the end of these link specific reflections)

See my original post on this session: https://ellenreesblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/my-first-visual-thinking-study-group-session/

Seminar Two:

My second Visual Thinking seminar based on “Thinking in pictures” equipped me with inspiration as I acknowledged how it is our sensory experiences that stimulates thinking and ideas. This session developed the idea of using more of my senses like touch when I admire artwork (if allowed) rather than just using my eyes all the time and to change viewpoints to achieve the real benefit of admiring another’s work or perhaps environment and to record this in phrases and photos as a reminder. My theory is that the more I stimulate my senses with an object the more I can learn from it and open my mind to far more possibilities which I should all value and note as they develop.

You can see in my previous post where I was very much engrossed by and in agreement to Plato’s opinion about Homer’s tragedian poetry. I realised that yes it is better to represent how humans have control of their emotions and to not overly exaggerate emotions with them taking control over the character as Homer created in his poetry. I don’t think a seriously depressing movie with no come back, uplift and emotional control could ever be anyone’s favourite movie or at least enjoyable or memorable. You’d only come away feeling deep pity for a character and it’s not what you’d want to infect yourself with as an untruthful potential for your own behaviour. I feel like it’s better for the world to see always the truthful representation in our human behaviour being good or bad but to overall focus on the good through problem solving for the overall benefit and purpose of making people happy and to see the value in optimism. This session really made me stop and think about my purpose as an illustrator and it brought about an idea of self-establishing a very rewarding goal to start creating with the simple purpose to bring people to happiness with my artwork to positively benefit my audience’s wellbeing and to see how this effects my own.

See my original post on this session: https://ellenreesblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/14/visual-thinking-thinking-in-pictures/

Seminar Three:

My third Visual Thinking seminar entitled “Greetings, phone-beings” addressed the topic of realising our intimate relationship with technology. Other than the “we are cyborgs” aspect covered in my intial blog post based on this session there was a really interesting thesis that Clive mentioned. The thesis states how you can only ever be a co-creator/co-author as you have to acknowledge Photoshop, paint and other tools that you utilised to create your work. This is a fair and non-egotistical philosophy made by someone unknown that I really like and completely understand as its the respect of the materials that collaborates with me to achieve my outcome.

This session also really helped me to realise the benefits that come along with referencing artwork as I can see how it is important to myself from a learning point of view as an illustrator as it directs careful yet substantial decisions from comparing the results of the recorded variety of explored materials to help make the informed decisions which will help to develop and improve my illustrative outcomes.

By referencing my illustrations I can also understand how this would be a valuable source of information to the people who are inspired by my work. From this thesis brought to light in this session I am going to start to include referencing as I share my work online and to keep noted as this has been a reminder that I should always reference and record the substantial tools that I use in the making process of my creations that is incorporated or aided the result of my creative outcome. From memory I am reminded all the artwork on display at exhibitions always have quite a consistent and valuable description sharing interesting information including name of the piece, mediums, size of the artwork, location, date and artist. I can always go to the museum to see how they have referenced similar artwork to help me with obtaining a correct and professional template for this and to gain inspiration whilst I am there.

See my original post on this session: https://ellenreesblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/visual-thinking-greetings-phone-beings/

Seminar Four:

This session based on the basis of “a drawing does not have to look like it’s object” linked closely to my practice as an illustrator as it inspired my decision to suggest and take on the challenge of crafting three dimensional collated concepts using recycled and unconventional waste materials within my field collaborative project with illustrators and my interdisciplinary collaborative project. I found that using unconventional materials had marvellous effects with stimulating my mind with ideas and created a completed unvisited set of new challenges. Most valuable was the fact that this influenced experience worked to open my mind to see an exciting never ending landscape of possibilities through a new perspective of accepting all kinds of unconventional materials in my environment as a supply of extraordinary resources as a tool or medium around me that I would have usually disregarded.  I found this change of approach to making artwork was thoroughly enjoyable, spontaneous and rewarding because of its experimental nature.

All of the discursive tasks from these very social sessions in these regular constellation seminars where I regularly shared my ideas and took part in class discussions has boosted my team work skills and confidence as a growingly motivated illustrator as it helped me to develop my clear communicator skill which really prepared me well for the collaborative tasks and tutorials. I realise that every idea is valuable and that it’s always worth sharing in discursive opportunities with others as there’s so much more possibilities when you can obtain further inspiration, suggestions and ideas to share with each other. I have grown to realise that the more you trust in your intuitive with creativity the more this will enable you to love yourself and increase your confidence and happiness in your position. Knowing that my intuition can sometimes lead me to mistakes it is always a valuable learning source which will lead me to great developments as an Illustrator.

See my original post on this session: https://ellenreesblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/16/visual-thinking-a-drawing-does-not-have-to-look-like-its-object/

Seminar Five: 

From this seminar titled “Contemporary art and design: what’s the difference?” the session really demonstrated and defined my purpose in my position as an illustrator within my practice. The session helped me to grasp what my work stands for in the university being a creator of art and design in other words an inventor of form and function. This created the perspective as seeing my work as a form that I employ with a job to gain a desired outcome. This basis had a personal effect on me as it grew admiration, confidence and pride for my role as an illustrator which really spurred my motivation throughout my practice. This clearer and valued perspective has worked wonders to my practice as for each brief I remember to ask myself “what do I want my illustration to do? and What is your purpose?” and to strive for making sure that the basis of form and function is equally effective. Furthermore, I have grown more desire to represent an excellent standard of illustration employed with the function of bringing happiness and joy to its viewers for all to love.

See my original post on this session: https://ellenreesblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/29/visual-thinking-contemporary-art-and-design-whats-the-difference/













Author: ellosweetmellon

I am 21 years old and I live in Cardif. My dream is to be a great illustrator that can sell and exhibit my work with pride.

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