Give Me a Sign: Reflection

This project has brought self discovery, it has lead me to be determined, it has been long, it has been difficult, but it has been without a doubt one of the best/ most enjoyable projects I have completed in my life.

I have been able to adapt to changes, I have fought with my own difficulties (depression, anxiety and ADHD) in a global pandemic, and although I needed a little extra help from mitigating circumstances this time around, I am proud of where I am today.

Upon reflection of the beginning of this project, I am unsure as to which category my project now fits under. Although I begun working in the thematic group, this project I believe can fit in both responsive and thematic. I researched into the theme of re-birth through this project, I have gathered information on spiritual signs shown from those in the after-life, I have essentially gotten in-touch with my core beliefs and explored my personal ways of understanding situations and adapting to change. I also responded to a life event being the loss of my family dog as I experienced multiple ‘signs’ of re-birth and communication from a possible ‘life beyond life’. I was also inspired by a story which I recalled my mother reading to me when I was 12 years old after losing my best-friend to an incurable syndrome. The story I cannot locate again, although it was very similar to ‘The Secret of the Dragonfly’. This story taught me about loss, but also re-assured me that the lost loved one will still be looking down and wanting to communicate in some form.

The loss of my dog although at first caused grief, it ended up re-igniting the emotion/ relief I felt when the story was read to me, and I wanted to create art work that would offer the same feeling to an audience member if they were possibly experiencing a loss of their own by viewing an exhibition of my work where they would be re-assured, but also feel a sense of escapism, a place of beauty, where a negative/ bad experience (failed/ old 2D work) is re-birthed/formed into something beautiful and intriguing (3D paper butterfly, slice collages, urchins) as the work can be interpreted in alternative ways, which I wanted from my outcome as it can be interpreted to connect with multiple people. I believe it could be interpreted to recycling, reserving the planet, nature, fragility, bullying (fragility being reborn into strength), mental health (although times may be bad now it can be beautiful again), and more. I believe the artist statement I created for the work helps clarify what my personal intentions were and how I was inspired, however I believe leaving the work open will be able to connect with a larger audience.

Overall I am extremely pleased with how this project turned out, as although there was a period of time where my motivation was lacking due to the beginning of the COVID-19 lock down throwing my routine off and causing my ADHD to take over, I was able to create a substantial amount of work which I am finally satisfied with. I was able to offer suggestions for re-gaining motivation to fellow people on my course through a previous blog post, and had fellow students message me asking for advice after reading my post, which felt quite sentimental. Although I fell down, I am proud to say that I bounced back up more ready and more excited about my project than ever.

If I were to change anything about my project, I would have liked to have found a space or had a space nearby to perhaps set up a mock-exhibition, although as I lived in a shared student house there was insufficient space to do so. I believe the way I reacted to the pandemic cannot be changed, and therefore do not regret the fact that I initially lost motivation, as the brightest and most hardworking people need to take a break some times, I suppose I regret not realising this sooner as I initially felt guilty about my lack of productivity.

I believe this project has allowed me to find my visual language, being experimental. I like to work within 3D disciplines but also like to include photography and ‘typical’ 2-Dimensional drawings/ illustrations. Although I have been able to explore and develop my 3D work with this project, which I would like to continue to do as the way that paper can be manipulated from 2D into 3D fascinates me.

I also explored some professional practice opportunities within the exposure module which has been extremely beneficial for myself as I was able to experience first hand what it could be like to work within my desired profession. It also allowed me to focus on my communication skills and confidence in public which is a something I still want to work on, although the experience of doing live demonstrations in the Pen&Paper shop in Cardiff really helped me gain confidence in my profession and engage in conversations with an audience intrigued by my work.

I’d like to say that this is not going to be the final blog post I make. I intend to keep this blog going in order to keep a personal diary on where I have started from and where I am now. I decided to re-visit a 1st year illustration which we did at the beginning of the year, where we were asked to draw our bedroom from memory, so I decided to draw my room now and add my current project into it to feel a ‘full circle’.

Thank you to everyone who has read my posts throughout the three years that I have studied at Cardiff Metropolitan University, thank you to those who have followed me, thank you to my friends and family for supporting me, and thank you to my lecturers for encouraging me to be the best that I can. I cannot wait to hopefully post on this blog as a BA(Hons) Illustration graduate. Thank you all.

Room Observation

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