Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Statement of Intent

This first week back at uni has made me realise that the most appropriate phrase for this year is 'if you don't do it yourself, it will never get done'. There are so many things that I want to achieve this year and despite it only being September I already feel like I'm running out of time.

The main thing I'm concerned with is the idea of the 'penny dropping'. My final project last year really confirmed for me that my strengths lie in practical craft and design skills - i.e. book making, would you believe. And while this is something that I really enjoy, I need to determine if it is having an actual finished book at the end of my project that I value, or if it is simply the design of the physical book itself. So I really need to focus on content this year to give me a better idea of my real area of interest.

Placements are something that are really weighing down on us at the minute. For me this summer has just been far too unproductive. I've worked full and part time since May to earn enough money to pay the rent and by the time I get back from work and do all the things I have to do I'm in no way motivated to do any sort of self initiated design work. Next summer, for me, has to be different. I've decided to apply for Camp America, teaching the children art and craft. Although it's not an industry based placement it still counts towards my learning journey and helps me develop as person and broaden my horizons. It may even change my whole perspective on post-graduation, who knows.

What this means though, is that if I want to do an additional industry based work placement (which I do), then I have to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. Which in turn means I need to build up a strong print/book making portfolio and fast. Really fast. Great. Not to mention find some places that I actually want to apply to... I plan on finding out from the tutors if there are any graduates with businesses that may suit my style of work. I think that's a good start.

Overall this year I want to take a more hands on approach to the course. I am going to get fully involved in class discussions and group crits to make the most out of my teaching time. It really has hit home that things aren't just going to happen out of chance.

Specialising in something that I enjoy is all fine and well but I also need to start thinking about how I can relate book making and relevant print processes to the real world. When we graduate we're going to have to adapt to fit a specific job, there isn't necessarily going to be a job sitting there that conveniently ticks all the boxes of my areas of interest. Things like software fluency are majorly important to my future as a practitioner and while I see them as tedious and unnecessary now, it doesn't mean I won't need them in the future.

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