Today we held fifteen minute presentations to our peer groups talking through our practice from Practice 1 through to Practice 3. After each presentation we talked our way through the Learning Outcomes to mark ourselves against a traffic light system; Green= working well and are on track; Amber= room for improvement across certain aspects of your practice; Red= there are aspects of concern and need to be addressed over the rest of the unit.
Across the learning outcomes I was marked between green and amber to acknowledge that I was aware that I need to push on with certain areas. I found the feedback interesting. I understand where my work sits and could sit, what it could be seen as and used for, and that I have different aspects to my practice. In relation to demonstrating a coherent body of work, it was suggested again to play with more materials and think about convenience. If I am creating an editorial piece I would not have time to work with clay, at least not to the point of considered ceramics, alternative material could be economical. Again, as one of the ceramic technicians mentioned, the question arose of why I have to follow the ceramic process while making my figures and sculptures if they are purely for display. Why do I have to take my sculptures to the kiln; can I not have materials protruding from the clay; do I have to use underglazes? The truth is, I don’t, I could take advantage of not being a ceramicist and work to the way that suit the needs of my work. Although I do enjoy making the sculptures and would like to invest in a kiln, this could be something that is put aside until after the MA. I wanted to take advantage of the equipment and the knowledge of the ceramic technicians throughout my course but I do see how this could limit the potential of my work if I keep concentrating on the process and rules.
I spoke of how I was worrying that I am spending a lot of time engaging with activities through the University such as the homework Club, workshop assistant roles, applying to exhibit, and establishing connections with peers and tutors who are working or interested in similar subject matter or processes. I believed that this was taking me away from pushing on with my visual language. My peers drew the conclusion that my work and involvement in these projects all connects to my interest and empathy with people and this is a fundamental part of my practice. I should consider this as a role I offer, be it a facilitator to art workshops for children and adults, working with the community to provide art therapy, working with people in regard to communicating their experience, or, providing a connection between people. I have always been dismissive of my role as a hairdresser, however, I can see how this connects with my role as an artist and illustrator due to my connection with people. My peer used the term Visual Anthropologist. This highlighted a contradiction in my personality, I have a desire and an artistic need to connect with people, but I have to be alone to create my work.
I determine myself as an Illustrator yet I am aware that my practice has allowed me to take different paths. This may be due to lack of a better term for myself and it is something to ponder over the duration of the year. I am an illustrator; an artist; a visual communicator; a facilitator; a provocateur. Am I usuing Illustrator as a conveniet umberella?
Going forward I will prioritise my experimentation and scale and set myself deadlines. I need to use my time more efficiently and this may lessen my anxiety if I see myself achieving small targets.