“One of the most difficult pieces of space to form is the gap between my work and myself. And the ability to be honest with it. When you become an illustrator, you’re an artist, but an artist that has to solve a brief.” Laura Carlin (2013, Varoom!Lab Journal, p.1)
In this essay I will outline the ways in which GCDP has facilitated my growth as a creative practioner. For me creative practice is about channelling my experiences and knowledge, researching a specific topic and shaping my findings in to a visual solution or outcome that addresses the needs of clients and audiences within a specific context. Before the course I knew I had artistic and design skills however, I wanted to learn how I could put those skills in to a context that could serve a purpose in society. Since my PM6000 projects I have begun to learn how to contextualise my work, respond to a brief and create outcomes that communicate a specific message. My strengths lie in working with physical materials however I understand that this way of working is only a starting point. The requirement on the course to present my work through digital software has been challenging. A pencil drawing can look great on paper but in the real world a client will most probably be viewing the work through a screen, via email or an online platform. Therefore, I have had to alter the way I work, taking into consideration the size and quality of paper I work on, whether to use pen instead of pencil, and whether to use charcoal or ink, for example, because ultimately I will need to scan my work and make it look presentable in a digital format. I have also learnt that my work can look better on screen than it does in its physical form. For me digital image making is a double-edged sword, and it remains for me to harness the technology available to show my ‘content to its best potential’ as stated in the feedback from my PM6000 submission.
“When you make something personal that only you have the ability to make, that’s when people notice.” Miranda Tacchia (It’s Nice That Accessed 11.3.18) My identity as an individual and as a designer is my starting point for each creative project. Before GDCP I would try very hard to separate my personal mind-set from my work, and I think that created blockages in my creative thought processes. When trying to generate ideas I would naturally think up ideas that related to my personal life but I would dismiss these as irrelevant because they were too personal. This created an internal conflict but now I realise that my personal experiences are part of what I have started to develop as my creative voice. I am much more aware of the distinction between accidentally drawing from my personal experiences and referring to them with an intention or purpose. Arisman (2004, p.8) summarises this point, ‘once the personal content (subject matter) is understood and developed by the illustrator then the balancing process of solving someone else’s problems can begin.’ I have gained confidence through talking about my work, and life experiences during presentations and making reflective notes and I now feel much better positioned to begin to identify who my audience is.