Project Report LAUIL603 Extended Practice
This has been the best module this year as it has given me the chance to reflect on, and identify the strengths and weaknesses in my practice. Looking back on the entire module, I have become quicker at producing work under time pressure, and at organising my time, when working across a range of briefs. Giving myself a short deadline for briefs has made this a particular strength for my editorial work, which I see as being the main focus of my practice. For me, the way in which I approach an editorial can be applied to a range of briefs, as it allows me to create work which is more conceptual particularly through the generation of ideas through mind-mapping and sketching. I feel that the better responses in this module are often ones where I have responded to an article or a song, and the text is the foundation for the images that I make. In the first statement of intent, I was definitely a bit too ambitious in the volume of work that I wanted to make. It took me a while to be realistic about the number of projects I could achieve within deadlines, but once I had ironed this out, I was left to work on projects that I enjoyed. From the first project to now, I can see a progression in the way that I work - distilling the process into a shorter time-frame, but also making more work that feels right. Removing projects from my statement of intent originally felt like backtracking; I definitely started some projects because I felt I should, rather than enjoying the brief. This module has also been an exercise in balancing expectations; my own against those of the client/competition brief. Towards the end of the module, I really understood that the only way I would want to stay up late over, or keep perfecting a project was if I truly enjoyed it. Although this is a luxury of being on the course, I think that it is something that I want to take into my practice, working on personal projects/competitions. Organising not just my schedule, but also the assets and project files, for a range of briefs has saved me time and created structure in my project planning. This is especially important in animation, where misplaced files can lead to broken links in the working After Effects file. Documenting my work through the revision of the statements has been integral to the production of my work, as constantly reassessing the timeframe for each stage of the project (and meeting my own personal goals) has enabled me to meet the final deadlines. This is also reflected in the alteration of some of the briefs - removing them where necessary, or adapting them into personal projects (in the case of the music video brief).
Sketching, then making a range of drawings to edit and use has become the way that I make work. Trying to preserve the delicate qualities of ink drawings has become less of a focus, as I am more concerned with the concept that informs the image. Instead of feeling the need to ‘toe-the-line’ on a live brief, I have started to see these as the chance to explore how I can still make work that feels natural to me within brand guidelines or to a client’s needs. Working on live briefs, or for public-facing projects, I used to worry about my work not being accepted, but I think that I should trust my instincts more and stop considering what people might want to see, and just make work that I want to. The most important brief for me had been the final animation. Being a song that I really love, it was a real passion project. I was too scared in the proposal of making work that felt too personal and emotional, however, I think that the parts that are more meaningful to me are reflected in the execution of the final piece, and the time and effort taken to make the hand-drawn animations look smooth. Proceeding with this project, I intend to focus more on the successes of the 1 minute proposal and continue making frame animations, using the rotoscoping technique. Relying on the film frames to provide accuracy gives me the freedom to add a personal touch while painting each frame, where you can see the hand of the maker. At first, this felt almost like stopping myself from making an organic frame animation, but having filmed the original movements myself, it is definitely a valid form of creating work in order to achieve the desired handmade aesthetic in an accurate way. Labouring over the frames, I realised that once it was combined with the motion graphics parts, they didn’t sit well together. Presenting my work at the crit, I got positive feedback, but I know that going into the final show, I want to really push myself to make it work as frame animation, as this will better reflect my practice. Looking over the editorials, I think that the most interesting ones have been focussed on science and technology, and this is the main focus of my professional practice. Moving forward, I see myself trying to hone animation as through personal work, and continue to pursue editorial-style briefs as the majority of my professional practice.