I am currently in the midst of my final project so I thought I'd share a little bit about the project I have chosen for myself, but also why this is important to me.
My Major Project - The most important project I will do whilst at university and this is a little bit terrifying for me and, as always I put a lot of pressure on myself, to do well. But in this last year I have come to realise that all I can do is my best, but also, 'doing well' should be your own expectations of yourself. Those expectations should only be based on your own personal improvement, not on what others think that should be, or what others achieve. I think at University I have, at times, got caught up in worrying about what other people think too much, but also letting grades define me, and they really shouldn't. This is partly due to my experiences before university, as finally for the first time in a long time, I have felt like I'm good at something and I have the ability to learn and improve. This has meant however that I've suddenly shifted from feeling like I am constantly letting myself down, to, I need to keep improving or I'll be a failure again.
But as I have come to realise, in the 'real world' you aren't graded on a piece of artwork. There really isn't a right and wrong, a failure or a success because it can always be viewed differently, some people will like it, some people won't and that is okay! I think the hardest part of being an artist is learning to love your own work, just as for everyone, the hardest thing to do is to love yourself, and I think my artwork has been helping me to do that.
The topic of my major project wasn't really planned, it sprang up from realising I was particularly interested in something that I haven't really explored before in a set brief, but something I drew, photographed, read about and researched in my spare time. This is the forest. This may not seem like a particularly overwhelming topic, however it is something that really interests me. I grew up in small villages, surrounded by forests, doing stupid things like climbing trees and building tree houses and other random 'dens'. When I lived in Spain, my surroundings were completely different and I missed those things that connected me to my childhood. I found comfort in reading and watching films that involved the forest and the magic they hold. So from this background of knowledge I have furthered my research gathering extracts of text from my favourite sources such as the Chronicles of Narnia, Russian Fairy Tales and Norse Mythology. I have looked more in-depth in topics such as The Tree of Life and our early history and connections with nature and trees, creating an encyclopedia of these relationships from many different perspectives.
From this I will be selecting, editing and arranging the texts into a fragmented narrative, and then most importantly illustrating each piece of text, creating my own series of editorial pieces.
Now for me, this sounds quite straight forward, because usually when I have a self initiated brief I very quickly over complicate things and I am still struggling with not doing that right now. But my reasoning for this type of work is that, it is utilizing the skills and knowledge I have gained in my 'spare time' and applying them to my work and what I enjoy doing most most, responding to things I read, watch and listen and creating an image for it. I like to be conceptual, and I love to research topics I knew little about. So hopefully this project will be a good example of strong points and interests ready for facing the real world.
The best thing about being a creative is your life is your work, and when you enjoy you work, it doesn't really feel like working at all!