December 9, 2009

Final Statement

Final Evaluation:

For the final assignment of the semester, it's hard for me to think of this as anything else besides an accumulative learning process, in which it was important to revisit the earlier lessons in order to aid in the production of this latest project. A lot of the time, in a fast-paced class such as visual communications, it's easy to get caught up in the rush to produce adequate amounts of work and focus on meeting deadlines. Sometimes while pushing to complete all these things, I forgot the basic concepts from the beginning of the year, and because of it my work suffered.

¡ BUT !

About halfway through, I realized what I was forgetting, and from then on attempted to be mindful of what I had learned in regards to the haiku project. And even before that, there were a few things I did right, even if I hadn't realized it! :)
  • Mind Mapping : I begin this project by mind mapping each individual line of the poem. This is something that we learned in the dot project, to help us dig deeper into the topic, and also come up with more surprising ideas that we might not have thought of otherwise. When it came to mind mapping the haiku lines though, I realized there is a point where the ideas are too far reaching. I will keep this in mind from now on.
  • Iterating iterations of iterated iterations : Thank goodness for never using the first ideas that pop into our heads. Or at least, thank goodness for giving yourself something to compare them to. With all of the project this semester, and not only in visual communications, iterations saved my projects from being shallow and poorly developed. It's good to have choices, and it's good to try and consider other versions of an idea. For the dot book, we did countless amounts of thumbnails to refine and clarify our compositions. And also with the line studies, using the initial pairings as stepping-stones, I was able to learn from their critiques and make better compositions as I better understood the assignment. Time allows for more understanding to sink in, and our iterations are like a physical indication of this.
  • Being Selective : This kind of goes with iterations, but I feel like it makes a more direction connection between the animation and the line studies. I could have done iterations of my haiku symbols all day, but being selective about them was a process in which I had to consider all the elements of the project in relation to the image I was choosing. In the line studies, the objective was to make photo/line pairings that not only matched, but also added to each other--completing a conversation--and were still visually pleasing. In the same manner, choosing the final icons was something that wasn't just about what looked good. Each symbol was chosen out of a group of icons (see the project evolution for examples) because it best reflected the meaning behind the line of the haiku.
  • Just letting things happen : This was the most fun part of these assignments, for sure. The serendipitous nature of the projects was something that I was new to, and learned a lot from. Having line studies magically line up with photographs, and having unorthodox tools accidentally make better marks than I ever could have thought out on my own was a big learning experience, and something I'm going to try to incorporate as often as I can in the future. In general, getting away from mechanical tools like computers and their programs was a breath of fresh air.

As to the principles and practices, I've learn how to communicate...visually? No no, just kidding. I feel as thought I made a lot of progress in learning how to:
  • problem solve
  • focus on process as much as the final artifact
  • better articulate concepts and ideas using a formal vocabulary
  • recognize individual elements combining to make a cohesive whole
Along with these I've also developed a pretty clear understanding of many of the more formal principles such as the elements of design (proximity, layering, continuation), spatial relationships, and the workings of various analog and digital tools. I don't think I'm anywhere near mastering any of these practices yet. In order to keep these fresh in my mind in the next semester, and for the rest of my life, I plan on CONSTANTLY rereading notes, and reevaluating myself and my work to make sure I'm keeping in touch with all of these important elements. :)

Critique of older piece:

This is one of the earlier pairings for the line book. The reason I chose this one is because, looking back at all the works, this is one of the pieces that gave me the biggest "what was I thinking!?" feeling. When we initially began pairing the photographs with the line studies we had done, I tried making rather bland match-ups like this one. This pairing, to begin with, is visually very ugly. On top of that, the photograph and the line study do not add anything to each other. Even if I had gone along and digitally edited the line study, smoothing out the curves, it would still be a visually boring image that lends nothing to its partner. There's no conversation between these halves aside from the fact that they are similar in shape. This was an unsucessful attempt at creating a link between two incompatible images.

1 comment:

  1. you've written about some important learning discoveries.

    amongst other things, yay(!) for serendipity, mindmaps, mindfulness, taking notes, gestalt (indv. parts making a whole) and the love of process.