Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Flashback - Emma's first year at University.

 Looking Back.  My first year at university (Part one)

So as a new blog feature for this year that I thought would be easy to stay on top of, and that Kayla can easily join hint hint nudge nudge. Is to re-visit some of my old university work.  I was hoping that by re-sharing it and looking back at what I was doing and thinking when making art at uni it would inspire my sketchbooks and creativity now. I wanted to be somewhat organized or methodical about how I looked back over my time at university so I’ve decided to start right back with my first year there.  (Keeping that timeline nice and easy to understand) Basically I’m going to dig around my old sketchbooks and journals from that time and see what photos I can root out of my studio space and final pieces. Hope you enjoy looking at my old work, and let’s see if it does have any impact on my sketchbook posts too!

The drawing classes are something I really miss now.  Even though at the time it seemed very strange to make glasses to hinder your sight to change your drawing style.

From what I remember studying fine art was initially a bit daunting; the essays, theory and art history could be a bit overbearing as you want to grab all the informative tidbits that I could.  But it was the way that the course really challenged how you worked that I didn't see coming.  

The main challenge for me was to separate out all my ideas and drawings into two separate places; a journal and a sketchbook.  I had been so used to using one book as a place to collect all my inspiration, thoughts, ideas drawings, material lists and swatches that the idea of having to collate those thoughts and organise them separately seemed like an impossible task.  

So naively I opted for my first term to ignore advice from tutors and went back to storing everything in the same book.  This was great as its now a jam packed chest of goodies, emphasis on chest! as this sketchbook started getting so weighed down by all the notes I was trying to take that it stopped being a sketchbook or a journal and just became a washy middle ground in between. 

Weirdly some of my favourite page layouts come from these sketchbooks even though it was probably the worst sketchbook for actually helping me in the studio at the time.  
During that first year I started looking at calligraphy and ended up using a felt calligraphy pen day to day in order to get the feel of that style of writing.  Resulting in my handwriting being the best its ever been, and possible ever will be.

In order to get more drawing into those writing heavy sketchbooks I started to draw on scrap papers and tape or glue them into the book when I had a spare page.  I remember this style of working was great as you can squeeze in some drawing time practically anywhere as carrying small bits of paper (especially tracing or tissue paper) to the library means instant research too.  But there is a downside.... that you now have a dozen or so small drawings to keep hold of till you get a spare moment to glue them all down.

Now I'm pretty certain I will mention this in all the posts looking back at university, but I really do miss having a studio space so much!  Having that place where you can stick as much to the wall as possible and surround yourself in reading material, cups of hot chocolate and really focus and get work done.

Looking back over photos of my work in this first year has made me notice that I had interests in materials and textures/techniques that I didn't fully realize or appreciate for at least another year.  It's really interesting to look back at your own work from a few years ago and see that 'oh I was interested in fluid gloopy colours then too! why did it take me another year to try that on paper'  I'm sat in front of my laptop at the moment wondering what I could have created in my third year if the discoveries I made in that year had been made two years prior.  Knowing me, I probably wouldn't have seen the potential then, hindsight being a wonderful thing and all. 

I've enjoyed looking back over my work more than I thought I would.  I'm going to start digging out a lot more photos and thoughts for the next post, it will be a part two of my first year at university as I still have so much more to write. 

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