Raskolnikov (Detail) and You're A Wolf by Louise Boyd
My little sister Louise is a fine artist in the middle of her third year, she's recently come under critism in a review which has brought her spirits down and made her doubt herself. Now I'm not saying this to embarrass her, in fact I hope to do the opposite. Mike's comparison about the fact that fine artists seem to use reflective journals more effectively than designs is entirely true in the case of my younger siblings and myself. She fills sketchbooks with her thoughts and reflections, her notes on her research, on her practice...these sketchooks are at bursting point, but she'll keep going back into them time and time again and drawing out more information.
When it comes to these books, I'm jealous.
I also know the complete and utter dispair she's feeling at the fact that this is where all her thinking & work goes and while at Masters level it would be looked over carefully, at her stage it's barely glanced at. I had that at her stage of uni - tutors not looking at sketchbooks and only at finished products - I remember being frustrated and angry because the working is as important if not more so. I mean in math you'd fail if you didn't show you working, why art different?
This first week back all our lectures have either been about or touch upon the importance of reflective journals and showing your working and it's something I need to work on, but it's also something I think that needs more emphasis on at an earlier stage of learning.