Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Reflective Journals...

Mike Press mentioned something today about creative writing in academia and the importance of recording everything and finding your own style. It's gone along with the theme of a most of the lectures this week and one of the things that has stuck was the difference in attitudes to reflective journals between designers & fine artists.

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.

4 comments:

Louise said...

=]

xx

Emily said...

Well it's true. Don't get disheartened Peasy, 3rd year sucks for everyone. x

Qin said...

I used to jealous of other's sketchbook with 'proper drawings', while mine is full of 'dull' symbols and diagrams... well, now I start to accept the fact that maybe diagrams are the things that really refelcts the way my mind works and there is no need to copy other people's way of thinking even if they 'look' more colourful and beautiful...

well... the feeling of envy is never gone though...

ha ha... we gotta live with ourselves, don't we?

Emily said...

indeed we do need to be ourselves, very well put Qin :)

(even with a little hidden envy;))