Part 2

Reflective journal


Today, our task was to photograph ourselves without showing the face, it gives a sense of intimacy and makes the photograph look more unusual. we were meant to represent our emotions in these photos and for me it is the best way to represent what I feel, as only the photograph can show them that accurately. When doing them I was playing with light and darkness, as it's always good to experiment with something new and see what effect it can make on the photograph. I was also experimenting with colours and exposure. As it is also makes it different depending on the contrast and the colour. to represent myself, I was taking pictures of my personal objects, as it doesn't show myself, but still represents my feelings and personality. what I really liked about this project was to find unusual and interesting places, because I really like to try out something new and it gives a chance to make lots of experiments based on the atmosphere of certain places. However, the hardest for me was to chose the right places, which will show my emotions, to overcome it I made some decorations myself.



For this project, we have learnt about how to do mapping. When I was just starting I had no idea of how I want my project to look like or which topic shall I choose, although I've started to experiment with different techniques and drawing using different materials. On this lesson I was taught to use maps and understand how to make my own. This was quite useful, as it's a skill you need in your everyday life. I have talked to many people and look at their reaction on what I was doing, which was quite unusual and some of them were surprised, as it's not very common to do this. What I found hard was to ask others to do something, because they were busy with their work and didn't want to waist their time. what I enjoyed the most was collecting different objects, as each object tells it's own story about the place and a person it belongs to. My first idea was to ask people for any personal projects, which they don't need, photograph the process and make a composition or a collage out of them, but it didn't really work because people didn't understand what I want from them and didn't want to give their things to me. My second idea was photograph kids and their emotions, but their parents didn't want me to photograph their kids, not everyone understood the reason I was doing it, so they've asked too many questions, so I was basically waisting my time. My third idea was to photograph cats, however there are not many cats in Archway, so I decided to go to the cat's adoption centre. This was really interesting because I like animals and this was an unusual experience for me, it would be even better if I could have taken photographs there. I've also looked at the drawings and silhouettes, which looks like cats or remind me of them. I chose to look at this topic as Archway is well known for cats and they have a lot of statues here, which look really nice.



Today we were working with the program called Adobe Premiere, we were making films. As for me, I found this lesson really interesting and exciting, because I've never worked with this program before. Some stages were hard for me though, especially at the very beginning. The hardest was to understand how the actual program works, as I'm not very good in computers. But at the end of the day, I was feeling quite confident, as we've done a lot of practice and experimented with different techniques.

The easiest for me was cropping the audio and video sequences, as it quickly becomes very familiar, after the first try. It was also easy to try out different layouts, as it is the same when editing photographs and I've done it before.

It would be even better, if I would manage the time better, so I would have time to listen to the new instructions. The other thing is, that I'm a perfectionist, so I can't start doing something new, before finishing the previous task to the high standard, it didn't work for me this time because we were experimenting, not creating the final piece, so I was spending too much time on making everything look nice and beautiful, but I should have spend this time on making more experiments, so I could have tried more different techniques and not just focusing on one.

Anyway, I've enjoyed this lesson and I've learnt a lot of new thins and this is what would actually help me in my future career. The next lesson I will spend more time on experimenting and getting used to this program, so I would be even more familiar with it in future!



Today, we were collaging on photographs. what I found hard was to find the right photographs, as some of them are too simple or inappropriate. While doing a collage I was experimenting with different materials and techniques. For me, adding was the easiest one, as I've knitted on tom of the photograph and it was like a bright spot and looked really unusual and it's wasn't hard to do it, as I've been doing textiles before. We've learnt more techniques like: subtracting, making it 3D, using two of the previous techniques together. Making it 3D was actually quite hard, but the outcome went out really good, but it took me the longest to come up with this idea, although after I've done some research, it became much easier. While looking at the work of others I was trying to make something similar and this is what has helped me to make my outcomes look good. The interesting part was to analyze what and why I've done it, as after I've analyzed everything I've came up with even more interesting ideas. My context was to hide the person's personality and by adding or subtracting some parts to underline and even change their feelings, it worked out very well, because collage is the best method if you want to make something look different without loosing the actual idea and context.



It was primarily a self-study day, but in the morning we had a workshop about how to write a reflection. I found it very helpful, as I've gained lots of knew skills and practiced it talking to other group members. I understood how it works and why do we need a reflection. After this lesson I've gained a better understanding in how to answer the questions, when writing it, because we have to always ask ourselves the question "why" and be able to answer it. Even though it is still a bit hard I'm trying my best to write it better. For me it's sometimes hard to answer every "why?" question, because I don't always have a right answer, that means that I still need more time on it, because only when we don't know something - means we are learning.

After lunch time we had another workshop teaching us to use e-library, it was not hard to understand, because we were shown lots of examples. To remember it better at the end we were doing some exercises, to help us get used to this website.



On this workshop we were taught how to make a pin-hole camera. This was a new experience for me, as I haven't done it before, although I think it was very helpful and interesting. I was trying to make it look neat, as while doing it you should be very careful because if you would do something wrong it wouldn't work. What was hard is that when making it I had to make sure the light doesn't go through and I had to stick the tape around, to make it dark because if not - it would be spoiled, when sticking the tape it would have been good if somebody would have helped me because it is hard to hold it and stick it at the same time. After I've made it I still had some time left, so I decided to decorate it, as I wanted to make it look unique from others, so it would be easy to find mine. For the decoration I've used a silver marker pen, as the camera was black, so you can see the contrast and I think it worked out quite well, as it made the camera look better and more unusual and different from others. What I found hard was to understand the way it works, as I've never used cameras like this before and I didn't really like the fact that I could see the image after photographing it, although that was a great experience, as I like to gain new knowledge and skills.



Today we had atrip to 2 museums: Hunterian and UCL (inside university) museum. Both were very interesting because I've never been to museums like these before. Although I liked Hunterian museum more, because it had a bigger collection and everything inside was real, not made out of plastic. We were meant to draw 30 drawings in the first museum and 30 in the second one, but I didn't have time to finish all of them, because I was going in too much details, next time I need to learn how to measure my time better, as it is always my main problem. Even though, I didn't have chance to draw in many materials, as we were only allowed to use pencil and a fine liner, I've experimented with drawing in different techniques (e.g.: continuous line drawing). 

What I really like about this trip was, that we had a chance to draw something unusual, as we don't really see things like these in real life. And the knowledge I've gained was also very helpful!



On this lesson we were using our drawings from yesterday to recreate them in different materials and change their size and texture. I was drawing with two pencils: blue and red, what I've liked about this was the color combination, it made the drawing look 3D as if I was looking from a special 3D glasses. I've also recreated one of my drawings using a black tape, which made it look simple, but unusual at the same time, as the lines look quite sharp and the dolouur combination had a strong contrast.

My favorite exercise was to recreate and make my own creature out of two drawings, I've used a sea-horse drawing as a main body for the creature and added butterflies' wings, I was quite happy with my outcome, so I've decided to make some more outcomes from different drawings, but to make it look more interesting, I redrew these animals using a continuous line drawing method. Although I enjoyed this lesson and had fun doing these experiments it would have been even better if I would have done more practice and understand that it doesn't need to be perfect because it's not a final piece and I have to keep all my work, even though I'm not that happy with it because it went out not as good as I've expected.



Personally, I've enjoyed our trip to Brighton, because it has inspired me and gave me a lot of new ideas. For my main topic, I decided to look at repetition and similarity in objects. I chose this theme because it includes all other topics inside, as repetition is everywhere, in geometry, in architecture, in people and even in sounds. I have taken lots of photographs, mainly near the pier. As I've been in Brighton before I already new where the most beautiful places are, but I've explored some new ones as well. To look at the topic of repetition I was inspired by the similar gates and green arrows and crosses above them, when leaving the train I saw them just by the exit and it made a huge influence on my decision. It seems so unusual, as it's just the arrows we see everyday when exiting the tube, but in combination with my mood at that time it made a big impact on my choice.

I've made a lot of drawings in different materials and techniques, what didn't go as good as I've expected were rubbings, because the paper in my sketchbook was to thick, so the pattern didn't print through, next time I will probably use a tracing paper to make sure it looks better. What I enjoyed the most was taking photographs and collecting the materials. I was also inspired by the stones, as I've found a lot of them with the hole inside, and according to a legend, if you find the stone with the hole - means it's a lucky stone. What surprised me was the fact that these stones are really rare, but today I've found three, which was quite a lot! To make more experiments I've also recorded the sound and filmed videos.



In the morning we had a laser cutting workshop and it's impressive how a machine can make such an accurate 3D designs in such a big range of materials. However this wasn't new for me, as I've seen the way the machine works before. Anyway I found it really helpful and interesting, as I would probably use this knowledge in future. Although it was hard for me to understand how to make the right measurements, choose a picture suitable for the machine and which material shall I choose. After they showed us the example of how it looks on each material, i decided to choose white plastic. Because for me, white colour represents calmness and even mystery. 

After lunch time we were recreating everything we've done in Brighton. For me, it was a great chance to learn how to choose the best work because we had to choose only one from each technique. To recreate drawing I've scanned it, inverted the colours and made a 3D paper structure from it. For my rubbing, I've simplified the lines and changed the pattern a bit. To make my object (shell with the hole inside) look more unique, I've photographed it in a way the sun shines through the hole, so you can only see the edges and I like the color combination on it and the sun bleach. To remake a photograph, i drew it out using just one fine liner and only a small section of the photo. But what I found the most interesting was the way I've recreated the sound. When I was in Brighton I've recorded the sound of my friends on a roller coaster, so I not only marked the sound from low to high, but also decided each sound in it's own category (e.g.:red color for people, orange for music and green - roller coaster). So, I've basically made a graph showing accurate information about the sound in that period of time.

Overall, I think I'm quite happy with experiments I did today, as I've practiced with a wide range of materials and measured my time correctly.



We had a self study day today and a workshop about how to use Adobe Illustrator to make our designs for the laser cutting machine. It was very interesting, as I've never used this program before, however it was hard for me to understand how it works. I've done some experiments with basic forms and practiced with the use of color, but what I found hard was to make something rather than a circle or a square. It would be even better if we had more time to get used to this program, so we can make something more unusual. When choosing how I want my outcome to look like I was inspired by our trip to Brighton and the objects I've collected there, so decided to design a shell. For my material I chose to use a white 3mm plastic, as I think it would be relevant and refer to my research, about sounds because, personally, for me, white colour is a representation of calmness and peacefulness.

If I would have had more time and a bigger range of colors and materials to use I would have designed something more complicated and experiment with multiple layers.



Today was a primarily making workshop day. We were meant to create a book-like object, which shape and function should have referred to the normal book. It is supposed to have a combination of text, meaning, sequence and narrative. For my final piece idea I decided to take an inspiration from our trip to Brighton. It would be even better if we could have more time for this project, as I found it really exciting. As my main material I decided to use a see through plastic. On the front leaf I drew a calendar using a black fine liner. then I've asked other people when do they have their birthdays and marked it on a calendar with a neon marker, I did this to make it look more colourful and so it includes more useful information. For the second leaf I've used the same see through plastic and designed a pattern for it. To design a pattern I've recreated my rubbings and combined them with my photographs from Brighton. I've focused on the theme of time, similarity and repetition and that's why I decided to make a calendar. For me Calendar is a representation of traveling, time passing and the meaning of life in total. I was inspired by the work of artists like Alexandra Keck (book with pages made out of glass), Jasper Johns and Keira Rathbone (artworks with numbers and letters).

If I had more time, I would have replaced the permanent marker with an engraving, using a laser cutting machine. Anyway, I'm quite happy with what I've done for this project so far. Because at least it shows the right concept and the representation of my thoughts and ideas.



Today, we were finishing our final outcomes and presenting them, we had to write a small proposal explaining our concept, this was actually very helpful, because when writing it, I get a chance to think about it more and this inspires me to create something better. It also helps to notice what I did wrong, so I would not repeat the same mistake twice.

After we have finished writing the proposals we had to write comments on each other's work and this worked as a good source of inspiration as well, because it was actually really good and everyone had something different and very unusual, in a way that nobody had the same concept or similar outcomes.

I had a positive comments, but even if it would have been negative, I wouldn't be sad or angry, because everybody is learning on their own mistakes and that would just help me with creating my future artworks.



Today we have started the new project, which is about the collaboration between people who study different subject areas. This is a one week project, but because I find it really interesting and unusual, i think, it would have been better if we had more time for it. Because while working in a collaboration with the other student you learn new approaches, techniques and take inspiration from each other, it is very interesting because I get a chance to listen to somebody else's opinion about the things I'm doing, this also help us communicate and teach us how to work in a team, but it's also quite hard because we have to teach each other how to manage the time correctly, and for now it's actually my main problem, to overcome it, I will write a timetable and chose what is more important, so I can start with it. Anyway, I think it's a great experience, as we gat a chance to undertake our knowledge exchange, so our ideas become even more interesting and exciting.

To start with, we decided to research some relevant artists and see similarities in our subject areas, our collaboration is quite interesting, because I'm planning to do fashion visual merchandising and branding and Nancy is doing womenswear. We had to make a response on the object from the CSM Museum and Study Collection our object was jewelry based but had a double meaning in a way that by changing the object, you change it's purpose and function and this is the concept we decided to concentrate on. Our object is a chopping board necklace, by Benita Gikaite.



Today, we've started to experiment with different materials and choosing the final idea, after we've considered all props and cons for each idea, we decided to concentrate on the idea with melted forks and a knitting piece hanging on them as if these are clothes handles. This idea was the best match for our concept because the fork itself is an everyday object, but if we melt it, we wan't be able to use it for the same purpose as before. So, both me and Nancy agreed about it and this was good, because it means that idea is actually good and we are working great as a team, which is also very helpful and easier for us.

We decided to buy two type of forks and see which ones look better, when melted, first were plastic and second - acrylic. We've tried out three different methods to melt them: in the oven, which didn't really work because they didn't melt like we wanted, so we had to fold them ourselves and the shape didn't really changed; using the lighter, which actually worked great, but it left black marks on it and even after washing it didn't go off; and using a heat gun, which took quite a long time, but the outcome was exactly what we wanted. After that we decided to melt some forks together, but it only worked with plastic ones and it actually looked quite nice, that is the reason, why we have decided to chose the plastic ones, we came up with a big structure made out of many melted forks sticked together and this matches our concept even more, then if we would have them separately. Overall, we were quite happy with our outcome and tested it on different materials like acrylic or mirror sheet, we chose the second one, because it makes the viewer think that there are even more forks and so the person can stand in front and see how the knitted piece would look like on him.



For the whole day today we were having a discussion about our final outcome and the concept behind it. We have agreed that nowadays food became less important for people, and fashion has moved to the foreground, because people want to waist more money on clothing, but not food, or even if it's food they look more on it's appearance, than on the taste. I wouldn't say its bad, but we wanted to show this through our work, so we made the forks melted.

Later today, we had a conversation in groups with our tutor, which I found really helpful, because we were able to get lots of advises and give some to others, so this was also a great and interesting team work, as I'm always happy to help people and listen to their critique and opinion about my work.

Tomorrow, we are going to the knitting workshop and buying a mirror, so our final piece would be finished by friday morning. I thing this time we have measured the time correctly, as we don't need to be in a hurry and we are doing everything on time, as we've planed before.



Today we went to a knitting workshop, to make the garment for our final piece, the idea is that because the background is a mirror sheet and melted forks are clothes handlers we would hang the garment on them, so when the person looks in this mirror, even though he is not wearing this garment he still sees himself wearing it. After we have finished with the knitting piece we have started the final preparation because tomorrow we have to have it ready to make the photoshoot, we were thinking of photographing mannequin in front of the mirror in a dark room with the white surface begind, so it looks more intence and you can see the contrast.
We also had a tutorial and it helped us to understand what we should add or change, so we need to consentrate more on how to explain our context, the problem is it is sometimes too difficult to explain this in words, even though we will try to do it again, to overcome it i think we have to make a brainstorming or write a mind map.
We had to find ways to attach mirror either to the mannequin or to the wall, so we've experimented with wire and thick threads, threads worked out better, because the wire didn't really hold and we couldn't tie it in a position so the mirror stands straight, we've drilled the holes and tied threads, it worked out quite well and held it in a right position.



To start with, I want to say, that the FAD+ experience is almost what I was expecting, as my friends, which have done it before told me about their own experience. Despite this fact, I would say, it was even more exciting than I thought it would be, because it actually gives a good chance to become an adult and understand that everything we do – we do for ourselves and not for anybody else. It taught me to be more self-confident, independent and only rely on my own strength.

I enjoyed many things but the most interesting for me was collaborating in pairs, as I am a very sociable person. We had many exciting and interesting projects to do and areas to gain skills at.

The most challenging for me was writing a reflective journal, as I’m not always sure how to record my thoughts in a right way. When I was writing it, I wanted to mention every detail and thought I had and couldn’t concentrate on the particular one and write everything step by step, so missed some interesting things I’ve planed to write.

To overcome this challenge I’ve decided to record everything I thought about in bullet points, so it would be easier to write more about this later. During the lesson I’ve made lots of notes, so when I came back home I still remembered everything and knew exactly what I wanted to write.

While experimenting, I was gaining new skills, which will help me in my future career, so I’ve tried my best, to make these samples look good and researched a lot about the materials and techniques I was using.

Comparing to my other educational experiences, FAD+ was much more unusual and exciting, as every lesson we are learning something new and practicing our skills in each area. The atmosphere is always very pleasant and friendly.

I think that having a sketchbook is very helpful, as all the work is in the same place and it is easy to find anything you need, personally, I am a very neat person and I like when everything is on it’s places and clean. A reflective journal is also necessary, as it shows all the skills you’ve gained and if you would forget something, you can always come back to the particular area and refresh it in your memory. Digital information file is a good chance to expand my knowledge about the particular artists from each subject area and when doing my own research and writing everything down it’s easier to memorize all the new information, which can be helpful in my future life and career.

To be honest, I enjoyed every project we had, as this was something new for me and every lesson and activity was interesting. My favorite ones were collaboration in pairs and a self-portrait project. It has included many different techniques and taught us how to work in pairs. It showed how to present an idea or a particular piece in an interesting way and how to make it unusual and different from others. My second favorite project was the project about Brighton because I really like travelling and it’s great if we can combine it with lessons. It also gives a chance to look at different environment, draw and take a lot of photographs.

To make a better piece I always research about the particular project before starting, so it is easier to make it. That’s why the research has always played a huge role in my current studies and helped me a lot. That’s why I’ve enjoyed library research tasks we had. The CSM library is huge and I found everything I need there, there are books for every subject and I had a time for myself to just sit, read and record all the new information.

FAD+ is helping me to become more self confident and mature.

Personally, I think my strength are the abilities of working in a group, being diligent about the work I do and always trying to meet the targets, I’m also very friendly and sociable, and I think this is an important component in the art and design society, as it is always nice to work with a pleasant and polite person.

I still have some areas I feel I need to improve and these are being more self-confident, manage my time better, experimenting with a bigger range of materials and not being afraid to try something new. To improve these I will try to make more experiments and use more different materials, not just working in the same technique. Anyway, I’m now working on improving these areas and FAD+ is helping me a lot in meeting my targets and becoming a better student and a wiser person!




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