In the first half of this project I have learnt:

  • Illustrator skills such as drawing and tracing
  • Pattern within illustrator
  • How to strip a printing screen
  • how to expose a printing screen
  • A deeper understanding of paper screen printing, the process and effects
  • Fabric screen printing, process and effects
  • How to use hand use dye at home
  • A range of dyeing techniques
  • how to laser cut, how to achieve different types of cut and what can be cut

I have learnt all this by attending tutorials, speaking to members of staff/technicians and fellow students, as well as looking at online tutorials.

What else I need to learn:
I feel as though I need to develop my illustration skills as reflecting on it I don’t feel I did enough of that during this half. I also want to continue using digital software such as illustrator to further my knowledge of it. I would like to use what I have learnt in laser cutting to create my own printing blocks and learn block printing. Although I have done lino printing previously and is not something new to me I would like to try it again using my current style of illustration. I need however to learn how to print a repeat pattern, I understand how to make my pattern and I know how to print, it’s just a case of bringing them both together as one whole process.

My personal learning style and effectiveness of research in helping my understanding:
I find that most of the time when I find something I want to try, I begin by doing research, looking online and in books at the outcome and the process, so that I have some basic understanding at least when it comes to actually doing it.

I find I work faster when shown how to do something rather than told, if someone goes through a process in detail with me, showing me how to use different equipment/tools/materials I pick it up almost instantly, but by doing it myself along with them it sticks in my memory all that more. Though I enjoy learning more when I’m left on my own to try it, because then I have to research it myself, get tips from a range of people who have done it, overcome problems on my own and it may take longer and no doubt ill make more mistakes but it makes it feel much more rewarding and self fulfilling – I think that’s how I learn best.

Importance of getting things wrong:
Without getting things wrong you have nothing to solve, and I think when learning a new process getting things wrong is invaluable because you are then learning things you possibly wouldn’t have learnt otherwise, you can then avoid doing the same or know what to do in case things go wrong again. And as a perfectionist I really hate getting things wrong, but in this project I’ve learnt to let go of that somewhat and accept it as just a mistake and not a disaster, and to accept that nothing can always go right you just have to learn from it and carry on with what you now know.

How broader developments will effect me:
The only developments that I can think would effect me are developments in technology/software and print processes, this will obviously mean needing to update my skill set, unless I wanted to remain involved with traditional print methods. Software is always updating however so that is something I will need to keep on top of.

What have I learnt about myself:
I’m really good at losing track of what I want to do, which was something I was already aware of so for this project I tried to focus on one thing at a time so not to lose direction. By doing this I was able to organise myself, rather than running around in a frantic panic not knowing what I should be doing or what stage I should be out.

I learnt that I find lists very useful, I’m a forgetful person so am often scribbling little reminders anyway, but by forming these into small to-do lists for each week I was able to keep on top of the tasks I set myself and manage my time more wisely than I have previously.

When working I don’t like to leave my work unfinished, I’ll give my self small breaks to refresh myself but often no more than 5 minutes because I’m so adamant on getting it done to the best of my ability as fast as possible making the most of the burst of motivation – because I know if I leave it unfinished, it’s likely to get left for a while and I want that sense of achievement that comes with finishing a piece of work.

I enjoy working in solitude, I’m easily distracted so I’ve found that working on my own during this project I was much more productive, being able to block out the world and just create while listening to music in the background leaves me with nothing but the ideas in my head and the implements to make something of them.