Describe the process you applied to Exploration A. What were points of success with your process?
Exploration A reminded me of what a general, chaotic, and even gorgeous mess I make of my design sometimes. It felt like it was methodological enough in the beginning when we were making extensions to word lists and considering what things could mean beyond initial response. I was feeling slightly obnoxious even, like I had discovered some uncharted territory in my abstract associations that would gain me respect and some medal of honor for my wit.
We then start putting together associations with images and color swatches. I’m still keeping it together here, exploring elements that I think are neat. I design a concept map that is a little different from the types of maps I have seen floating around in the design world. I felt super cool that I was able to associate words, images, and swatches overtop of these ripple effects.
Things begin to fall apart in order to fall together. I keep getting constructive criticism from Professor Betgevargiz that makes me feel anxious about achieving this point of success that I was earlier feeling so good about. My process is getting sloppy because i’m trying to find the right solutions so quickly. Some of my ideas are coming together in ways that don’t do justice to the hard work i’ve put toward exploring the words themselves. I’m feeling a bit deflated. I submit a concept of these images within frames to explain the mirror concept. I don’t even see that these don’t look like mirrors at all, rather than looking more like a representation of constraint on images in art. I am trying too hard to make a solution work that isn’t really the right one.
Finally, I’m breaking the glass ceiling over my head. As the earlier ideas that felt so final before this week (5) lay shattered beneath me, I am climbing into a better realm, something that is really 4th order design material. My idea of the mirror is becoming visualized into actual mirror concepts that are unique. I know what I want to do (visually) but don’t know what format I want to present them in yet.
I am laying in bed the night before the end of Unit 4 (3 AM) and realize that I want to present these ideas in postcard format. I feel that disillusioned sense of accomplishment once again. I think I must be a genius for considering this format.
Two days later, i’m talking to Madonna on the phone about my project. She points out to me some really obvious elements i’ve failed to consider. “The cards feel disconnected,” “The Africa postcard feels too much like the RED campaign,” “There needs to be a place for these cards to send people to, a call to action.” Again my creative wheels are churning. What in the hell am I am going to do that is sufficient within such a short time frame? I’m sitting at work but distracted with a flickering film of ideas running through my head.
The postcards now have a direction – a WordPress site that I designed to send the audience to for a call-to-action (several actually). By this point, i’m no longer feeling that design high we all get. I am feeling humbled by the numerous hurdles that i’ve cleared. I can see the finish line but there is so much to do in a weeks time. I’m also simultaneously working to complete a major project for my other SCAD class at this point.
I sleep less than I usually do. I’m feeling grumpy, saying stupid phrases that are mixed up and fragmented that make people look at me and ask, “Are you feeling okay?” I explain that I am a full time grad student who also works full time and I am in fact, okay physically, but definitely feeling the strain of my dual commitments. I get further feedback from the professor saying I need to do more for this project. It is Tuesday. Thus project is due on Thursday. I manage.
Finally. The day of my reckoning. I work from 8-6, go to the gym and nearly fall off the treadmill because i’m tired. I get home and begin my last long night of work for this project. I get home, heat up a frozen meal, and begin. I work and work and work. There are elements I have to leave behind that could be given more love if there was more time. I hate that sense of sacrifice. I submit my final project before midnight. I collapse onto my bed with the lights left on.
Now it’s Saturday beyond the project. I’ve gotten good feedback. The professor seems to like what I did with the project. Classmates are giving me encouraging responses to my work saying they are impressed. I don’t have that same sense of design big-headedness though. I feel too tired and humble for that mess. I’ve really come full circle with this project and pushed myself and literally became a better designer in 4 weeks time. I’m making tweaks to elements I want to improve before the end of the unit. There are silly errors here and there in the project that I must make right (such as sentence structure). I’m a freaking English major too, you know? I guess that doesn’t matter so much when your mind has effectively grown to feel like it is liquified within your skull. I’m doing enough, but not too much during this “design hangover” phase.
I should mention i’m incredibly fortunate. This project, as the entire premise of the program is taking me where I wanted to go. I’m getting exactly what I asked for in a good way.