On reflection, the process of starting the first level one course was quite challenging. It wasn’t really difficult but I naively expected to receive my course notes, open the folder and start working. But there is so much more to it than the coursework and that was quite daunting initially, even overwhelming. It was really beneficial to complete the online Induction course and to read the folder before diving into the coursework which I was impatient to do. For a novice, it was very challenging setting up a blog, taking photos, resizing them and uploading them to my library. I am delighted to have achieved so much in that area and welcome any constructive criticism if improvements are required.
I think I have been organised with the coursework and hope that it is well presented, although I am concerned that the notes say work should be mounted on A1 or A2 sized card. Please let me know if I should approach this differently in future.
I feel I have improved my technical and visual skills in drawing, mark making and stitches. In particular I have progressed with my free machining and control of top and bottom tension.
I’m pleased to have worked from my own drawings and produced reasonably good samples, especially for a first attempt. I have been able to identify areas of each sample that could be improved upon, in particular the design and composition of the hand stitched sample based on the bark collage.
I have always been a bit of a rule-follower so I am pleased to have demonstrated some creativity by tackling the free machined samples in a non-conformist way (which is how it feels to me!). Although I didn’t feel in the least bit inhibited with any of the practical stitching work or the mark making exercises, that cannot be said for the sketchbook. I documented my frustrations in my learning log and have worked to improve. I am aware that more ‘letting go’ is required and regular work in a variety of media to find my preferred approach would be beneficial.
In addition, whilst I have made progress with my coursework, I believe I have a much more realistic understanding of the commitment required to complete the course to a high standard and it appears to me that a more three-fold approach is required, perhaps a third of my spare time on the coursework, a third on the sketchbook and a third on research. The research and sketchbook are both areas that warrant far more attention. In terms of research, I need to visit and make notes on trade shows, museums and exhibitions and read more widely. I would also benefit from adding to my visual source material more regularly.
In conclusion, I have identified a number of areas to work on and others where I have made good progress. I have enjoyed the challenge and welcome Part two.