Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Negotiating with myself... (1st rant of 3rd year)

I feel like I've hit a wall already and I've only been working on my personal project for a short time, but the last couple of days have actually helped me clear my mind a little.. sort of.. let me take you back to summer...

The D&AD competition brief is quite possibly the biggest turning point in my career so far... that project started with me trying force the brief to fit my personal interests of motorbikes... following routes/directions.. having to stick to guidelines and limited freedom. The idea seemed well received amongst the tutors but it just didnt seem to click with me completely... maybe it was the simplistic graphic style that I was reducing the work down to or the fact that it looked as if I was trying to be a little preachy with my ideas. I then doodled a couple of little sketches on a more personal jokey theme... and these small insignificant thumbnails quickly developed into the piece that ended up winning.

Now what Im trying to say is that for the last 3 years I have been altering my own work to suit what i "think" my tutors want to see. Now this isnt due to me just bein a complete brown noser, but that I respect the feedback and ideas I get from talking to them... after all, they are working professionals and so must know what theyre on about. I look at it as, if I follow their advice then I am more likely to succeed within the real world/industry because they wont steer me in the wrong direction. However, the one piece I actually like/enjoyed working on and what I felt was my own -dare i say it - "STYLE", was actually the most successful piece I have created so far and wasnt suggested by tutors. It came completely from my own interests and personality which suggests that I should stop trying to please others and just do what I enjoy doing! There have been many conversations about following/taking onboard the tutors advice between myself and my peers and most recently I was reminded that they wont be at my side to hold my hand for the rest of my life...

I have to thank James and Eleanor really for this kick up the arse/motivation to do more of my own stuff. If I keep trying to please everyone else then i'll never be happy doing it. I need to believe in myself and my work, not everyone will like what i do... but who cares? I need to stop worrying, after all that is what my D&AD resistance piece was about.. running with scissors is becoming my own personal metaphor for taking risks, having confidence in my ability and to stop worrying but to enjoy myself no matter what I do.

With that said, my current negotiated project has felt a little stale and slowly ground to a halt recently.... I started with the idea of developing my own characters based on peoples fears/nightmares but I wanted to take the scary part out of it and turn these fears into cute monsters who only want to be your friend... I can draw but Im not really much of a writer... so that was pushed to the side in favour of looking at reinterpreting existing characters. Rather than just recreating these characters in my own style (e.g. Ronald McDonald) I wanted to create something that had a bit more purpose.. only I didnt want to be preachy again... I was worried that I would have to come up with some politically aimed statement to say within my drawing in order for the piece to "work".... that isnt something I enjoy doing nor am i going to do. Then the idea of showing the characters development over the years was suggested.. trying to show the history of the character and their personality through metaphors maybe..?? but it felt more like i was only doing this to give my initial idea a bit more credit, like it wasnt strong enough to start with... and I dont really want to say anything about specific companies through their mascots so....?? (dont get me wrong, the research into the companies ethics reminds me of the water project, having to read around a subject you might not really be interested in.. which is quite useful to do)

anyway... the moral of this post is Im going to do what I want, in the style I want...

my version of Mickey Mouse is more along the lines of what I like doing, graffiti inspired, thick outlined, cartoony, fun stuff that makes me laugh. I just imagined that Disney would never let Mickey die, and they'd keep him locked up in a cupboard only wheeling his dusty skeleton out to show the shareholders at corporate meetings and events... Im currently thinking more along the lines of looking at how 'I' imagine popular characters will appear in 10 or 20 years, no serious comments, not sophisticated enough to be satirical but just FUN... more shallow and lowbrow than anything .... im more excited and happy about this too!

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