Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the other side of the table

Hello again people.

The final academic year has started, and trips around Europe have now become a recent past. Since one of the final year units involve a 'reflective summary of professional and personal journey' throughout a year, it is rather second nature for me to blog (again.) The difference being, it would take on an emphasis on the relationship between professional results (i.e. academic work) and my personal circumstances. How do they influence each other? I guess we all will come to see this point in the not-so-distant future.

Below are a few topics I have come up with during the first two weeks of the year:

Lack of visual imagery

The role of imagery in contemporary fashion is undeniably pivotal. Which is why, when it comes the researched images around which my final collection will be based, my tutors (and some classmates - over time) let out an undeniable moan of 'there is not enough visual imagery'. I don't like borrowing images per se, tend to create my own set of imagery (drawings anyone?), and being from the camp of "if it is published in a book then it's a bit stale" didn't help either with the image-collecting. Yes, I do take pictures. Yes, I do draw. Finding pictures which I like, complete with a common thread? That's a more difficult task for me to accomplish. Either I don't like the individual pictures, or the common thread would be deemed too weak. I went around as far as the British Library to find images, only to be greeted by blank stares from its librarians when I asked them how I could find historical illustrations.
One of the tutors commented that the research I did will make a good sociology book along the line of Catherine Mercer's talk. So far so good, except for the fact the course is a visual one. (Do self-generated images based on tables and graphs comply just so?)
I find that I can write cultural studies essays well, and I can research images for 'shallow' design purposes (i.e. non-contextual use) well. Marrying the two is probably the challenge I have now.

Being on the other side of the table

During the summer term in the last academic year, it was easy sailing: it was a group project, I decided not to place any consciouly blatant personal aesthetic interest in it, and therefore I had an easier time being directed to achieve a specific visual and tactile outcome. There was one girl in my group who was decidedly gothic whom we had to calm because she really wanted to do space age dark glamour... the unadulterated concept and shapes wouldn't fit into the client brief we were given (how many people who are into this magazine are into gothic anyway? most likely nil.) Sooo, her aesthetic was scaled back.

This time around, I am on the rejected side of the table. Top it with what seems to be a lack of 'tangible visual imagery', an essay due within two weeks and you get the semi-wreck I am in. Except that, in my case, I appear way too relaxed for people to notice the stress.


One of my favourite modes of dealing with stress is cleaning: chuck things away, de-scale the sink, de-grime the bathroom, cook some apple crumble (well this is what I did in the past few days anyway.) When the red-hot emotional tension is off and the academic challenge is on, what am I to do?

Maybe I'll start looking at other cultural studies essay topic that are listed on the online announcement board. I'll keep you posted on that.

OK, off to fabric sale now...

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