Module 1, Week 8

Week 8 – Workshop Challenge

I loved hearing Sam Winston talking about how he sees getting new ideas as nourishment – similar to Laura Gordon’s webinar last week – to be able to force yourself to not think about the project actually means you end up coming up with the best ideas! Sam focuses on meditation and getting some alone time – his solitude is a trust in himself that giving yourself space is going to give you answers. I realised when I struggle for ideas I sit in the same chair for hours ripping up pages of work I’ve just done or deleting a who InDesign project because I was frustrated. If I then go for a run, suddenly I sit back down at my chair and I’m full of fresh, new and exciting ideas.

The videos this week really inspired me to remember to love yourself – you might get down or stressed that things arren’t going wrong, you might think your bottom of your class or no way near as good as the others but a bit of self love and motivation reminds you that you are good. I started this course with what I can only think was Imposter Syndrome – I was convinced I wasn’t good enough for this course, that others were so much moe experienced than me I’ll just end up embarassing myself.

But actually as time has gone on, I’ve become so so proud of what I’ve produced – my list of skills I want were related to confidence. When things go South when I’m working on a weekly project, there’s a very negative side to my brain that says just give up, stop what you’re doing and go back to teaching or something. I’ve been through too much so far in my life to be negative to myself and I need to actively remember to give myself some love and positivity.

I started thinking about how I go about my projects – I tend to just stare at a white page, search Google or Pinterest or Behance for some inspiration, feel bad that I’m not as good as those people and I go down a negative rabbit hole. Only when I step away or make a cup of tea do I sit back down and see another way I can use my own ideas for my work. I should, by now, know this process and recognise when I’m starting to go down the negative route.

I wanted to replicate the cards by Brian Eno but it’s been done so many times before it just wouldn’t be unique. I also want to use my own ways of working so that it works for me. I need to create something I can keep on my desk, that I can relate to and I can use to help me get out of my negative way of thinking.

I came up with a few examples of things I do to calm myself down or get me away from the computer. I also wrote down somethings I’ve done before that have refreshed my work and made me rethink a project entirely.

When I was a Primary School teacher, we used dice a lot to help children with their learning and help mix up the daily routine. It was really helpful for the children to know they’re in control of their learning and the work they do. I think sometimes, linking back to Week 5 Blog, a bit of play can help us get out of this sensation that we are too old to integrate play into our work. It can reignite our love for what we do by making it fun again. I’ve also come across using dice for Yoga or workouts before, a useful way to again mix up the way we do things, try something new or try a new combination.

I had a sudden flash of inspiration that these dice can be added to, taken away or mixed up – If I start with just two dice with two different combinations on, I can see how that helps with future projects. I can then create more dice with more phrases or ideas on depending on the type of project or how I’m feeling.

I therefore started by looking at my “Base” phrases – the things to get me out of this damn computer chair:

  • Go for a run &
  • Talk to the cat &
  • Call your mum &
  • Try a new Yoga pose &
  • Make a cup of tea &

These six “Bases” can then be combined with the following extensions:

  • start a new page
  • turn your ideas upside down
  • try a new type of mind mapping
  • use a new colour
  • stop waiting for perfection
  • try again – it’s ok

These all allow for a bit of play or self love or acceptance which is needed. This could be the “acceptance” extension but there could be others. Sometimes we need some tough love or the voice of someone else (someone else could create the extensions for their dice which you can use). It’s endless and leaves the possibilities wide open. I can also see myself using these for the foreseeable future!

This task also gets me off Illustrator or InDesign and using pens and paper again!

Updates following group discussions

This week I was so proud of my development work – I know I need to change my mindset but I need something physical and tangible to make those changes.

There were no additional changes to make really to my work and the group loved the idea. I wanted to mock up the dice as if I had created them on wood (as is my intention once lockdown is over!):

I really utilised my skills this week to research into the theories around my skillset and what I need to improve on. It’s so easy to create something digital that can just get lost and ignored. I wanted something that will sit on my desk and I can use for years to come. That is what I have created and to be able to develop and continuously update the “extensions” is a vital part of the dice.

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