First Studio Project: Done

So, as you guys should know, I am currently studying graphic design at NC State University. I was drawn to NC State by their well-known design program which takes a different approach to design than most schools. For the first year in the design school at NC State, you get mixed in with a bunch of other design majors in a program called First Year Experience (FYE). The first year is dedicated to developing a process by which you design, and understanding that process for yourself. The projects are relatively broad, and you have a lot of freedom with what you can choose to do. In this way, my studio class is completely different from any other art class that I have ever been in. Parts of me love it, but parts of me want more instruction. I’m getting used to it though, and as stressful as it can be to push your brain to think in new ways, the outcome can be so rewarding. A few weeks ago, we finished our first studio project. I thought I would tell you all about it on here, and explain a little bit about my design process.

So, the guidelines for our first project were as follows:

•Create a wearable piece out of paper

•Piece must make viewer think about light, motion, and/or gravity in a new way.

And there we were. College freshman, new design students, and lost artists trying to decode what that meant. We did several studies, including studies of the human body and human gaits, studies of animals, chrono-photography studies, and lots and lots of paper studies. After all of this initial research, it was time for me to come up with a plan, a design. I got stuck on the idea of jellyfish relatively quickly, and wanted to create a piece that mimicked the movement of a jellyfish and would be activated by the bounce of walking. I went through several ideas, succeeding on small scale, but failing miserably when I tried to recreate my idea on large/human-sized scale. I did a lot of thinking and rethinking, and after a lot while of thinking, testing, failing, taping, cutting, and measuring, I finally created a concept that I liked and worked how I wanted it to. I had a bit of an “AH-HA” moment and started wondering why I hadn’t thought of it sooner. But never the less, I eventually got to the end.

And there is the final piece. While not everything worked out as planned (ideally, I would have loved it to be bigger, but I was restricted by the size of the paper I had available to me), it did what I wanted it to do. When I walked slowly (so that the tracing paper layered on top wouldn’t float away), it had a very graceful up and down motion, and thankfully reminded the reviewers of a jellyfish. They also thought that it was a lot of fun, and my studio teacher thought that it really represented me as a person. Who knows what that means exactly, but I’ll take it!

In the end, I learned a lot about myself and my design process through this project. I learned that I often get stuck on an idea and try to force it to work, and I close all doors to other possibilities when I do this. However, if I take a day away from the studio, or even just a few hours, I can usually start to open other doors and figure out alternative ways to do things. So, yeah. There’s my first studio project completed! I survived, and didn’t pull any all-nighters!

If you have any questions, or want to share how you would have approached a project like this, let me know in the comments below!

I hope you have a magnificent day, and I’ll see you guys all very soon with another blog post!

Peace out, enjoy life, and live the adventure!

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