Monday, 27 May 2013

2nd Year Review

Damn, that went fast... no not really. This year has been quite a fulfilling one, and I'm pretty bummed it's over.
This time last year I was probably back home tearing my hair out from boredom, and this year I'm in Leicester, tearing my hair out from boredom! Actually, I've just given myself a four day break, since handing in on Friday I've not done a lot. It's been a hectic year, I can't remember the last time I didn't have an epic workload. I pretty much gave up on any kind of social life this year, but it was my choice.
I realised coming back in October how much more I needed to work, and I've made a conscious effort to focus as much as I can this year. As a result I've spent every waking moment, and many unconscious moments, thinking about my work. Of all the mistakes I might've made this year though, that would be it. Thinking too much and not taking enough action. I seem to be spending more time in my head, thinking about what I could be doing with my work, where I could be taking it, instead of producing solid ideas on paper. I've gotten to scared of producing crummy prep sketches and I think I got a little too focused on a finished product. As someone who wants to pursue a career in design, this is probably not the best mentality, but I feel like I pulled it back a bit after Christmas.


I did spend a lot of the summer sketching and painting, but not near as much as I'd hoped. When we returned in October I genuinely felt like I'd forgotten how to draw on paper! It was good getting back into the rhythm of going out to draw, Abbey Park, Loughborough, even Bradgate to some extent, but when it came to the War of the Worlds and the vehicle project, I struggled. I couldn't settle on ideas and didn't produce work I thought was up to a suitable standard, so I decided over Christmas to revisit some of these ideas and flesh them out. This led to me redoing my vehicle project from scratch, in tandem with other projects, and made me kind of realise that this is what I really want to do. I enjoyed the process this time around, and made an effort to iterate on design, try new ideas and run with them. I think I'm more willing to expand on designs and not just settle for something because it looks kinda cool, but to actually delve into the mechanics, the story, why does it exist, what is it's purpose, basing the aesthetics on problem solving.
I've really pushed myself this year, and the group project is a huge part of that. I pushed for the London project, knowing how important it would be, and I chose to tackle Cryengine, something completely new to me. I did feel some regret for choosing this role, as I felt my artistic progression would take a hit. I didn't get to do as much 3D as I would have liked, nor 2D, but I'm really happy that I chose to do what I did. I learned a ton from using cryengine, about different pipelines and technical side of things, skills which will only help me work faster in the third year. But I also improved a hell of a lot in 2D and 3D. In my opinion, I think I've produced some of my best work during the London project, and it's just solidified the thought that I do want to design even more.

I also somewhat surprised myself with Cryengine by actually enjoying working out technical problems, where other people in the year were going crazy when things wouldn't import or textures wouldn't load, I found myself relishing the chance to solve it, and when I did, it was hugely satisfying.
As I said I am pretty bummed this year is over. I enjoy working, I enjoy having structure and the weight of deadlines, it really pushed me to work. I'm bad at self motivating though, and can see myself falling behind over summer. However, this year I've had people see my work and contact me about projects they'd like me to join, and I've happily said yes. Maybe a little too eagerly, I might be spreading myself a little too thin, but I like a challenge, and if it makes me work harder then it's all good.

I realise how much I'm going to have to work to get where I want to be, so I'm really going to make an effort to practice as much as I can, that means studies, thumbnails, and idea generation on a regular basis, daily. I'll keep my blog updated over summer as an incentive to work. Ok? Let's do this...

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