Thursday, 7 October 2010

Unit 1 - Essay Question

I had helped with Gaby Jones (Student Advisor) with thinking up an essay question for Unit 1. This is what I got.

What do images, texts, artworks, films or games reveal about metamorphosis?

Is this a good question to answer in the Unit 1 essay?

6 comments:

tutorphil said...

Anatomy: Interim Online Review 05/10/2010

Hey Naomi,

Okay – there are a few problems with your creative development I want to talk about at this interim stage. I’m always honest with my students from the beginning, and I’m going to be honest with you.

There’s not enough work on here, Naomi! By ‘work’, I mean experimentation, investigation and creative development. A quick browse of some of your classmates’ blogs will quickly illustrate this. In terms of research into your animal, there’s not very much – at least, not enough. In terms of conceptual sketches of your hybrid, there are too few ideas on show, and the ideas you have chosen remain largely underdeveloped. There are no hand studies, feet studies or self-portraits; your life drawings are few; your film reviews are much too brief, much too personal and don’t satisfy the criteria set by the brief:

“Film reviews for the ‘Shapeshifters’ film programme. Please note – in addition to and support of your own critique, your reviews must include a minimum of 3 quotations from 3 different published reviews + poster art + supporting stills.”

Golden rule, Naomi – do what the brief asks you to do! Also, in terms of responding critically to the films I show you, it isn’t enough to simply ‘like/dislike’ or be ‘disappointed’. You need to think more thematically and engage with the films intellectually. For instance, as part of your review for Cat People, you suggest you were disappointed with it because you thought it was going to be in colour – and it wasn’t, and because it didn’t show any transformations. These are opinions/reactions – they are not insights. They are not analysis. One of the reasons you’re asked to use three quotations in combination with your review is so you can move beyond your own reactions and prejudices and put the film in its social, cultural and historical context.

tutorphil said...

Anatomy: Interim Online Review 05/10/2010

Hey Naomi,

Okay – there are a few problems with your creative development I want to talk about at this interim stage. I’m always honest with my students from the beginning, and I’m going to be honest with you.

There’s not enough work on here, Naomi! By ‘work’, I mean experimentation, investigation and creative development. A quick browse of some of your classmates’ blogs will quickly illustrate this. In terms of research into your animal, there’s not very much – at least, not enough. In terms of conceptual sketches of your hybrid, there are too few ideas on show, and the ideas you have chosen remain largely underdeveloped. There are no hand studies, feet studies or self-portraits; your life drawings are few; your film reviews are much too brief, much too personal and don’t satisfy the criteria set by the brief:

“Film reviews for the ‘Shapeshifters’ film programme. Please note – in addition to and support of your own critique, your reviews must include a minimum of 3 quotations from 3 different published reviews + poster art + supporting stills.”

tutorphil said...

Golden rule, Naomi – do what the brief asks you to do! Also, in terms of responding critically to the films I show you, it isn’t enough to simply ‘like/dislike’ or be ‘disappointed’. You need to think more thematically and engage with the films intellectually. For instance, as part of your review for Cat People, you suggest you were disappointed with it because you thought it was going to be in colour – and it wasn’t, and because it didn’t show any transformations. These are opinions/reactions – they are not insights. They are not analysis. One of the reasons you’re asked to use three quotations in combination with your review is so you can move beyond your own reactions and prejudices and put the film in its social, cultural and historical context.

Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not suggesting that the work you HAVE posted on the blog is somehow ‘wrong’ or without value or interest, but I am saying that you need to be more ambitious, more bold, and MUCH more productive. You also need to develop a more reflective, critical eye – you need to look at your own work and decide if it’s successful or not; and you need to be able to push yourself out of your comfort zones and onwards towards innovation and growth. A good example of this is your most recent hybrid drawing; here, your drawing style is cartoony and stylized and ‘cute’ – which is your safe place, your preference, your zone – but, remember, this is a self-portrait project too; the assessment will be looking at students’ growing knowledge of human anatomy – the ability to depict the human body in a more ‘realistic way’; many of your classmates have taken great pains to understand the true anatomical workings of their animal, and their own anatomies too. They are working from the inside out. I want to see you working much more ‘realistically’. I want you to actually engage with the difficulties and challenge of learning about human anatomy, and putting that knowledge down on paper.

tutorphil said...

Some more generalized advice. Reconsider the sizing of your images; all your images are very small; graphically, they seem very isolated and unimportant, when, of course, the opposite is true. Your work should be paramount. Similarly, if you’re going to upload pencil sketches etc. take them into Photoshop first to remove the yellow tint and push the contrasts; your pencil drawings appear grubby and faint; I want to be able to see them; so, make them larger, and get them ready for viewing before uploading.

I want you to visit 2nd year Leo Tsang’s unit 1 blog from last year for an example of what a great ‘creative development’ blog can look like; the brief was a little different then, but the expectation of what a student can produce in 5 weeks was not. Take the time to work backwards through his posts. This is what a creative project at degree level looks like…

http://ltsang.blogspot.com/2009/10/final-portrait.html

tutorphil said...

A general reminder that, alongside everything else you need to have ready for crit day, you also need to submit an offline archive of your creative development blog. There is a way of exporting your blog as PDF via Blogger – which would be ideal for this purpose. Incase you missed the original post, Alan gives details here:

http://ucarochester-cgartsandanimation.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-turn-your-blog-into-pdf-document.html

And finally – now is the time to return to the brief; time and again, students fail to submit what they’ve been asked to produce – and how; usually because they haven’t looked properly at the brief, or haven’t done so since week one. Trust me on this; just take a few minutes with a highlighter pen to identify what is required, when, and how. Remember – non-submissions are dumb!

tutorphil said...

... Hey Naomi, you hadn't posted your essay question when I wrote the above; I think you've misunderstood the question; you don't have to write about metamorphosis in all those categories - films/games/art etc. You need to identify a particular sort of human-to-animal transformation, and then discuss it's significance using examples of maybe a film and/or an artwork. There is a specific structure to follow, which is on the brief; but watch the group blog, as I'll be posting some more advice there very soon.