A weeks as a visiting Lecturing at Swansea - new thoughts? New questions?
Reflecting on the last fours days, I will be sad to leave the familiarity and homely environment I've returned so briefly too. Being surrounded by creative people, having a purpose each day and feeling useful - valued even, has all contributed to a sense of belonging. A home from home. Everything had changed and yet nothing had changed.
I feel inspired again to develop my drawings and patterns beyond the sketch book. The advice I was giving to the Surface Pattern students is ringing clear in my own ears too! Draw, draw, draw! Don't be worried to fail, failure is such a part of the creative process. Remembering how my own work used to be all about experimentation and embracing 'serendipity'.
Reading uppercase on the train home an article about Joey Hannaford's inspirational creative career thriving on variety, discusses how Joey "is not only not afraid to experiment, explore and potentially 'fail' she plans for it" (uppercase, Breaux A, 2015, p15) The artile describes how she would spend a day printing with 200 sheets of paper, hoping only 5 would turn out .
This almost methodical and systematic approach to failure is really appealing to me.
This week has given me more of an insight into the day-to-day requirements of university lecturing. I've felt well within my comfort zone throughout the week and even doing a talk to the whole cohourt was 'terrifying' yet rewarding, throughout the week it was nothing like 'going to work'. I am aware I am scratching the surface, but I feel this is what comes naturally to me and what makes me happy. That's the end goal right! To be happy :)
My favourite parts of the week and most beneficial are as follows:
Tuesday morning shadowing Julia. First years - deadline week = the mentoring and mothering side of lecturing. Building their self believe up and calming their nerves while ensuring they make crucial design changes. I enjoyed this one-to-one feedback and felt at ease and helpful.
Laser cutting/CAD workshop with the second years and Claire, planning the 2hour lesson, delivering something similar to what I had planned! Adjusting and moulding the 'plan' to keep with the pace and interest of the group.
Having the self believe to think 'you know what you are teaching Emma' when the lesson divulges or diverts in a justified and valuable direction but away from the plan'.
my main concern; 'have I made a massive mistake here' has been extinguished. The team dynamics, individual staff members and studio space, create the wonderfulness - I need to find staff members who are on my page, I could help build a team in a wonderful space :) I shall continue to get out there and gain some more experienace - Press packs, website updates and introduction letters here I come!
New questions swirling around are:
- What would I teach? - Product design? Paper engineering? 3D design? Commercial aspects of design?
- What is my practice?
- Could I design a series of lessons!? What would I be able to teach currently?
- Should I direct my MA towards what I want to teach?
Upon completion of my current MA module - Marketing, I will get into the book binding and textiles studio and make! Draw, design and create. Getting creative again over the summer is my number one aim! What is my practice about? I'm on board with this idea at last! I'm interested and intrigued to find out what and why I create!