Self Directed Final Brief

Here begins another new project for the Contextual Studies Module. We have been given the challenge of doing… well, whatever we like which can be a scarier prospect than actually being given a brief. This research is to be concluded with a 3,000 word essay and a visual response of our choice.
I think the underlying message of this brief is “find yourself”… something I have tried before, failing epically of course. I’ve been putting this project off for a while now and I think the issue I’m having is that I don’t know my style properly, nor do I know where my allegiance lies when it comes to Design, Photography, Creative Writing and Art/Illustration… Though I guess this is a good opportunity to find out.

Alas, the most difficult part of any project. Because of my scattered nature I figured there would be no better place to start than something abstract and disorderly. I hope you enjoy my response to this project. Let us begin.

Inspiration and the collection of material is something I do frequently so I have decided to take a look at this to begin with. I have listed some sources of inspiration below, I use most of these on a regular basis:

. Art (all forms) is one of the best things to look at as it contains composition,color, and expression which is good for jogging the mind.
. Conversations with people on and offline Talking and discussing ideas is one of my favourite ways to elaborate on an idea/come up with new ones. Never underestimate the power of communication and opinion.
. Television whether it be a show or the adverts in between.
. Magazine Design
 is inspirational both because of the magazines content (you can choose a specific magazine that has content of your interest), and the layout of the zine itself.
. Music stimulates the brain in so many different ways. The lyrics, composure or tone can inspire you, even listening to music when your trying to think can be helpful for some (myself included).
. Architecture
is good way to see solutions for space and structure.
. Works of Fiction are often “out there” – helping to inspire both your grammar, word use and idea stimulation.
. Works of Non-fiction are a good place if your looking to learn something new/improve your knowledge of a certain subject.
Nature is our foundation and is one of the easiest forms of inspiration to access.

Drawing inspiration from around the world is something I am interested in also – it helps me see how the rest of the world perceive different aspects of art, fashion, design etc. To read my posts on each separate area of Earth, please select a post from the list below:
Central America
European Union
Middle East
Eastern Europe
North America
The Carribbean

Online Methods of collecting inspiration:


The above are just a couple of the many out there, they are basically online apps with the purpose of being a ‘hub’ of sorts for any images/quotes/art/design work etc you might want to collect. The one out of these I use is Pinterest, my account has over 10.7k pins… Which is terrible and obsessive to say the least. Honestly Pinterest is my holy grail of inspiration, I use this when I need inspiration for anything at all, whether it be makeup, fashion, diet tips, recipes, design, art etc. That is the beauty of these applications, they allow ‘hoarders’ like me to have anything and everything in one place whether it be work related or otherwise.

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Above is my Pinterest page. As you can see there are many different boards that contain things I like – none of these have anything to do with each other and that’s the beauty of this app.

Pinterest and the other sites I mentioned are a very low key, organised way of collection. On the other hand, there is the action of hoarding that can be classed (in some cases) a way of collecting what’s of interest to you/what inspires you. As you can see above, hoarding is a more messy, less work focused way of keeping everything you like in one place.
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Hoarding in this manner looks somewhat unappealing to someone like me as I love everything to be in once place, but to be organised at the same time. This site almost made hoarding look like an art form , it reminded me somewhat of a museum or an art gallery and that’s when it hit me – places like galleries, exhibitions and museums are essentially giant hoarding closets put on display.

Looking at Museums, they are like gigantic cabinets/closets containing anything imaginable from any place in the world. Almost like the whole map of the world packed into a small (or not so small) area. I like the idea of the world being in one place, it makes it’s entirety seem somewhat smaller and accessible to the public – curators are the ones who put together these wondrous locations and I think it must be a very interesting job to be able to make displays of anything they like. Below are some visuals of museums:


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A smaller version of a more personalised ‘museum’ is something called a wonder cabinet or “cabinet of curiosities”. Basically wonder cabinets are exactly what they sound like – little cabinets filled with what people deem valuable/interesting/wondrous. There can be anything like creatures, paintings, artefacts, toys, makeup, statues, religious icons or wings in these cabinets – it depends on what the person is collecting. Something that seems to be somewhat consistent throghout a lot of wondercabinets (and museums too) is

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As for what I’d put in my wonder cabinet… there would be a lot of things haha. In a different post I was having the similar issue of where to start so I created a list of things/topics that appeal to me.. here is that list again, only amended and containing a few bold words. The worlds in  bold font represent the topics I feel might be good to look into. Whether this be to fill a wonder cabinet, write about or draw… whatever I decide to do.

Rock/Metal music
Wispy stuff
The world
Curly hair
Angels/mythical beings
Digital Art
Creative writing/stories
Drained colour
Black and white
League of Legends (ehehehehe)
Death (not a liking, just a curiosity and no, I’m not suicidal lol)
Night sky
Candy floss

From the small ammount of research I have come up with the following:
Explore all media – Pick a topic and portray it several different ways using creative media of my choice, eg sound, video, photo, art, writing, design and maybe typography.
Explore what is dearest to people/what makes a person
People’s personal wonder cabinets/how life experiences changes what’s inside them
Finding myself
Life story/short biographies
short story of a thing/person that’s actually a thing?
earth – everything in one place
Exploration of the unknown
How different people see the same subject/topic
Exploration of emotions
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An Idea I had is to write my essay as a story more than an essay, this excludes the visual outcome for the topic I decide to do of course. It’s a good way to make the essay interesting and easily readable, also writing is something that interests me greatly so it will be good to both practice and include this in my project.

Thats is all for now:)

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