Throughout the live drawing, I started to realise in what ways I work and generate ideas best; I realised that writing everything down helped me understand the concepts being explained, and generate my own thoughts in words first before visually depicting them. I also found this is the semiotics project I did on taboos, that writing down everything first helped me formulate my thoughts and different peoples thoughts and opinions, and then I could evaluate all sides of the specific topic area and form imagery from it.
Another thing I really enjoyed about the conference was collaborating with others, and also experimenting in some new mediums; as we where live drawing, we used materials that would bring us to a bold and quick outcome, I really enjoyed layering different coloured tape to bring some structure into the drawings, and the boldness of the post pens we where using. During the conference I started making work about students and education in general being treated as commodities, as if to be manufactured, this got me thinking about the importance of individuality and creativity and how these should be celebrated.
I was lucky enough to attend the British Council conference, – Going Global 2017, in London. As well as having lots of fun creating live drawings, and having lots of free coffee, I also learnt a lot of new things about higher education globally. There where several things that really stood out to me, within the various talks we attended. Firstly it was interesting to see just how much education was presented as a business; of course I understand that the economic value of a student to the government is very important, for society to function, however I felt like there was just so much emphasis on the economic value of a student and practically no mention of the psychological welfare of students. I think this is important because with the growing competitiveness and added pressures we as students have to today to succeed, and obviously these pressures can often get in the way of achieving, thus limiting post graduate economic success. Especially in the talk we attended about Megacities it made me think how it is easy for students to get lost in the system. I was also interested in thinking about the negative impacts of mass modernisation and technological advances on ones creativity and sense of individuality. As I feel very strongly about the issues I just layed out I wanted to explore it further in my Personal made Public project. I set myself aims I wanted to explore in the project and things I wanted to address in my work.
For the Next part of the project my approach for a final outcome was narrowed down for me when I spilt coffee on my MacBook (not a very Sartre thing to do) thus breaking the whole computer and loosing all my files, it also meant I would have to take an analog process for my final outcome. I started looking at graphic novel layouts, and how they have presented taboos in the past.
As the topic of existentialism is quite an abstract concept, I wanted to find something about Sartre that would allow me to embody some of the similarities I felt him and myself had in the physical world. Strangely I came to find that Sartre was also prominent in the post war Cafe society, – the idea that the Cafe had became the new house for the intellectual, Sartre intact wrote a lot of Nausea in a Caffe. This was another strange connection I felt like I had with him. This allowed me to come to create some drawings (finally) after doing a lot of writing.
After looking at individualism, I came across Jean Paul Sartre – the founding father of the existentialist movement. One of my friends gave me his book – Nausea , for my birthday and it was one of those (cliche I know) life changing books, I had never read anything before in my life that I felt I could relate too more than this book. The book is in a diary format where Sartre records his everyday thoughts and observations of life, and the struggles that come with being so painfully self aware. It got me thinking how in society it is often frowned upon to be so open with our existentialist thoughts, making us alone in this responsibility.
I decided the choose the topic of a taboo for this project. The project aims where too explore comment and creativity react to societies perception of a taboo. I started to look at obvious modern cultural taboos in society, and then taboos that where more personal to me. I firstly started looking at the taboos of belonging to certain sub-cultures but I found this wasn’t really inspiring any creative thoughts for me as it wasn’t something I could relate to, so instead I started to look at the taboos of of being alone, and the concept of individualism – a social theory favouring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state controll.