I guess the main thing to say is that this project did not go as I expected at all. It started off with a collaborative project, a children’s book written and illustrated by myself and a graphic designer using goblins as a metaphor for the mind. What I ended up with was a solo illustrated article about depression that is definitely not aimed at children.
In my brief, I intended to:
1) gain some insight into the world of professionally creating and illustrating children’s books
2) learn more about depression
3) pay attention to how I represent various minorities in comparison to contemporary media.
What I managed to do was:
1) see how much ideas and plans can change when a brief is not thoroughly thought out.
2) discover much more about depression which enabled me to become more understanding of my friends and family who have it. I also recognised potential symptoms of depression in myself and my research has helped me to deal with it.
3) manage to expand my range and draw more diverse people, something I plan on expanding throughout my life. Looking at my final piece, I think perhaps I could have done more to increase this diversity, but I think that this project is still more diverse than previous projects that I have done.
Along the way, I think I’ve managed to learn a few other things; my understanding on how to use InDesign has increased and, while I knew it was an ambitious project to begin with, I’ve found that sometimes writing and drawing a book at the same time is not a great idea; the two affect each other, meaning minor changes to either one can cause bigger changes to the other. Also my writing ability has is not on par with my drawing, so it might be that I ought to improve it before attempting a similar project.
The main difficulty I had was a lack of motivation which managed to impact my inspiration, plans, output and enjoyment of this project. This problem persisted throughout the project and managed to grind down progress to a crawl more than once. The more times it happened, the more difficult I found it to carry on. While I did eventually manage to overcome this problem, it was almost too late; any later and I think that I would have been unlikely to finish the project at all.
Looking back at my progress throughout the project, I think I suffered from a problem that I encountered back in my second year; too many ideas, not enough focus. I don’t always contain my ideas, preferring instead to see how far the rabbit hole goes i.e. see what I can stretch and morph these ideas into. A lot of the time, this can produce a wide variety of ideas that I enjoy expanding on and illustrating. However, the reason I think it was a problem this year is that I didn’t start experimenting with these ideas to begin with. Before the project had even really started, I settled on the first idea I had (goblins) without questioning it or even attempting to create something out of the obvious. This idea stayed untouched for a large proportion of the project so that when I did finally begin questioning it and exploring other ideas, I had already squandered a lot of my time and was also trying to push on with writing the rest of the book at the same time, causing myself to eventually become paralysed with indecision; I had several ideas but none of them were fully fleshed out and so I didn’t feel particularly enthusiastic in pursuing any of them.
Whilst I regret wasting so much time during this project, I’m still glad that I chose it. Not only do I think that it was worth trying to create a book that would help people and raise awareness of depression, but I also feel that I have learnt a lot from my mistakes and along the way I managed to generate ideas for future projects. In the future I hope to pick up this project’s original intentions and try again.
All Final Major Project related posts (in order):