Learning Plan

My learning plan for the year consists of 2 personal project where the contents have been decided by myself, and 2 commercial projects in which the contents have been set by the competition organisers. Amongst completing these projects I will be posting to my blog weekly.

My first personal project will be based on the broad theme of activism, and will be used to tackle a range of social issues such as gender equality, animals rights, racism, amongst other things. This project will require quite a lot of concept research so that I’m not blindly and more importantly inaccurately discussing these topics, and having facts and figures there could be used as part of the artwork could be helpful to help spread awareness and almost build a campaign from what I make. In addition to my concept research I’ll be looking at artists Sara Harrington and Carrie Reichardt to influence what my work is going to look like. I’m not super fussed about having any finalised pieces or anything that’s particularly for show, my main aim for this project is that I’m hoping to do a lot of different experimental pieces for this project using the 3 different printing techniques we did during our second year printing project (risograph print, relief print, and screen print).

My second personal project will be my longest project this year and it’s something I’m hoping I can put a lot of time into. I made a poetry zine last year which was just a small paper zine of poetry I’d written about sobriety. This time I’m wanting to take quite a varied body of poetry, about sobriety, mental health, relationships, and all things life offers from the perspective of a person living with a borderline personality disorder I do suppose. I’m thinking of calling it the sad girls guide to life. Some of these poems I have already written, I may rewrite some of them and I’ll probably write some more before putting it together. Ideally I’d like this to be a proper book so I’ll be getting it published by vista print. I know that the subject matter is a little dark so I want for the actual imagery to be quite light pastels shades, because I think the contrast of the subject matter and the imagery will be interesting and I just don’t think it’s going to be any fun to make or to read if it’s just super doom and gloom the whole way through. I’m also thinking it might be cool to make them a little abstract, maybe with some interesting patterned backgrounds or something. I don’t know exactly what the imagery will be yet, as I’ll need to get the poems together first.

For my first commercial project I’m going to be entering the house of illustration competition, in which I have to illustrate 3 love poems set out by house of illustration. The first poem is the good morrow by John Donne, the second is wild nights by Emily Dickinson, and the third is the trick by Imtiz Dharker.

I feel that the first poem, the good morrow, is about finding someone and being completely in love with them, in a way that’s soft and playful and effortless. Clearly the poet and the subject of the poem were very clearly very in love and maybe even a little obsessed with each other. He talks about how he feels about his life didn’t start until he met this person and how being with them makes him feel at home. So my idea for this poem is to have a straight couple sat in their apartment, with lots of cute little photos of them on the walls and things, with them maybe cuddling into each other on a sofa or having a cute little play fight. Sort of demonstrating that cutesy kind of love that’s talked about in the poem and just demonstrating what a happy couple in love looks like. I’m thinking of going to have the couple encased in a bubble, so it’s almost as if they’re the only thing each other notices and the rest is just background noise.

There’s a lot of speculation online as to what wild nights is about and it’s meaning. Many believe it’s about Emily’s relationship with god, I personally think that’s a load of shite. Personally, I think wild nights is about Emily’s desires to have sex and experience romantic intimacy specifically, I think this is about Emily’s desires to be with a woman. In my research I found that Emily was never married and outright refused to be, and she also had a very close personal relationship with her sister in law. So for the second image I’m going to have a woman standing looking out of a window in a really grand looking castle or stately home type of building, maybe with a little gate across the front or something. in the door way there will be two figures, a respectable looking high society type of women, and another more ghostly figure stood there with her with her arms wrapped around the Emily character in a loving embrace. This ghostly character will also be a woman, sort of symbolising what Emily is longing for so much.

The final poem is the trick, which is all about missing someone and going to bed at night and dreaming that they’re still a part of your life. Whether this is about a break up or a death, I’m unsure. For my illustration I’m going to have a man lying in his bed crying, while the ghost of his boyfriend cuddled in behind him trying to comfort him, I’m not really sure how I could translate a break up, other than maybe having them cuddle a photo instead but I thought having the bubble, and the two ghosts might tie the images together really nicely. I’ve decided to show gay/lesbian relationships as well as straight ones because I believe it’s important to have visibility in these subjects, because love and romance doesn’t stick to one format and it differs for all of us.

My second commercial project will be a fairly short one, and this is another poetry illustration competition. This time I will be illustrating the one of the poems entered into the Lauren Child’s poetry competition, the poem I’ve chosen is the corridor, which is all about the death of this kid’s grandmother. It talks a lot about his memories with her, and visiting her in the hospital while she’s unwell. I want to keep the imagery for this fairly light hearted, but without taking away from the seriousness from the subject matter of the poem. I’m going to use a snoopy-esque style to draw this design, where I’m going to have the grandma lying in the bed and the little boy sitting in a chair holding her hand crying.

I also have a few mini projects I wouldn’t mind doing at some point, but I’m going to prioritise these projects first and see what time I have come the end of it.


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Published by Meg Dobson-Armstrong Art

Hi there! My names Meg, I'm an illustration student and this blog is where I post about all my super cool arty bits I make. I also do some poetry bits. What can I say? mamma raised a hipster

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