Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New Blog Format

While Youtubing for white noise, I stumbled upon the Sword and Lasers show on Geek and Sundry. Through an author interview I found Cherie Priest's blog which has since become a template to my own new blog format. 

The Sword and Laser show can be found on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel. It is like an online book club with its own Good Reads forum, calendar of book release dates and established author interviews. The show specialises in the fantasy and science fiction genres. The Sword and Laser website can be found here: 

Cherie Priest's website hosts her blog and can be found here: Priest blogs regularly about her daily work exploits including progressive word counts, event information and anything interesting that has happened during her day. It is an interesting read for anyone interested in how a word count can progress on a day to day basis.

 It would be nice to adapt this format into a reflective process that is suitable not only for my university study, but also for any of my students that are interested in my working process. 

During last year (my second year at university) reflection was drilled into us as a part of our working process. Third year students commonly blog about their ideas, reference artists and texts and research for this reason. Some of these blogs were recommend to us as points of study for particular units.

This year is my third and final year of my BA Fine Art degree and we now have larger core units to deal with that are almost exclusively run by the students. It is your responsibility as the student to decide what you what to study, who you want to reference and what you want to make. There is no checklist as to what to produce. You could present for marking an entirely conceptual portfolio or a fully realised selection of final art pieces. Not only that, but you'd need to consider what to make and present in the Grad show. 

Now would be a good time to establish the blogging habits that I'll need for university but I'd also like to extend the habit to YouTube. I'd like to upload stop animations of my working process. These can not only contribute towards my university portfolio, but also to the classes that I tutor. Video logs may be a useful tool for reflection, too. 

When I take books on tour, I am often asked to lecture and or demonstrate the working process of the book. My first book, In the Beech Forest, used a reductive drawing process with graphite that could take over forty hours a picture. It is not possible to properly explain or demonstrate this process live but it is possible to show a two or three minute video, and verbally explain the process to students. If my students want to do more research once my workshop is complete, they have access to the YouTube files.

I have found that I am more conscious of time economy when being filmed. You don't seem to procrastinate or hesitate as much as you usually would. You are always conscious of the fact that the more you don't work during a stop animation filming, the more empty frames you need to find and delete during the editing process which is a hassle when even some small A4 film tests I've completed consist in excess of four thousand frames.

Next the issues will be finding the old video camera and figuring out how that thing works, although I do have my GoPro available for emergencies. Internet access is another problem too. My house in the country has limited internet at best, non existent at worst. We've gone through three modems in the last two months because they just won't connect inside the house and our mobile phones work in only two places on our acreage. The internet at college is great, so there should be no issues there. 

Well, onwards to more work then!