Final Reflection On My Blogging Experience
At the beginning of this module, I found the idea of academic blogging in relation to my creative practice very confusing. I could understand the benefits offered by engaging with a reflective blog, collating my ideas, inspirations and work in progress in one place and documenting my stream of thought as I progressed through my project. However, when I submitted my first post blog post for the critical thinking activity I was thrown off guard when I received feedback advising me that an academic blog post should include a bibliography and list of references. This made sense in the context of the critical thinking post but it really through me off guard in regards to how I should approach blogging about my creative practice.
I think it would have been really beneficial to have had some examples of critical journals from other illustration practitioners to refer to in these early weeks as I struggled to apply the quite general examples from the learning path into the context of the visual communication discipline. I looked around the internet for examples of other MA or PHD practitioners who kept illustration based research blogs but unfortunately to no avail. At this stage in the module, I felt uninspired by my research practice and was at a loss as to how to change this. I enjoy reading and reflecting on the journal entries and articles produced by other illustrators for industry publications but in terms of blogging, I found it hard to motivate myself as I didn’t feel like I was participating in a community activity. My blog felt like an independent exercise and I asked myself if I was to continue on with it after the module ended what would be the point? Was it solely for my own documentation purposes, a digitised sketchbook? I would love to have found critical journals created by other illustrators and learned about how they understand their own work, but unfortunately, I found none. Perhaps designers are reluctant to publically share their development work with an online audience.
I immediately found myself second-guessing what content was relevant enough for the blog. I felt that my own natural reflections and responses to what I was reading were not of a high enough academic standard to warrant appearing on the blog. I was predominantly concerned with meeting the assessment requirements of the summative assessment brief and in this context struggled to authentically communicate my reflections.
This initial hesitance and resentment of the blog, unfortunately, resulted in time management issues towards the latter stages of the module as I struggled to overcome my self-doubt and find the beginnings of my academic voice. As I continued my research and experimental I gradually started to build out one blog and it did become easier with time. At the end of this module, it has been helpful to be able to review all of my research in one place and has made the compilation of my summative assessment more straight forward. In terms of my studio practice, I am not sure how much added value the blogging process offers over visual traditional research recording in sketchbooks. However I do feel like it is a useful platform for me to continue building on my research and academic writing skills which I felt improved throughout this module.
Scrivener, S. (2002) ‘The art object does not embody a form of knowledge.’ Working Papers in Art and Design 2. [Online] Available from – https://www.herts.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/12311/WPIAAD_vol2_scrivener.pdf [Accessed: 23rd April]
FRAYLING, C. (1993) ‘Research in Art and Design.’ Royal College of Art Research Papers [Online] Vol. 1/ No. 1 Available from – http://www.transart.org/wp-content/uploads/group-documents/79/1372332724-Frayling_Research-in-Art-and-Design.pdf [Accessed on 23rd April 2017]
Sullivan, G. (2010) Art practice as research: Inquiry in visual arts. Second Edition. Pennsylvania State University, USA: Sage Publishing.