To say that this year was a difficult one for everyone would be a grand understatement on an international level, but for my own end of year update I'll be acknowledging some of my own creative setbacks and achievements from this year while looking ahead to where I will be heading next on my journey.
This year, I finally completed the first unit of my OCA Visual Communications degree with Illustration 1: Key steps In Illustration. Although I knew from when I started way back in 2019 that undertaking a higher education course from home would be no easy task, I never could have predicted how difficult I would find it to adapt my workflow into self motivated methods of learning, or that it would have taken me this long to complete this first part of my degree path.
The mental stresses relating to isolated working in combination with irregular job hours had already become taxing for me by the start of the year and I had planned ahead to finish the unit and look for new ways to reconnect with the world around May time, but unfortunately by this point the Covid-19 pandemic had dropped the rest of the world into a similar level of uncertainty which slowed my personal progress even further. Despite this, I still finished around August and like many others took a long break to look at life differently before my work was formally assessed in November.
I recently received my results and as I'm currently writing out my reflections for that, but in summary I'm overall pleased with the outcome and I'm proud of my progress. It was only through reading tutor feedback as I gathered up and looked at my work as a whole that I could see quite how much I have been learning. I've found a love of writing and documenting the whole process in these blogs and I feel content that I'm still doing what I want to do by continuing the course and pursuing a creative career, which brings me to what I have coming up next in 2021.
I'll be starting with a new unit: Creative Book Design. When looking through all the available unit options, this subject stood out to me as something outside of my usual experience which as my tutor has also suggested, could also be useful for me to understand that perspective if I land any future book illustration commissions.
After this I hope to move on to Illustration 1: Illustration Sketchbooks, a course that explores keeping sketchbooks as a tool, which is something I feel I'm lacking in my current skillset. If I can also make a habit of observational drawing without a brief, I can keep my technical abilities sharp ready for the Level 2 courses.
I look forwards with a sense of cautious optimism, because you never know what is around the corner, but I hope to speak to you all again soon and keep you all updated. Thank you to my friends and family for supporting me this year and I hope everyone stays safe and has a much better and brighter 2021.