Lesson Two - Jamila I.

I struggled a lot with this exercise and it certainly brought out the “rebel” in me, but not in a good way, I just totally rebelled against doing the exercise! I then put the task off for a few days before following the guidance to the letter, but I still wasn’t happy with my efforts. However, procrastination paid off in this case because I was about to give up on the whole thing when I received Jane’s timely audio piece. Her insights and advice were hugely helpful as I clearly needed to be reminded about the importance of learning from process and thoughts that the exercise prompted, rather than developing a good design, per se.

So, whilst one of my rather unspontaneous expanded square samples is shown here together with a Photoshop water ripples effect which I quite like, what is more important to me are the following learning points from those thoughts :

  • Having lived with ME/CFS for over ten years, I quite often get “brain fog” and each time this happens I also get very frustrated because I know that I have the ability to do the task in front of me but I don’t seem to be able to drum up the mental capacity, especially if the task is not one that I have set myself or is otherwise unwelcome in some way (like housework!). The frustration creates a vicious circle whereby I feel less and less able to achieve anything, so I need to find ways to break this circle
  • Linked to this, I rebelled against the “doing” of the exercise instead of harnessing that rebel spirit (which is most definitely alive and kicking inside me) for my positive gain and benefit – it was within my capacity to do this, but it was probably easier to reinforce a negative situation
  • In following the rules to the letter and intellectualising the task, I didn’t allow myself to be spontaneous and to let the work just flow, which predictably resulted in my shapes looking over-controlled, not so interesting and thus not particularly useful in inspiring future work

However, expanded squares can be made at any time and will be a useful tool for future design development, especially in considering design inspired by Islamic tiles. This might all sound rather over-analytical but I found it hugely helpful to articulate these issues back to myself by writing it all down – not sure I’d call it creative writing, but it was useful writing!