I have been a (direct entry) 2nd year textiles student at DJCAD for a week and a half, and so far I have survived. This is somewhat of an achievement, as I generally expect myself not to be able to do anything ever.
During my first week and a half, I have mostly been able to find my way around the labyrinthine DJCAD buildings and campus, spent a small fortune in the art shop (hello new pens, pencils, paint, oil pastels, paper, sketchbooks, padlocks, linseed oil, and other assorted art goodies!), been on two drawing trips (first to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, and second to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow), and created a blog (hello!) as part of one of my modules.
I have also remembered how awful I am at time management, and how much I hate the beginnings of projects, and how you should never look at other peoples’ sketchbooks because you’ll always feel a bit inferior.
After a whole summer of not really drawing much at all, I found it a bit difficult to get back into the swing of things. I enjoyed our drawing days in Edinburgh and Glasgow, although I spent a lot of time in the RBGE feeling like I was in peoples’ way – it was difficult to stand and draw, but you couldn’t really spread yourself out and get comfortable in the glass houses, because of the narrow little winding paths, and I absolutely hate feeling like I’m in the way or like I’m stopping people from being able to get their money’s worth from their (albeit free) visit! I did take a huge number of photographs though, which I think will come in handy. I think mostly it was beneficial to go somewhere new, somewhere I’d never been before, and see new things, and I also found it really interesting to see what my classmates were drawn to and how they work. I’m a bit of a people watcher!
I really enjoyed visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, home of Salvador Dali’s controversial Christ of Saint John of the Cross. It’s huge – I somehow managed to walk around the same area twice in a circle and not even realise! My favourite was probably the room with the animals (the elephant is called Sir Roger, and the baby elephant is called Kelvin!), but a close second was the room with all the pearls and the video of the last full-time pearl hunter in the country, and the room with all the armour. After visiting Kelvingrove, and because my favourite part of visiting the RBGE was inspecting tree bark, I’ve decided that for my Material Matters project I’m going to investigate “protective layers” and “natural armour” as part of our “natural pattern” brief.
I found our first Change by Design lecture really interesting, and it seems like this is going to be a really good module to work on, although I do have a bit of anxiety at the prospect of working in groups with people I don’t know! Of course, these things are never as difficult as I expect them to be, and I imagine most people feel the same about it anyway.
We met our lecturer Jonathan, Kate Pickering of Vanilla Ink (of whom I’m already a bit of a fangirl and Twitter-stalkerer), and Jo Montgomery of Little Riot. After learning a bit about the module and what it entails (including a farcical two-and-a-half minutes where three classes worth of students had to seat ourselves in alphabetical order) we were given a wee talk by Jo, who introduced us to her project, Pillow Talk, which aims to connect long-distance lovers in a way that isn’t keyboard- and screen-based (“Screens are rubbish!”). I really enjoyed listening to Jo talk about her project, which she is obviously very passionate about, and I think I appreciated her talk even more because I had seen her degree show project and found it really cool to see how far she’s come in such a short time.
Lastly, I really appreciated our introduction to the photography studio, because I’ve never really properly understood all that technical stuff. I had kind of grasped the basics of ISO and shutter speed and aperture and stuff, but now I’m definitely inspired to step out of ‘auto’ on my camera settings!