This brief required me to create a concept for a social action project and produce a piece of work to promote this and encourage change or awareness.I chose to look at the topic of mental health and the stigma surrounding it. For my work, I would find ways in which I could diminish the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health and the people affected by it with art and design. The best way to do this was to design a poster or a series of posters.
In the beginning of the project, I started off by carrying out some online research, finding facts and figures about mental health, who it’s more likely to affect and how it affects them. This research helped me to understand how mental illness can impair people in ways that are not always noticeable or visible and how other organisations have made a positive difference but are still striving for more. My ideas changed a lot throughout my time working on the brief and at one point I changed the direction of the project to focus on generally raising awareness of mental illness instead of reducing stigma. I chose to do this because the idea I had in mind and wanted to develop into my final piece did not completely convey the message I originally wanted to spread.
I have been able to develop my creative skill set regarding digital design while working on this brief. I have learnt a lot about using and designing in Photoshop while developing and experimenting with my work. My work has benefited from this and looks more professional and neat. I found that I produced my final work much quicker with a drawing tablet and digital design programmes, meaning that my work was not rushed and I left myself enough time at the end of the project to refine my pieces and make necessary changes. Because of this, I was pleased with my final outcome, which is an important factor as my posters are intended to be seen by others publicly.
There are some things I would have done differently during this project if I would have had the knowledge I have now. First of all, I would plan out my ideas better, either writing about them before starting to draw or doing simpler, smaller drawing to help better organise my sketchbook work and have everything flow nicely. Some of my drawings seem quite significant but were not carried into my final work and might be misleading. Another thing I would improve is my experimental and idea generation work. I could have branched out into different media to help me broaden my possible ideas. I spent a lot of time coming up with and choosing an idea to go with so I would a have put a lot more time into thinking about this and recording and small ideas I have, no matter whether I think they are good or not. Finally, to improve my sketchbook, I would put together design sheets digitally, as this will allow me to give my work more order and sense, take things out and add things, and keep it neat and understandable.
Overall, this project has greatly benefitted me as an artist and I have learnt many useful things that I can take on to future practice. I have also learnt a lot more about the topic of mental health, which I have always been interested in and hoped for positive change around stigma and discrimination. I have enjoyed doing more digital work and expanding my skills in the area as well as exploring my minimalistic style and I know the necessary steps I need to take to surpass this work in my future projects.