Reflection Year 2

This year I took the constellation group: A Lived Experience. Which focused on how the present can be understood and examined in new ways, by looking at it through the lens of the texts we are encountering. I was hesitant at first as last year constellation was a little stressful for me. Being out of my art focused comfort zone was hard, however after learning so much last year I knew it would further my studies. Through this course I have thought more about the present and the things that are happening right now rather than worrying about the future. It has helped me to focus on the now. Whereas in my discipline, it has taught me to reflect on the context of time when designing a piece of work or when researching. Should the time and place of a piece say a lot about the work? We also touched on ‘mindfulness’ and used this to consider the role of ethics within art & design. We could then use this ethical framework to critique material.

In our first session we looked into the ‘here and now’. We spoke about what it means to us. At first I struggled to decipher what I should say. How do I explain the now as it changes every second. The purpose of the question was to think deeper and this is what I have learned. Contextually I should look deeper. When looking at a piece of art I should consider them as triggers for memories rather than a work of art. The same going for my own work. I should create work that triggers emotions, memories or experiences. A piece of graphic design can only be successful once it has achieved its purpose. Whether it be changing a view or creating a sensation. I have also learnt that people see time in different ways. For example, Western time concepts include a beginning and an end. Whereas American Indians view time an eternally recurring cycle of events. It shows that we all have our own thoughts in everything we do. We all see things in a different light, this goes for my discipline too. When creating a piece of work we need to consider all the different views it may have from different people. We think it comes across as one way but to others it may not. From this I learnt that taking different views in to consideration is important especially for graphic design which can make such an impact to the public.

In our second lesson we discussed positive psychology. Having positive subjective experience and positive individual traits promises to improve quality of life and prevent the pathologies that arise when life is barren and meaningless. In conclusion having a positive outlook on life can be uplifting in dark times. The theory is to have a glass half full type of attitude which inherently will improve your life. I found this research quite interesting as I tend to have a negative approach and worry to much. This might help when working in the discipline to not get under pressure as much and to keep the exciting creative side of me happy. Having a positive outlook will encourage me to stay creative which in turn will help me within my discipline. Another large part of this theory is contributed to by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who worked on something called Flow. The research under Flow was to understand the intrinsic motivation that creative individuals display and how the process of working is its own reward regardless of outcome. I found this a very fascinating study. The idea that the process is just as rewarding as the outcome or even more so is so important to our discipline. In our university work the process is so important to our learning, even more so than the outcome. This has taught me to further focus and enjoy the process of working as at can be far more rewarding than the outcome.

Lastly in our final lesson we were taught about mindfulness and ethics. I learnt that the practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety, while also supports the development for creativity. Something that will be important in my discipline now and in the future. Stress will affect me throughout my life and it is important to combat it. I will need to find ways of dealing with stress in order to success in my discipline. Having a healthy happy mind will support my creativity and therefore should further my success in my field. Something else I have learnt is to consider ethics within my own work. The development of awareness isn’t completely intellectual but part of a persons being. We all have our own ethics stemming from our upbringing and our surrounding. This meaning that we can use ethics as a framework to critique other work. We all have different opinions and its important to recognise that. Especially when working in this discipline I will need to consider my own ethics and what I feel comfortable doing. Are ethics important to me? This is something I need to consider when working with different companies and briefs. I personally do care about my ethics and it will be something I stand behind now and in the future.

Overall this constellation class has been quite helpful and eyeopening to me within my disciple and personal life. Although some of the themes and reading material has been quite difficult for me to understand at first, I feel I have made my own understanding. I feel like this is what constellation is about. It’s about my personal learning and what I will use in the future. I also think that everyone takes something different from these experiences and its up to us to better ourselves from them. I will definitely use these theories and practices in my own discipline