How to get going with an art and design project

How to get going with an art and design project

Working on one's own art and design can feel easy at times. One may choose the topic and may work on it whenever one feels the inspiration and the motivation to do so. However, when one has to do it as part of a course or when freelancing and working for a client things are not always easy, as sometimes we have to complete projects which may not be our cup of tea. 

When I was a student, there were many projects I did not like that much. For example, when I was doing my foundation diploma I had to complete a project using mono-printing which turned out quite challenging at the beginning. Also, when I was doing my Masters final project I was asked to repeat the whole project, as tutors felt it was too different to my previous work and too close to illustration rather than abstract photography. How can one keep going in these instances? Well, it is very easy to get demotivated and frustrated and think maybe about giving up the module or even the whole course. 

How can one keep going in those instances? My first tip is to think that all experiences (good and not so good) will always be beneficial and an opportunity to learn. For example, when I was asked to repeat the project I challenged myself to think outside the box to something completely different from scratch. It also showed me I am capable to work under a lot of pressure in a limited amount of time. Once I finished it, I felt accomplished and this is a feeling that is particularly important as a student.


My second tip is to be open to experimentation. Engaging in projects that one may not like that much gives the opportunity to learn about things that one can later incorporate into one's own practice. For example, when shooting for a client I was asked to use colours in a particular way. In the beginning, I felt out of my comfort zone but this made me more confident when working in colour photography.

My third tip is to think that learning never ends. Only when one feels there is nothing else to learn, can one perceive certain projects as a waste of time or useless. Michelangelo at the age of 87 said "I'm still learning" and this should be the philosophy if one wants to keep progressing and advancing as an artist and designer. 

At Access you can study art and design and specialise in the area you like best (e.g., fine art, textiles, graphics, photography). You will have a team of supportive tutors to help you develop your portfolio so that you can fulfil your dream careers. Never stop learning :) 

Alberto Gonzalez

Photography tutor at Access

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