Overall the unit has been a worthwhile and different experience to everyday study, as it is usually independent work with specific guidelines to follow. This unit has allowed me to develop a variety of opinions and gain a number of important skills, which has been done through working with fellow students from Technical Arts and Special Effects, Theatre Design, Costume Design and Costume Interpretation. Due to their diverse backgrounds within the arts and their chosen pathways these students have alternative ways of looking at art. This allowed us to create meaningful discussions and gain a sense of equality as we were all interested in each other’s thoughts.
Looking back on this project, I found the first task very useful as an icebreaker to understand the dialogue. The tutor’s chosen book for our group was - ‘A Monster Calls’ this book contained a large amount of illustrations on each page (drawn by Jim Kay). It had also become a film and the play is currently in pre-production. The group decided to focus on the style of the illustrations in the book as this would give us numerous ideas to discuss and experiment with.
One of the main focus points of this unit was for us to collaborate with each other and create the best ideas possible from listening to them.
‘Everybody must pull his or her own weight, and pull it all the time or disaster may follow.’ Robert Cohen Pg 10. (2010).
This extract represents the key parts of collaboration and how it takes effort from all for it to work. The idea of pulling a weight makes it sound like a tough effort that if one doesn’t, another one will have to pull for. The comparison of a weight also makes it feel more beneficial as you can see the achievement at the end. I felt that this was the most important part of the unit because if we worked together we would get the most out of it. The project was also very enjoyable because it required a creative approach. I did observe however, that some participants, at the start of the project, didn’t appreciate the collaborative approach. However, by the end of the project this attitude had changed because they could see the benefits of working together and how a positive environment creates better work. I found that I found it an enjoyable experience meeting new people with new ideas and as we became more positive about the work the more enjoyable it got.
Throughout the project highlights included:
- New, fresh and creative designs
- Experimenting with these designs
- Identifying problems
- Using a collaborative approach to solve these problems
- Implementing the new designs having solved the problems
- Creating a final outcome
This project also enabled me to develop a number of other skills, these included:
- Improving communication through collaboration
- Utilising organisational techniques through timetabling
- Developing leadership skills through highlighting and demonstrating my ideas
Areas within the project that I found that I needed to improve were the reading task and lectures. The reading tasks I find really benefit my work and broaden my knowledge, however, because our thoughts on these weren’t discussed within the seminar, they fell to one side. To improve on this, I need to read them little and often which I find needs to be a compulsory task for myself as I struggle with the reading and leaving it until the end makes it harder. The lectures went hand in hand with the readings and were teaching us about the collaborative process, however, these were placed directly before our seminars which didn’t refer to anything discussed in the lecture, so this made it difficult to apply the information given to us in the lecture. I also felt that some prompt questions would have been useful as a guide for both the lectures and the readings, to undergo analysis independently. If I was to do this project again, I would focus more on relating the lectures of work to the seminar we were focusing on each week, and then applying them to our group task.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this unit and I have learnt many things through collaboration. The amount of written to practical work complemented each other well and I found the processes became more fun, the more effort that was put in. I look forward to the next project where I can apply the skills I have learnt in this project.