Initial Self Reflection 1334


Valerie Iliffe

Foundation Degree: Three Dimensional Design

14.10.2014                                                                                                                      word Children playing inside the trunk of the “Major Oak Tree”

My journey begins in my childhood where the seeds of creativity were greatly encouraged. One of my favourite pastimes as a child was walking through Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire with my Grandma, where she we would encourage me to look at all the gnarled tree trunks and different shapes using my imagination.

As a result I am constantly reminded and have an appreciation of all the amazing things I see around me, from the grandeur of architecture, to the amazing hand skills of perhaps lace making or wood carvings.

When I consider the concept of design, for me I believe the understanding of design begins with me and what I should consider. Then to broaden my viewpoint and understanding by making, doing and sharing, whether it is in the things I create or the larger effect I may create by raising the bar and exposing this beautiful creative world to others.

I am in awe of anyone who can formulate an idea or project through conception to the finished enterprise. I find the area of craft extremely relaxing, it stretches my mind and totally absorbs my thoughts in a very positive way, but for me it is more than that, I also take absolute delight and pleasure being around creative people, and experience the wonderful innovations that they create.

I feel passionate about the world I live in and the diversity of people I meet. I have come to appreciate so much more about the abundant world of Art, Design and Crafts, and realise that there is so much more that I haven’t been exposed to and want to experience.

Charlotte Perriand, (1903-1999) One of the most innovative interior architects, furniture designers and photographers, of the twentieth century. One of my hero’s, not least because she succeeded in a very male dominated environment, but she never forgot her humble upbringing. She strove not just for innovations in form, but at the same time for the improvement of social conditions and quality of life. Charlotte was greatly influenced by the world around her, and quoted “Always keep your eyes open” convinced there was “beauty and influence in everything”

Thinking very carefully about my skills or lack of, I have been studying the area of “How we learn” with a very helpful book from the College library, Managing Your Own Learning at University – A practical guide  Aiden P. Moran (1997,2000) by University College Dublin Press ISBN 1 900621 58 4 

Through the” Learning Style Assessment Schedule” on page 19 I realise that I am a visual learner, and kinaesthetic (hands on) to which I can really agree with. I really like to see things that inspire me and enjoy contact with what I am creating; I get excited when working with different textures, and am really enthusiastic about the area of craft and design.

I do get frustrated with myself in some areas, I find drawing really intimidating although I know that I can draw, and I don’t feel that I have an original idea in my head. The concept of 3D is something that I am getting to grips with, as I have never really thought about different dimensions with regard to what I am viewing or creating, and given my background and encouragement, I Know should be more aware.

Composition is not one of my strong points either; my chief desire on this course is to endeavour to develop a better understanding of the intellectual and physical concepts presented to me. What I would like to achieve from this course is a better understanding and critical awareness of different approaches to design and creating in industry, I’m very determined to experiment with different mediums, and expand my understanding of contrasting ideas.

I want to organise and broaden my understanding by learning more about “who is the customer’ and “what is the product,” and develop a solid strategy for developing my future aspirations, in the world of Art and Crafts.

My personal ambition would be to revisit the voluntary sector, through broadening my horizons, to develop my own creative practice, and hopefully take my new skills and experience with me.

I have worked as a drug and alcohol counsellor for 25 years, working closely with my clients, it became clear to me that through art / crafts they were encouraged and better able to get through their period of rehabilitation.



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