To create my work, I have supported and contextualised my projects with extensive research and development. This has helped strengthen my thematic ideas, subject matter, tone, style and aesthetics and enabled me to create stronger pieces of work.
Throughout my portfolio and my body of work, I have primarily focused on exploring mental health through image and video, often depicting symptoms and struggles with mental illness. As I have personally struggled with mental illness, this is an important subject matter to me and have wanted to do the subject justice. I have been able to draw from personal experiences to inform my work, but have also drawn influence from the work of other artists and text based research.
My most successful and personal favourite piece of work I produced within my portfolio was my short film, ‘Conversations From The End Of My Bed’ (link here), that explores a young woman’s struggles with mental illness. I believe it is a strong final piece, both visually and in delivering my intentions.
To create this piece of work required development and research, something I have presented within my digital sketchbook as blog posts on WordPress to support the finish piece. I spent time reading articles and material relating to mental health, and drew important facts and quotes from them, making sure to list and reference them to support my film.
I looked at other artists, photographers and filmmakers who’s styles I admired or who worked with similar subject matter. I drew from a pool of mainly female creatives as this is relative to my intentions.
Completing extensive research and exploring the work of others, not only helps generate ideas, it also helped me see a wider perspective. It was an essential part of the creative process, and I believe I would not have the finished film without the conceptualising and developing stages.
I have placed the film at the front of my portfolio because it is my strongest piece. However, if I had the chance to redo this project there were several things that I would do differently. I have become more efficient working with AfterEffects and Premier Pro, there are technical issues with some of the audios and a few minor faults with the timing of some of the cuts. When I have the time, I will revise the film to see if I can improve it, and therefore strengthening my overall portfolio.
I have strived to create a cohesive portfolio that, although encompasses a wide variety of work, presents a visual style and language that is unique to me. To do this I have approached each project with a similar working method, making sure to contextualise every project with supporting development and attention to detail. To achieve this I have explored the theme and subject matter of mental health through a variety of mediums and outputs. The result is hopefully a portfolio that has a narrative and a clear voice, this is evident in the research and the artists who influence me, which can be seen throughout my body of work:
My portfolio and development has been excellent for putting into practice in-depth research that not only helps explain and illustrate my intentions, but will help me as I embark to complete projects at university level.
Artist research also helped the visual development and style within my portfolio. It has been an intention of mine to develop a strong individual visual style. I am a very image driven individual and therefore creating visual mood boards have been an essential part of developing and informing my style, drawing inspiration from artists, colours, lights and everyday objects/ moments. I used them frequently throughout the development of my portfolio.
I believe pre visualising ideas and looking at other work and images has helped me build a stronger body of work and portfolio.
This is evident through my work, I often work within similar colour palettes and tones to try and portray my subject matter. I work within these aesthetics because of my influences and enjoy exploring what I can create. Colour is important as I often attempt to depict mood disorders and symptoms through photography or film by playing with colour, adding synthetic light to a natural scene or vice versa. These synthetic colours are also important as I often look at the relationship between mental health & living in the digital age. I often use phones and screens as a light source in my images.
Utilise A Portfolio Format That Best Presents My Work
I have used WordPress as a platform to create a digital sketchbook, as it allows me to post and organise blog posts into a cohesive structure. I am able to add, revisit and edit content at any time, and allows me to posts a variety of medias and include long passages of text, which is useful for researching and developing my ideas. Through WordPress I have been able to log and present the development of my work, from the sketchbook/ idea generating stage to editing and finally the finished project. I believe this has been the best format to present my developing work.
Creating a website to showcase my finished photography and film projects was the best format for my portfolio of creative work, as it presents my work in a visually appealing and professional way. The main point of focus is the work itself, and all the textual or additional information is only the most relevant that needs to be included. It serves to show my work in the best possible way, and I believe it does just that. I was able to edit the layouts, colour palettes, galleries and overall design to compliment my creative work and hopefully reflect my professionalism and commitment to creating work as I progress into higher education and further.
Finally, the showreel I created was the best format to highlight my strongest film work and extent of my vision in a short cohesive, attention grabbing video. A showreel is extremely useful and widely used within the film and video industries. I will continue to update and develop this showreel as I continue making work.
Reflect, Review & Update Portfolio
I have enjoyed creating these bodies of work throughout the course, and I believe I will continue to explore these subjects as I progress with my education and career, strengthened by the skills and practice I have acquired on my course.
My WordPress blog has been an effective way to present and layout the development and realisation of ideas, using it to log my research, intentions and reflections throughout the year, showing the full variety of work and mediums I have completed. My portfolio I created during the web design has been an excellent platform for the most successful pieces of work I have created on the course, and an ideal way to present my work in an aesthetically pleasing format that is of an industry standard quality.
Overall I believe both are strong bodies of work, that I can continue to update, develop and grow from.