Visual Research - Part One - Exercise 4

Narrowing down your visual topic

1. Looking back

My tutor has fed back to me that she liked one of the earlier topics I considered about mental health awareness and wondered if I could link this to my symbolism theme.  To be honest, in my brain, this is what would happen anyway as most of what I do is linked in some way to mental health awareness.  It is a topic that is such a big part of me now, I do it as second nature.
I would like my totems to be linked to emotions and mental health and to be something tactile that people who are struggling can relate to and feel reassured by.  The Native American Zuni Fetishes would have depicted their spirit animals and each one represented a different aspect of life.  I adore this idea and want to incorporate this in to my own totem designs.

I think my written work and visual work will really go hand in hand as I always write my thoughts as well as doodling them in sketchbooks and this will just give me an excuse to collate all those scribbled thoughts and put them in to a finished essay.

Part of my feedback was also in relation to this actual blog and how it needed a bit more organisation category wise so that things would be easy to find once I start filling it up with a lot of content.  I have spent the last two days reworking the blog to reflect this and hopefully it is quite straightforward to navigate now.

2. Plan of Action for resources

There are only 3 weeks until the summer holidays (I am an Art Teacher) so I am about to be on a long break and have plenty of time to visit resource sources.  I am planning to visit Bath and Bristol during the holidays.  I will visit the galleries/museums here and collect plenty of sources.  I will also take my questionnaire (which I will complete for then).  I will also stop by Glastonbury on the way and collect a variety of first hand sources from the shops there.  I should be able to find some really relevant books too.
The libraries are all local to me so I can visit those anytime (I am just about to move house in the next two weeks so will go once this has happened).  I have managed to gather some books on the topic already, so I can work from these in the mean time.
I don't think I will be able to get to Cornwall due to it being too expensive, but I can email/call the Magic Museum and I can use their online information to aid my research.

3. What do I want to achieve?

I want to develop skills in using emotions and mental health to produce a body of work/characters that can be used as aids for this; focusing on traditional/ancient symbolism and combining that with nature and my style.

I want to consolidate skills in visual storytelling, creating art with a purpose and developing an even more defined and recognisable style.

I want to produce a set of talismans/totems that represent humanities struggle with mental health issues and act as an aid to this, as well as a small book/let to accompany them and to explain their use/story.

I want to promote my work to publishers worldwide and a wider audience than I am currently reaching (which is often limited to the Designer Toy Industry).

I want to refine my illustration skills and my sculpting skills to produce a 3D and 2D outcome.  Also looking at refining how I go about laying out a book design.

I want to explore the way humans have a daily struggle with mental health conditions and raise awareness of this, whilst encouraging those suffering to understand that they are not alone and are not abnormal.

I want to prove.... that having mental health issues is part of being a normal human and nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

I want to involve Mind Charity (if they are interested).  However most of the involvement will be to the community of people that I offer these to once completed.

I want to integrate my cute but creepy style and love of traditional/ancient symbols in to the final outcome.

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