Tuesday, 4 October 2011




  1. OGR 03/10/11

    Hey Alice,

    You know you're like a ghost student to me. I see you in class, I see how attentive you are, and yet, you hide somehow - and that's a shame. I get a strong sense that you're acutely uncomfortable with blogging your development. I think you dislike publishing work that is somehow unresolved or 'unfinished' or not yet perfect. Everything you post is immaculate, sensitively drawn, polished - and do you want the truth? I find your 'creative development' dull, because it's not 'development' at all you're sharing with me (and everyone) it's your anxiousness and your fear of criticism and your need to be perfect.

    This OGR is so expressive of a character uncomfortable with process (all you're really showing on your blog are destinations). If I wanted to find inspiration, if I truly wanted to work my way out of a creative dead-end, I'd be talking, collaborating, sharing, asking questions, inviting them and I'd be using the community of which I was part as rocket-fuel.

    Right now, your creative development blog would fail if I was assessing it, because it is empty entirely of development, because it gives a false impression - because you're still treating this as if it's an extension of your interview portfolio, and in truth, it's quite different. All I know about your project is this: you can draw well (I knew this right away when I met you at interview), and that you don't much like sloths. I have no idea what you're like intellectually or critically, because your film reviews are nowhere (I suspect you've written them, but you're polishing them over and over before publishing them). There are no thumbnails, no risks taken, no exploration, no joy at not knowing what you're outcome is - no engagement with the process and no interest either in sharing or disseminating your skills or experience with others.

  2. Of course, I could be wrong about all of this and doing you a terrible misservice - but how would I know? You're a ghost - a talented, careful, watchful, conscientious ghost. But you're also in danger of getting everything so wrong, so upside down and so back-to-front in regards to the actual experience of being a first year, that, frankly, I'm worried about you.

    I guess I need to be very clear with you. Right now you are missing the entire point of the very process in which you've chosen to participate. You are going without. You are disappearing. The brief is very clear about what needs to be on your blog, and I've been very clear about the culture of the course and how it reflects professional practice in the workplace. You simply could work this way if you were working in a creative team. So, unfortunately, even though I suspect it's going to feel alien to you, and you're going to struggle, I am asking you, as your tutor, and as an individual with considerable experience on his side, to trust in the process, to open up to it and actually start participating in this experience of which you're part. You need to step towards me, Alice - and everyone else for that matter. I want to see your development. More than this, I'm insisting on it. So - stop hiding your work away, stop worrying so much, and start getting properly involved. I think you're going to great - better than great maybe, but not if you continue like this. I want to see 50 thumbnails and every idea you've had - bad or good - on this blog by the end of the week. I may even be able to help you then - wow, imagine that, actual help! Amazing...

    Notice how I can't comment constructively on your conceptual development? You've created that circumstance. Instead, I'm left discussing a creative absence. If you want me to congratulate you on your technical competency, I will, but I suspect you already know you're good at this stuff already, so what's the point in that? Afterall, you posted those 2 perfect digital paintings of sloths previously - which must have taken a while - but I was left wondering what the point of them was really? Did you really need to produce such showy, polished paintings by which to understand sloth anatomy? I don't think so. I think you were just making yourself feel a little better.

    So - onto your essay then - you've obviously got some great evidence lined up and that's great, but now I want you to actually write your introduction as if you're readying it for the assignment proper; so, no first person, for example. Please be sure to take a look at the 'Rough Guide' on myUCA/Anatomy/Unit Materials/Writing Resources - you'll find a style guide, a first person to third person conversion chart, structural advice, citation advice and an example essay for Unit 1. Your topic is solid, so I look forward to you posting your introduction '@Phil' so I can gauge your progress thus far.

    And, finally - come and say hello, Alice - actually come up and say hello. I don't bite - and, please, a bit of trust on your part. Go on, take a risk - it's why you came here actually, though you may not realise that just yet. If you want to email me re. this feedback - indeed, if there's anything else I should know - my email is pgomm@ucreative.ac.uk. I'd be interested in your thoughts in light of mine. Perhaps I'll hear from you soon?

  3. *You simply couldn't work this way if you were working in a creative team*

    Sorry! It's no good making a strong point - but missing out some crucial letters! Some 'tough love' from me here - but it's coming from a good place!