Celeste Muethe discusses Self-Initiated projects and how to deal with free time during the first part of her DPS journey
When I was in foundation and filling applications for different Bachelors courses, I was, as I assume everyone is, pretty nervous about finding the course that would suit me best. My biggest fear was to end up in one that would give us open briefs and a very long time to work on them. I would say to all of my teachers that I had a hard time doing personal work if no one was watching or if we didn’t have a lot of guidelines on what to do. The reality is I had a hard time doing work for myself instead of for the teachers and the grades. I guess our school education is made to have us think that way. Starting DPS I was then anxious about the free time between internships and the big roles that self-initiated projects have in the year.
As I started the term I managed to get an internship really quickly, the only issue was it was starting mid-November. I struggled to find another internship that would last a month or two while finishing before the month of November. I realized that if I didn’t manage to secure one for the time being, I would have to work on something personal.
I decided to work on something that would make me learn new skills and fill my free time. I was going to improve my digital drawing abilities; this was my goal starting off. I also wanted to do something that would have a daily outcome. This way I was sure to work on it every day and make it a priority.
Visual magnitude is the outcome of this project. It is an Instagram account where I post digital portraits that I made daily. (@visual_magnitude) I started by making several portraits every day without posting anything. I figured that I should have a few of them ready for busy days. An aspect that I think was a good way to keep me going for a long period of time was the variety. Each portrait takes a couple of hours to do which means it doesn’t feel like working on the same thing for too long. It then makes it difficult to get discouraged and it is also very pleasing to have regular outcomes.
Using Instagram was a good way to showcase my work by allowing a wider audience to see it. I think the feedback from the viewers replace the feedback I was used to having in school. It feels rewarding and encouraged me to continue the project for longer than I intended to.
Having free time ended up being a lot less terrifying than I thought. It is a time we have to learn new skills and working on projects that I would have been unable to undertake in addition to uni work. It is also a time that you I use to start very different ventures at the same time.
For example, I have been very intrigued by virtual and augmented reality for a long time. I started to learn how to code so I could have a better shot at working with those techniques one day.
Starting by facing one of my fear, was a bold way to go but I think it was necessary.