Dissertation PDP


I started off the process of writing my dissertation quite apprehensive and overwhelmed, not only at the different writing options but also making a decision on what my dissertation was going to be about. Although I did briefly think about selecting the option with an artifact, out of the options on the type of dissertation I was going to write 8,000-10,000 seemed like the most logical option. I also hadn’t really contemplated writing a business plan before and didn’t have any experience in that area. I decided that this dissertation was a good opportunity to push my own writing further and a chance to explore a topic that interested me greatly.

For my dissertation proposal, I used research that I had undertaken for previous constellation essays as well as also using research that was for my own work as the starting point. The research that I had for my proposal was adequate, although I think I should have had a clearer direction when writing my proposal, it may have been a more sensible option to further build on the essays that I had done for previous constellation modules, as it meant my proposal was quite vague which left me confused when it came to writing my dissertation.

My proposal looked purely at Craftivism and my research was quite limited, which meant when I came to write my dissertation, I quickly realised that what I looked at needed to be much broader. The topic I had chosen was wider than I first thought and I soon realised that it wasn’t as simple as writing about one specific thing. I knew that giving context was going to be important in what I was writing and it was important for me to understand and explored the theories on this subject. Looking back, I wish I had undertaken more research into the theorists and their ideas at this stage as it would have given me more time to understand the concepts and apply them to my own writing to inform my argument, as this is something that I struggle with incorporating these ideas with my own. Writing the proposal was useful in order to understand how I would commence writing for my dissertation although, in hindsight, I would have benefitted more if my proposal was more focussed on what I actually wanted to write about.

Over the summer break, my previous dissertation tutor left the university, and I was assigned a new tutor. I did not find the transition to my new tutor particularly smooth as it felt that my new tutor didn’t have enough time to understand what it was that I was writing which in turn meant that I didn’t feel particularly supported. I also felt that having a deadline at the end of October, then having to wait almost 6 weeks for feedback wasn’t the best use of time, as we didn’t have much chance to reflect and work on the feedback we have received.


One of the main things I struggled with in the summer term was trying to find the correct balance between subject work and writing my dissertation. It felt as though it my focus wasn’t able to settle between the two, in hindsight I would have benefitted from setting myself a set schedule for the week in order to compartmentalise my time, which would have meant a better use of both time set aside for dissertation similarly for dissertation.

The way in which I did the majority of my reading was through the library and MetSearch. I found that being about to read from a physical book is most definitely my preferred way of reading although MetSearch and online E-Books and articles conveniently offered a huge amount of reliable resources on the topic. Although, there was a lot to be found on the general area of what I was writing about, it was trickier to find more specific reading. I regret not spending longer finding theorists who’s work supported my argument more accurately. I found that because of this, it was difficult to know where to start on each different section of my dissertation with confidence.

One of the things that I struggled with most with writing this dissertation was the stop-start feeling of the process. I think because the time in which I wrote parts of the dissertation were so far apart, my focus and direction shifted. This also made it difficult to know where to start when I did attempt to once again. I found that once I did start to write and I was in a state of flow, it was much easier to write than I had first anticipated. I do regret my poor time management whilst writing this dissertation, if I had of used my time efficiently, I could have been finished much earlier and it may have made feel more confident about what I was writing which as a consequence would have improved my final dissertation.

I hadn’t anticipated the difference from Level 5 to 6 to be as big as it was. I was expecting it to be a smooth evolution but I definitely felt overwhelmed at the start of the year, at the prospect of how important of a year it was going to be. Although I have struggled with parts of writing this dissertation, my motivation was not only a keen interest in what I was writing about but also a desire to write something that I am proud of. I have learnt a lot about myself and the way in which I work whilst writing this dissertation, which are lessons I will take forward with me.


Cut outs.


My first step was creating the shapes for the trees/circles/stars. I used different texture of paper and then used a combination of ink and gouache to add texture and detail. These were the physical cutout pieces which were then stuck directly onto the wall.


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After speaking with Frances, I sent her a few rough photos so that she could visualise what my idea was therefore she could ask for any amendments or changes before I had completed. What she suggested was maybe incorporating some brown paper into the design to soften the colour palette to suit the cafe’s current scheme. I also proposed a metallic/reflective colour such as gold to add another element.

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This past term has been challenging in ways that I didn’t expect. I started off feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the prospect of starting and finishing 3rd year and the pressure to create work for a brief written by myself. Looking back, I put far too much pressure on myself to create a project that would have a huge social impact and although, I do believe that my work has a voice and it’s important to use whatever voice you do have, I now realise that it can be done a more gentle, less overt way.

My project about my home town of Stoke primarily started as a way to just start making work. I had thought about creating work about Stoke for a while. What was important to me was that the work was positive and had a light hearted feel to it. I wanted the work to be celebratory and almost to act as a reminder that it’s ok to be proud of where you are from as I have often felt that there’s a sense of shame admitting that your from Stoke or a similar city. I want people to feel that even though it has been voted the worst place to live in the past, it’s a place full of heritage, warmth, creativity and be proud of that.

During this project, I knew that I wanted to create work that was print based. I have done screen printing in the past and have always been pleased with the results as I think it suits my way of working well, but this time I wanted to challenge myself to make prints that were slightly more detailed and meant that I had to improve my level of skill to a more professional standard. I chose to do 4 layers on my posters which in hindsight was probably one too many, the text being the 4th in black, was probably not the best choice. I realise now that I should have worked to have incorporated the text as part of the image more, rather than it being a final addition. In the future I will work with the type and the image simultaneously rather than adding it in the end. I also think that choosing to make the text black wasn’t  the best choice for the same reason.

Overall, I think that the work I have made for this project is successful in terms of what I wanted to achieve, but it’s a shame that I didn’t manage to finish as much as I wanted to. At the start of the term especially progress was very slow moving. The second short project I took on was a commission for Lufkin Coffee Roasters, to make their Christmas decorations . What I realised from doing this, is that I work best being set a specific brief and outcome, working to a stricter time frame. For next term, I think it will be vital for me to put very clear deadlines and goals in order to keep the work flowing and to avoid it feeling stagnant.

Project 2

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I decided that the best way for me to work over this term was to create a series of smaller projects. For my second project, I was asked to create the Christmas Decorations for Lufkin Coffee Roasters. The brief was to make paper cut outs of illustrations for to be displayed on the walls. After speaking to Frances about the work, she said she wanted to almost create little ‘worlds’.

The first thing that I thought about was that the cafe is quite modern and the space isn’t particularly big. I suggested a limited colour palette of mainly blues and turquoisey greens as I thought that would bring a modern feel to the cut outs.


born n bred copyoatcake fullay up duck

These are 3 of my final posters. The colours aren’t quite accurate as these are scans, and due to my choice of neon colours, it hasn’t translated digitally very accurately. I am pleased with my 3 posters, although I wish I had of managed to complete a set of 5 at least. I think that in these posters, I have achieved what I set out to. They are lighthearted and up lifting. I think that the placement of the type as well as choosing to do it in black is what lets the posters down. In the future I need to remember to incorporate the type from a much earlier stage in order to eliminate the feeling of it being added on at the end.


born n bred postcard

One of the processes I had to figure out was separating each colour ready to screen print. I haven’t ever done this process digitally before. I used photoshop to select each colour individually, and then saved them so that they would layer accurately on top of each other. This process turned out to be easier that I was expecting although I think a 4th layer for the type was one too many.