A sizeable part of our final assessment in October will be the Poster which accompany our degree show. This poster is intended as a document that explains our work.
As practice run, all design MA courses have to make a test poster, which will hang among all the other design MA posters and all MA students will go around have a look at them and discuss their work among their design MA peers.
Initially this proposal was not very popular among us ceramic students. However, in hindsight it wasn’t really as bad or painful as we imagined. For one, I got an introduction to a desktop publishing software program, InDesign. I’m familiar with the old QuarkXpress which has given me a head start on understanding some of InDesign’s basic functions. As I like playing around with layouts I found making this poster quite fun to do – not that we had that much artistic freedom as we were given a basic layout to fill with our content.
Except for thinking up a title and finding a couple of relevant quotes to stick on the top of the poster I didn’t change any of the original text of my recent learning agreement. When it comes to making the final poster for the end of my degree I need to put a lot more work into the content. But it would do for this presentation.
As ceramicists we were lucky that we could show some actual pieces of work along with our poster. In a way this took the focus away from the poster. That won’t be the case in October as the posters will not be presented along with the work but hung in a separate room.
The show and tell part worked better than I had foreseen. We were split up into smaller groups including somebody from every represented discipline. My group was very encouraging and knowledgeable about their own work. It was nice to see what the students from the other courses were up to. I think this sort of inter-departmental exchange should be more encouraged as we may actually learn from each other.
The feedback I got from the other students was very positive. I think I managed to not make it too technical. Pottery terminology and processes would just have bored them. I only referred to them when they asked me how I made certain pieces. I did a lot better explaining myself than I did a year ago to another potter at a pottery faire. I guess, this is another skill one improves upon with practice.
All told, this was a better and more useful experience than I had expected. Having a sort of practice run before having to do the ‘real’ poster has certainly removed some of the anxiety as I am sure that I have a decent idea of what I’ll be doing. The less stress at the final stages of completing our MAs, the better!