Before getting started with Creative Book Design, I worked through the introduction activities specified in the course materials. The content sounds fascinating; I cannot wait to begin!

Exercise 1

What do you want or need from the course unit?

  • The chance to explore storytelling and sequencing illustrations to build a narrative
  • The opportunity to explore bookmaking further
  • An understanding of effective ways to balance text and images in engaging layouts
  • Exploring and using typography
  • Bringing some of my experimentation and style to a context/applying processes I have been working on to a brief

What am I bringing to the course?

  • The willingness to try new things and experiment with media, methods, and tools
  • A strong motivation to work independently while also engaging with other OCA students
  • A clear understanding of studying, researching, referencing, and reflecting on my progress
  • A developing style, which I want to continue to work on
  • A passion for books and art

Exercise 2

Setting up your learning log

Here it is! For my research and experimentation, I will be using lots of physical materials and sketchbooks, however I will endeavour to record all my work on this blog. I aim to use photographs and videos to aid this process.

Exercise 3

Analysing and reflecting on books

1 Identify a book you find engaging – Woman’s World by Graham Rawle

My photograph of the cover (Rawle, G. (2005) Woman’s world – a graphic novel. London: Atlantic Books)

2 Briefly describe the book – This book was created by collecting, cutting up, and rearranging words and phrases from 1960s women’s magazines to form a narrative. It tells the story of Norma Fontaine, who “lives in the perfect woman’s world”. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that everything is not as it seems and there are more sinister forces at play.

3 Using the same book, briefly write about how you relate to this work – I found the book itself a fascinating work of art. Each page is unique. The mixture of types and sizes makes the process of reading so much more interesting and engaging. In terms of the content, I always enjoy being immersed in the 1960s, whether that be through film, music or literature. The character of Norma is utterly unique and the story is unlike anything I have read before. Having the narrative built from magazine clippings out of context also makes for interesting comparisons, similes and descriptions. It is almost as if you are inside an advertisement on some of the pages.

Exercise 4

Managing your time

How much time can I allocate to study each week? – I can definitely allocate 16 hours or at least 2 full days of work, to balance with my 3 days a week of teaching. There may be weeks where I can allocate more (such as during weekends or school holidays).

What is my most/least productive time of the day? – I have found that I work best in the morning on any practical work, whereas I can complete written work more effectively in the afternoon or evening. I am certainly better at waking up early and getting started rather than staying up late.

How well do I manage my time? – Usually, I manage my time very well, but I need to ensure I am strict with my time management for this course.

What is a realistic schedule to undertake Part One (around 80 learning hours) and when might you set your first deadline? – My tutor and I have set my first deadline for October 23rd. This takes into account my part-time teaching role.

Exercise 5

Identifying resources

My previous course (Sketchbooks) involved some bookmaking, so I already have a bookbinding set and some tutorials to help with this. I would like to explore this further and try some new methods for binding.

Reading materials are listed in the course content, so I have made a note of these and purchased some of the books. I also ensured I am stocked up on pre-made sketchbooks, fine liners, pencils, pens, paints, collage materials and other equipment I regularly use.

Exercise 6

Saying hello to your fellow students

I am connected with other OCA students on a Discord server, which is a great place to discuss our progress and get feedback on work.

Exercise 7

Say hello to your tutor

After a brief email exchange, I am scheduled to chat to my tutor this week. We will be able to get to know each other and establish how my work and assignments will be submitted.

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