Sometimes you see a sketchbook that just makes your jaw drop, you stop and wonder how many hours of love and passion have been put into it. More importantly, you just want to make sure that everyone sees it. This case study is a sketchbook by a student called James Bituin.
Sketchbooks to Share
This particular student did this work on the FAD program. What is interesting is how he had progressed from a Level 2 BTEC Diploma in Art and Design course all the way through to the Foundation Level 4 and later on to a BA. It’s fantastic to see the progression of these students and it is a testament to the value that BTEC Art and Design courses can contribute to students’ opportunities.
What’s so interesting?
At first glance it is a very simple design book. However, the closer you look the more you realise that this sketchbook is a shrine to organisation and a commitment to a very clear vision. James was interested in the idea of process, he wondered what process in a graphic sense would or could look like.
The idea of process is very important in art and design. For many students it’s the first time that they start to consider the process of creating as intrinsic to what they create. In that sense it was a very big leap for James to undertake. It took him down many paths, some of which were unfruitful, others only generated further creative problems to overcome.
It is true that he struggled with how to move from the production of experiments to final outcome. The idea of process doesn’t easily lend itself to something conclusive, what he did well though was to think big and complex. James tried everything on a large scale and the sketchbook was more of a documentary space, rather than somewhere to experiment.
The pages became a way of communicating all of the practices that he was undertaking, but he wanted them to be framed in a particular way. He wanted his own structured mindset and mechanical experimentation to be evident in everything from the images and reflective logs that were included in the sketchbook.
The proposal itself became a work of typography and an opportunity to consider the idea of process as a word based piece of art.
James used critiques as a way of testing new experiments. The studio group undertook mechanical tasks and these were documented as part of the portfolio.
Images that most students wouldn’t see as having any potential were incorporated.
The highly experimental was combined with a rigorous and mechanical presentation method that tied it all together.
The mundane was transformed into the distorted and processed.
He struggled considerably with how to move from experiment to exhibition, from a process of investigation to conclusion.
A work, graphic in nature became a performance piece that would not normally be associated with this area of digitised design. James photographed everyone that entered the gallery and manipulated the images through an experimental and distortive process, finally projecting them on the gallery wall.