Progress and Obstacles in Creative Research

One thing that has been really exciting since I’ve started the Creative Arts Fellowship is getting to devote my time to a creative field that I’m not majoring in. While I’ve taken scenic design classes in the past, this project is my first time getting to see an entire work through from start to finish. And while I’m thoroughly enjoying all of my work, it isn’t without some obstacles. Over the past few months, much of my research work has revolved around gathering as much information that may aid my designs as possible. While I enjoy the investigation step of my research, there are times when the process can get flooded with an overabundance of information with no discernable endpoint. This results in a loss of interest on my part and stagnation in the flow of my project. One way I’ve been trying to work past this is by introducing new sources of inspiration to mix things up. For this project, this has included exploring online forums, going for a walk to gather visual data, or reading the original novel. I’ve found that exploring and expanding into new territory has served me well as I have transitioned into the more creative aspects of my work, such as sketching or 3D modeling.

Another obstacle that was anticipated yet still somewhat of a nuisance has been adapting to new programs and building/reestablishing the skills that go along with it. For example, a new software program I’ve started working with, SketchUp, is a 3D modeling software that I’m using in lieu of physical model building. This is allowing me to fully immerse myself in a space to create the final design. While I’m only in the generic layout stage, it has been somewhat of a bumpy road, as I’m trying to adapt and learn as I go. It’s become increasingly important that I give myself the time to practice the tools that I’m starting with, even when it doesn’t directly relate to my project. Roughly once a week, I will dedicate my workload to simply watching tutorials, reading articles, and getting acclimated to this new experience. I’ve been guilty of trying to skip over the beginner levels in the past, which only ends up causing more problems later down the line.

A glimpse at the beginning of a 3D model for a Colorado Lounge redesign. As you may be able to tell, it still has a long way to go!

This project has been a really interesting intersection of my more creative and more traditionally “academic” sides. The approach I’ve been taking is definitely a blend of new and old – there are methods that I use for productivity within the academic realm that I’m also utilizing currently. These mostly relate to time management and task assignment. Alternatively, there are certain approaches I’m taking that are different from an academic setting – primarily the generation of ideas being much more well-rounded and detail-oriented. Within a lot of academic tasks, I tend to map out the exact steps needed for completion and deviate only when needed. Creative tasks, on the other hand, allow me more exploration of different avenues that may pop up. In an academic setting, we are typically constrained into a certain time and expectation. This project being both creative and individually-led has allowed me to redevelop my path and project to better fit my capabilities and the information available to me as I keep moving forward.

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