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Thesis Process Journals

An ongoing documentation of my process in creating my final thesis project towards my BFA in Graphic Design at the Maine College of Art.

Week Three: Still rolling

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This week involved a lot of wrapping up, but still more fleshing out. Above is the final iteration for our first and only assigned project in this last semester. Currently on view in the windows of the Joanne Waxman library, all sixteen graduating seniors in the Graphic Design department have created a poster responding to the prompt "What if...", in an effort to flesh out our independent thesis projects. We are now one big jittering jumble, excited and afraid, but definitely one step closer to the culmination of this experience.

Another thing that was wrapped up from the preceding weeks was the first installment of our thesis paper. This initial section asked us to respond to questions about our practice.

Next on the docket is the second installment, a documentation of our sources of inspiration. We will be writing about topics or practices that are of importance to our thesis. As part of my process in determining the scope of my project, I had begun to address this topic a few days before receiving the specific guidelines for the paper.

This batch of notes is a common part of my practice. Thought processes for quicker pieces may manifest themselves in the form of diagrams, while broader pieces take those initial thought paths and attempt to forge more linear structures. Rarely, though, will I utilize them in such a way. The linearity is a helpful construct to align myself with common forms of output, (e.g. if I am being asked to write a paper, I cannot submit my initial scatter-stem diagrams), but when I am referring to them I rarely ever read them paragraph to paragraph, or utilize them in their original sequence. Each paragraph or set of paragraphs will fold back into the larger scheme of organization, the giant scatter-stem plot in my mind.

When I begin writing about the function of language in my thesis, I might remember that I had made a note about Descartes a few weeks prior. When I go back to read it, if I still agree with what I had written, these notes might manifest themselves into the final paper. If I have come to dispute something I thought earlier, that difference may also be of worthy note, and now I can recall the argument that lent me my previous position.

This happens in visual forms as well. When sketching ideas, loosely or formally, in margins or as tight comps, I always finds it helpful to be able to trace my ideas back to the beginning. If I have the pleasure of being able to work on an assignment for more than a few weeks, by the time I get stuck I likely have a fuzzy image of where I started. Combing through the original phases of my process, the portions of free thinking that existed prior to narrowing down and focussing in, can breathe new life into a piece.

Mollie EnnisComment