BEFORE THE DEFENSE
At first, as I watched other people defend over the course of two weeks, I couldn’t help but grow increasingly more anxious although I knew that having a defense didn’t look so bad. I was kind of actually dreading to have my own defense. And then it came.
I didn’t even know I was having my defense last Wednesday until I asked Sir Alfred in my FA AM class with him. It was funny, how I’ve been anticipating and dreading my defense and I was suddenly caught off guard (though not really, since it’s been a long time coming) when he told me.
Though I was nervous as fuck inside, I knew I had to get my shit together because: (1) though I was kind of scared shitless, I had to do it; and (2) I wanted to do it.
I wanted to do it, because as much as it would hurt to get criticized, I wanted to know what others thought about my work. Though I seemed confident and not worried about it, I was generally insecure about whether or not my artwork actually got anything across. My mother would sometimes tell me that she didn’t really get what I was trying to do, in my art or in, well, my course or life in general, and I guess that always made me feel insecure about whether or not I was making sense.
I love my work, and I love what I’m doing. I thought I was okay, and others would often tell me that my work was good and whatnot, but I guess it was hard for me to believe them because I didn’t know if they were saying that just to be nice. The bottom line was, I believed my work was good, but I didn’t know if it really was good, so getting my work critiqued and hearing from the panelists meant a lot to me.
I kind of expected to get roasted(I guess everyone actually does?). But my panel turned out really nice. Though I was nervous before my defense, when I started doing it, the fear and anxiety were forgotten in favor of just sharing and explaining my work.
After I did, the panelists basically started commenting and asking a few questions(mainly with technicalities), like:
Did I assemble my piece? How much of the work did I get an artisan to do? How far was I from creating my work? How did I go about making the collage? How did I come up with the design for the structure? So is my work focused on drowning?
So basically, I just tried to answered those questions as honestly as I could and shared my process. Some of their comments were:
(1) My title was great. It tied the work together with the kind of reading that I wanted my viewers to have. They said that I did well because it doesn’t hurt to give a hint to prompt the audience to the kind of interpretation you want them to have.
(2) My work was well researched because I researched for the type of kaleidoscope I wanted to create the effect that I wanted. They said that some research can really take you a long way.
(3) They could see how my work was personal. They saw the artist in it, as well as the part of the audience, but at the same time, my work was already separate from me and that it had a certain life of its own.
(4) My thought process, conceptualization and logic made sense.
(5) Perhaps, I can improve my work further by researching on industrial design or product design so that my kaleidoscope can be easier to access or use.
The comments were generally positive, and I was really touched that the panelists liked my work and they expressed that as they kept on commenting what they liked about it. It was a really exhilarating experience for me and I think I gained some self-confidence in myself. The good feeling that I got from my defense experience will definitely keep me going for a long time.
After the panel, I feel like I really want to pursue this work further in the future. I don’t have any major required alteration based on their comments, but based on their suggestion, I’d like to explore more on the design of the kaleidoscope so that it can become more eye level to a viewer and then perhaps employ a light source at the end so that the images can become much more vibrant. I also want to finally use sealant to secure all the parts together to make it look cleaner in terms of execution. All in all, I hope that I can further improve this artwork in the future!