Saturday, December 4, 2010

Final Project -- Essay on Field Notes

The posts in this blog tagged "Field Notes" were written for my History of Graphic Design class during Fall quarter 2010 at Foothill College.  The course covered “the development of visual communication in art, graphic design, illustration and popular culture” from its start in cave painting and pictographs, through modern times.  Each post was written after reading the weekly assignment in Megg’s “A History of Graphic Design” and class lectures, then researching some of topics discussed.
I am always amazed at how new knowledge can transform the everyday; when something new is learned, it seems to pop up everywhere.  It’s as if you suddenly were able to see a new color; maybe it has always been around but you are seeing it all over for the first time.  The posts relay not only what I discovered but also my new way of looking at the various topics.  I think this is the most valuable thing I learned from the class.  To take what I had read and not leave it in the isolation of my studying, but to go out and look for it, see it in its new forms, find it in my life. 
And in being aware of these new topics, opportunities to expand on them seemed to present themselves.  When we were reading about the development of printing, I was travelling to Ashland, Oregon to see their Shakespeare Festival and was able to view Shakespeare’s First Folio and listen to a docent lecture on the printing of it.  During our reading about Ukiyo-e and its influence on the Impressionists, the nearby Palace of the Legion of Honor was hosting an exhibit on exactly those topics.  While the exhibits were excellent by themselves, there is a special pleasure in bringing your own knowledge of the subject to the viewing.  There are two extra credit posts that I wrote on my visits to these as a direct result of the class; they are tagged "Extra Credit" if you'd like to read them.
I learned a lot from the class, and I think the posts reflect that.  The class nearly killed me – the workload is pretty intense – but I guess that if it is easy and accessible, its impact is not nearly as strong. 
I hope you enjoy the posts as much as I did researching and writing them.

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