Self Directed Project Idea

For my Self-Directed Project, I want to look at classic literature and how, even though it’s classic, many people neglect to read a lot of books regarded as classic, myself includes.

Literature is something that has always been a staple in my life, I have been reading for most of my life, my Mum is a librarian and my Dad is also an avid reader. As well as my parents many of my friends love reading and my best friend, who wrote my story for Narratives, reads, writes and studies literature.

I’d always ask for books instead of toys on birthdays and Christmas and I always get excited about starting a new book. Many people I know are collectors of beautiful books and there is a room in my house where the walls are lined with all kinds of books. Because of growing up in this huge book culture, I’m surprised I haven’t read more classic literature but I think that this project could inspire me to.

During Narratives, I discovered that my love of books extends past reading and that I really enjoyed making books as well. Bookbinding is something I have very little experience in or knowledge of so I decided that this project could be a good opportunity to extend my skill set and learn something new that I will really enjoy.

My personal goal in this project is to learn and be experimental, push the boundaries and have fun. This will help me to create work that I’m excited about and interested in and through my interest, I hope to inspire others to be interested, not only in the novels, but in different methods of displaying them other than your average mass market paperback.

‘Classic’ is a very loose definition given to a lot of books so I intend to research its meaning, the borders of this and get a better understanding of what makes a book classic. I want to question this definition and question the books it is given to. What books are worthy of the title ‘classic’? Is something classic just because it’s old? Can newer books become classic? Why are classics so intimidating to people? And what makes people for and against reading classic literature?

I intend to create questionnaires to ask people about the classics they’ve read, what they thought of them, why they may not have read some and what could persuade them to read more. From here, I will use my research to initiate the development of ideas with the aim of creating a solution to the factors that have held people back from reading classic literature.

As well as researching my topic, I will look into as many different types of bookbinding as I can, spend a lot of time in the workshop creating, learning and experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Through learning many techniques, I can see what’s appropriate for the content, as well as what is aesthetically pleasing.

Doing extensive research will definitely help me a lot in the development of this project and will fully form the back bone of this project. A mixture of idea, industry and practice based research will give me a well rounded understanding of my concept and medium which will help me create a final piece that I can be proud to exhibit


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