I had a group crit with Alex, Sharon and several of my peers where we looked at each other’s work and gave our opinions and ideas on where we could go next with developing our projects.
I showed my work so far and the books that were inspiring me to the group and explained that I wanted to work with some of my favourite books to redesign the cover and binding of them.
The feedback I was given was that I had good development, I’m solving problems well and my ideas are pretty solid. However I need to work towards one goal for the end of this project and make sure the strong connections I’ve been making come across in my work.
Many people suggested that I go to the very extreme with my binding and make books out of materials that books would never be made out of. I was unsure about this idea because of the content of the books I want to make. Although the part of the content that I am making is the cover, I don’t want the cover to render the contents inconsequential.
We all came to the conclusion that I need to negotiate a balance between my job as a designer and a lover of literature. I need to work on striking a balance between making a stunning and enticing cover that makes people interested in the content as well.
I didn’t realise how close minded I was being to the possibilities of bookmaking before this crit so the group helped me realise that I need to be more open and experimental with my work. I may be trying to sell these books to people but it is still MY WORK and I can’t give my skills and end product the back seat in this process.
After I had finished talking and we moved on in the crit, I reflected on what the group had said and had a light bulb moment of where I wanted to take my project.
Looking back on the relief covers I made, I thought about doing something like that for the books I want to work with, creating 3D covers that look and feel good but don’t betray the contents. I pitched this idea to the others and they agreed that it was a good balance and that is a good direction to head in.
I found this crit exceedingly helpful in getting me out of my own head and pushing me out of my comfort zone with my work. I think my end result will be a lot better now and I’m really excited to experiment with it.