[SAMPLE PROJECT] Finding My True Inspiration

[SAMPLE PROJECT] Finding My True Inspiration - student project

For the example project, I decided to walk through the 4 phases of the process as if I were my 25 year old self. Of course, this isn't perfect, but I think it shows the most effectively how I used this process and how I found it helpful. I've also included some images of the work that I did during my "Hypothesis" phase and my "Prototype" phase.


PHASE 1: Observe Limits

I started out with Step 1 by writing out all of my feeling and the first words and phrases that came to mind when I thought about making art (again, from my perspective as a 25 year old, just getting started).


Then I moved on to step 2 and 3, listing out the approaches I'd tried in the past (the things that hadn't been working so well) and decided to put some of my limitations and constraints onto post it notes to make it easier to use them in phase 3.


PHASE 2: Gather Data (Find Inspiration!)

Again, I decided to use mini post it notes to make it easier to re-use in phase 3.


I wrote one idea per post it, trying hard to focus on pulling the inspiration (the things I like, the things I love, the things I could talk about forever, the things that make me curious or full of wonder) from my own life, rather than from the work of other artists.


Then I did the same thing for describing "what I'm like."


PHASE 3: Hypothesis

For phase 3, I got a new piece of paper and put a column on each side, one for limits, one for inspirations. Then I pulled over my notes from phase 1 and phase 2:

I transferred the post it's with the limitations/constraints over to the new piece of paper. 

Then I did the same with the inspirations, only choosing a few. This is important -- if I tried to make a project that encompassed ALL of my inspirations and who I am, I would be quickly overwhelmed. Deciding on just a few to test out initially makes it a lot simpler and easier to get started.

Finally, looking at what I had in front of me, I came up with my Hypothesis:

Here are some of the pieces I made while testing my hypothesis (back in 2013):

Then, to wrap up Phase 3, I evaluated my hypothesis asking myself the following questions:


PHASE 4: Prototype

Based on my evaluation, it was clear that I had found a "sticky" hypothesis and had started in a good direction. So, I decided to keep going with a few adjustments:

Here's some of the work I made during my Prototype phase:

It's worth noting, that while I was on this path, I also explored other "Hypothesis" tests (objects, portraits, other media) but never found them quite as sticky during that first year. Since then, I've come back to portraits and have found them a lot stickier.