Tutor feedback Assignment 5

Sadly although I was really pleased with this assignment my tutor was less so. I am glad that she liked the overall outcome but she feels that I did not spend enough time on developing the design. Looking back at the project I can see what she means and I really do value the constructive feedback as I know it will help me improve my work, it is still difficult to read though! As usual I have added my reflections in blue.

I find it very difficult to deal with feedback like this as I am trying so hard to get a good outcome from the course. I do not find it easy to find time for study and especially sketching and extra work on top of the basic coursework. I work full time have, two kids at home and lots of family and other commitments as well so it is all a balancing act. This is the only thing that I get to do purely for myself so it is very hard when sometimes things don’t work out as well as they could.

I am determined to do the best that I can on this course so I will take the feedback as it is meant (to help me achieve a good grade) and do the extra work suggested . Hopefully once it is done I can improve for the next project.

Overall Comments

Julie this final work for Exploring Ideas is clearly well crafted with consideration to the design process.  You have displayed the work with care and attention illustrating well your thought processes.  I have however concerns about your flower design.  It appears too similar to a piece of your research material.  Sadly this demonstrates that you have not spent time creating your own design ideas through drawing and mark making.  It also indicates that you have not taken risks in developing your own creative style.  In this feedback document I will illustrate where your work fits in relation to the assessment criteria.  You can and may decide when reflecting on your work to make improvements on this assignment before sending it in for assessment. * Looking back at the project I can see that maybe I took it all to literally and could have perhaps developed it further. I think that I just really liked the motifs and wanted to use them. I was probably more focused on the technique and stitching rather than developing the design any further. It is always difficult to balance this. I much prefer simple sharp designs so I tend to keep them that way.


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

There are many strong elements to this work.  Your technical skill is high in quality, using a number of textile techniques to create texture, colour and form.  The bag it self has been beautifully constructed and appears true to your plan.  I love the quality of the machine embroidery to create the painterly effect of the orange and purple parts.  You demonstrate a good standard of visual skills through the way you have organised your board and placed the design elements within the bags surface.  You also have a good eye for picking out a piece of strong design and using it as your research material.   However this reliance on one piece of research weakens the project.  I note in your learning log that you enjoy the piece of vintage fabric because of the way the intersecting lines signal a colour change.  I too like this design feature; it was popular with mid and early 20th century artists like Ben Nicholson (1947, November 11 Mousehole) and Sonia Delaunay (Electric Prisms, 1913).  This cubist style is vibrant and energetic and continues to influence contemporary art and design.  For example the fashion designer Junya Watanabe’s spring/summer collection is heavily influenced by the work of Sonia Delauney (http://www.intothefashion.com/2014_10_01_archive.html).  


To improve this assignment I suggest you use your piece of vintage fabric as a springboard into exploring a variety of other artists and designers.  Collecting imagery, commenting on what you see in the work and how you can use it to steer your own design ideas (this is your context). * thank you I will do some research on this and add it in


Your reliance on the design of vintage fabric has limited your direction and demonstration of creativity.  Flowers are a tricky design motif because they are used so frequently making it hard to come up with original work.  In this assignment you have remained with the kind of flowers seen in the vintage fabric.  In order to improve this element of the project I suggest you draw or mark make from a new perspective.  For example your previous work on pylons would suit this cubist style well.  Use your fresh research material to find a new area to work from.  This could be as simple as using your domestic objects to create patterns and shapes similar to the work of Ben Nicholson. This naïve style will also suit your drawing ability and in the process of drawing it encourage you to improve your skill.  Draw in a number of different mediums including graphite, charcoal, print and collage to explore what you see and to find the most pleasing way to compose the design.  These drawings should be done quickly and loosely and at a largish scale (A3).  Be experimental; cut your drawings up to rearrange the elements, cut holes through the paper or draw on transparent paper and layer up different sketches, and use techniques like blind continuous line drawing to come up with original designs.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjJhZ4DYh50 Aim to do between 6 and 10 drawings taking the parts you like best and put them together to form your own composition. *I will do this and add it to the project.

With a fresh set of drawings where you have taken your lines and compositions to create a design you can proceed with confidence to creating a textile piece.  There is no need to make the whole bag again, instead use your design/s to create a set of textile samples exploring different techniques and arrangements.  I suggest you also widen the number of colour palettes you examine.  Push the colour combinations in different directions so that you more fully explore the possibilities.  Take risks and be experimental when exploring colour palettes, put together combinations that may not work or seem strange to you.  Also think about the quantities in each colour palette.  For example on your design board you have a group of three colour palettes all with the same quantities.  Look at what happens to the colours if you reduce one and expand on the others.  Rearrange the colour too so that you can see how the purple behaves next to the pink for example.  

To further improve your drawing skill I suggest you complete a section of the Foundations in Textiles course on drawing.  This you can do for free and include when you send in Exploring Ideas for assessment.  It can done fairly quickly and sent to me for some feedback.  I think this will greatly improve your confidence and skill in preparation for Mixed Media for Textiles where you are expected to use sketching throughout. * As you know I struggle with the sketchbook side of things, I am not a natural sketcher and do not enjoy it. I will try to get this done although time is now so tight with the other work I now have to do to get this assignment up to scratch in time for assessment. (I am booked into the March assessment date so need to get everything ready for the end of January deadline).

Overall your quality of outcome is good.  The work is nicely put together, well organised and cohesive.  There is a strong sense of colour that pulls the whole project together.  I think combining your technical skill with stronger use of research and preliminary drawing work should achieve a good mark at assessment.

Pointers for assessment

  • Reflect on this feedback in your learning log
  • Consider making suggested improvements to this assignment  
  • Re-read all your feedback forms to check you have used all the tutor suggestions
  • Look at the learning outcomes and the assessment criteria to judge whether your work has met the requirements
  • Refer to the assessment guidelines on the oca website, Research By Course Area Textiles scroll down to page 2 Assessment Guidelines: Textiles
  • Aim to organize your work so that it tells the story of how you went about achieving the outcomes.  You did this by conducting research, doing drawing and making samples. * I have re-arranged some parts and re-mounted some work so it is clearer to follow.


Congratulations Julie on completing Textiles 1: Exploring Ideas.


About Julie Hooker

Having recently returned to my roots in Surrey, I am currently studying a BA Hons degree with the OCA. My work is often inspired by the local countryside in the beautiful Surrey Hills area and the wild rugged nature of the North Cornish coast. Steam engines and abandoned industrial history are also recent themes. A free machine embroiderer and felt maker; I like to explore the use of natural, found materials to create my art, whether that be as raw materials to stitch or weave with or as a material with which to produce dye or print with. Previously, I completed City and Guilds parts 1 & 2 Creative Embroidery at the East Berkshire College in Windsor in 2007. I was also awarded first place in the wearable art section of the National Quilt Championships 2008 and 2009 held annually at Sandown Park.
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2 Responses to Tutor feedback Assignment 5

  1. 14susannah says:

    Hello Julie, I too am a mature student doing an art+design degree. Looking at the feedback + comments I’m struck how similar they are to mine for my work in 3D design. I agree it hurts and it really is bloody exhausting but what you have is actually very constructive and helpful to you/your work. Your tutor has been quite specific+suggests great references to investigate. I’m in my 2nd year and now paying lots of attention to 3rd years +their feedback because I want to avoid basic oversights when it really counts. I’ve also found good resources online for helping me notice which important /exciting aspects to develop and which ones to drop. My attitude now is all about producing work I’m proud of+ could be successful outside of uni. I probably won’t get a First but I’d like to be able to have elements that are of that standard. This means addressing things that are bringing my grades down as well as the ones that aren’t pushing the higher boundaries hard enough. I wish you all the positive energies you need to keep plugging away and eventually getting better and better grades! Susannah

    • Julie Hooker says:

      Thank you, sometimes being a mature student and particularly one doing a distance learning course is really hard. You have nothing to guage your work against, no shoulders to peep over for inspiration and guidence unless you can find others online etc. It can be very lonely. I am revisting some of this project to improve and will try even harder for the next one taking everything on board.

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