I went to undergraduate school to get an art degree. I thought there was no higher calling than to be someone that made the world a more beautiful place. What I learned in school was that the role of the arts was not to make the world a more beautiful place, but rather to encourage us all to think about the world in different ways. I studied ceramics at East Carolina University, but unfortunately the time involved in making clay work outside of a studio space limited my ability to continue after college. Currently I use artmaking to work through my ideas for my research and teaching. For me artmaking is an iterative process beckoning the maker to respond, refocus, and reinvent.
“The type of record keeping, encouraged by the use of a visual journal, is not only used by artists. History shows that great thinkers have been recording, documenting and reflecting on their ideas using a variety of visual forms. One easily envisions Edison’s light bulb sketches, Da Vinci’s flying machines and, recently, Hawking’s space-time diagrams. This recording of image making is a record of thinking, and step towards reflection and metacognition.”
“Other labels for books, however, use concepts drawn from two different domains of experience. These include ‘flag book’, ‘concertina book’, ‘French doors book’, ‘venetian blind book’ and ‘tunnel book’. All of these use concepts related to one domain (the source domain, i.e. flag, concertina) to evoke an understanding about the domain of books (the target domain). The juxtapositions of different words with the term ‘book’ provide cues for cognitive work involving various forms of mappings/projections/linkages between the two domains.”
This type of reflection has the potential to move from the pages of the visual journal and impact the trajectory of the maker – encouraging something resembling a visual dialogue. Interested in how visual dialogues might impact mentor/mentee relationships I decided to approach one of my graduate students, Jenn, about sharing a journal throughout the semester. This journal project encompasses our shared interests in connecting our reflective artmaking to the teaching and learning experience.