Over the past year, after being diagnosed with a chronic illness, I have been educating myself in how to cope with it and minimise symptoms. With limited assistance from medical practitioners and resorting to my own research, online resources have revealed to me a plethora of false and exaggerated material written by non sufferers. I have been lucky to find local online social media groups that have provided me with what has helped me the most; people who understand the suffering. But not everyone is as fortunate.
I have been been following the work of Lize Meddings with The Sad Ghost Club, Hannah Daisy’s Boring Self Care and musician Daniel Johnston’s illustrations, all of which have inspired me greatly whilst developing my idea.
During the course of the next year, I want to develop an expression of invisible illness and communicate these situations through imagery, in the hope that this could generate an understanding and empathy for non-sufferers and something sufferers can identify with, find comfort in and share.
On the course, I would like to make the most of the opportunities a university environment would give me. I want to network with other makers and build on contacts, soak in the feedback on my work and collaborate with others, as well as make use of the facilities I wouldn’t normally have access to. I would like to move my idea forward and explore different channels as well as how to potentially market this as a business.
This is the proposal I wrote when applying for MA Illustration at PCA. During my interview, we discussed my proposal and agreed that there needs to be a lot of work done before going into the course. I need to determine a more detailed project proposal, which involves doing some more research into my condition, explore methods of self care and how illustration can be incorporated.
Over the next few weeks, before I start the course, I intend to:
- Do some general research into Fibromyalgia and similar conditions
- Look at examples of how illustration is incorporated into presenting mental and physical health
- Keep and play around with a visual diary of these findings as well as first hand experiences
- Read the recommendations made to me during my interview
I am aware this is a lot to do in a small space of time, but after having so much time away from work and education, I think working towards these goals will help me get back into the swing of working. Hopefully, this will ease my nerves and anxiety about starting a new course in a new place.