30 Apr 2010

Pick Me Up

Today I went to the graphic art fair, pick me up, that is going on at Somerset House. There was some really interesting work on display and for sale, and as I'm starting to create work and experiment with materials, it was a great time for me to get some inspiration! Also, Rob Ryan has moved his Studio into the fair, so you can see him and his team working and his paper cuts coming to life. I've been interested in his work for ages and it was amazing to see the paper cuts in their initial stages, and made me appreciate even more the painstaking work that goes into them.

29 Apr 2010

Collecting more lucky charms info

I've got back some really interesting things from the questionnaire I sent to my friend's running club, here is one girl's response:

Do you have a certain routine that you stick to, the morning before a race?
e.g something you always eat, something you always do..
I always set my alarm for an even number, brush my teeth before breakfast instead of after and always always have two cups of tea.

Do you have a Lucky charm that you take with you to a race? Or something Lucky that you always wear?
I always wear my necklace my great grandma gave to me or wear a certain pair of socks that I trained well in during the week without washing them, a tad gross!

If so, why is that thing/object Lucky to you?
Ever since year five I have worn the necklace when competing or taking exams and now its routine to wear it when racing. I get superstitious and race badly if I don’t wear it.

Can you think of any times that it made you really lucky, or any times you didn’t do well because you didn’t have it with you?
Last year in the Kent champs I got through to the final and got two pb’s on one day and I thanked my necklace profusely :L I don’t know what Im going to do if the necklace breaks, it could be a potential disaster! When I wasn’t wearing the necklace for a x country race last season, I raced awfully because during the whole race I was thinking about not wearing my necklace and constantly worrying :/

On a different note, I got my friend Becca to bring in her lucky pants today..

When i've experimented with my lucky numbers book etc, I want to look at making similar things with the lucky charms photos I'm collecting, and then work on equations for luck.


I didn't win last night, which is a bit of a shame. I bought two lines, I chose one myself, my lucky numbers and family members birthdays etc.. and then just had the second set as a lucky dip.

I actually got two numbers in each, showing that it doesn't matter how lucky your numbers are to you, when it comes to the lottery it really is complete chance. I just thought I should give it a go whilst i'm working on this project but I think I'm going to leave the whole lottery idea for a bit and concentrate on lucky charms & numbers because its sort of going off on a different tangent when I've already got lots of things I'm exploring within charms & numbers.

28 Apr 2010

Lucky numbers

I've started taking photos of people and their lucky numbers, and finding out why it is they've chosen that as their lucky number. I'm pleased with this first set of portraits, but i just want to re-do Finy with her lucky number 10, because the background of the studio wall isn't very interesting compared to the random settings of the other photos. I'm going to experiment with what format to display these photos in, I think I'm going to start with making a book, that explains why each number is lucky to that person. I also want to take a lot more photos of people with their numbers because I think it will create a really interesting series.
I had an interim crit where I talked about ideas for moving forward, and I discussed with the group my ideas about lucky charms, and I said that once I get the feedback from the running club mini questionnaires I'm going to look at making a series of visual formulas or equations for luck. The group was really positive about this idea so I'm going to start experimenting with it soon!

25 Apr 2010

Collecting & Planning

Today I sent a mini questionnaire to my friend who is part of running club, and she is going to forward it onto her friends in the club so I can get some more information about the lucky rituals & charms that sports people have. I just asked on the questionnaire if they had a lucky routine, if they had a lucky charm, why it was that particular thing that was lucky to them, and if they could give an example of a time it brought them good luck? Hopefully I'll get some replies soon and I can start exploring what I'm going to do with this little investigation into this type of luck!
Also, I'm planning at the moment to carry out my research for Lucky Numbers tomorrow. What I really want is to photograph people holding their lucky numbers, and ask them why that is their lucky number. I think as well I'm going to buy two lottery tickets. One I'm just going to fill out with totally random numbers that don't mean anything to me, and the other I'm going to fill out with lucky numbers, and record these decisions.

24 Apr 2010


Thinking about what to do about lucky rituals that sports people do before races, matches etc.. or lucky charms that they might wear. I spoke to a friend who is in a running club, she told me that she has certain shorts that she always wears to race in, and always wears a running watch that her coach gave to her. Also always eats a bowl of pasta before a race, and drinks Gatorade before and after. She also has a necklace that a friend gave her, and either wears it during a race or at least just touches it before for a bit of luck. I think I need to make a sort of profile of her.. a case study? And think about the different things that make up the luck, sort of like 'New Math,' I could have Running watch + Necklace + Gatorade = Good race. I could make this in images? And I probably also need to ask more sports people about their lucky charms, to just have one person doesn't present a very balanced idea.

22 Apr 2010

Lucky charms

Today I had a lucky chance encounter and bumped into a friend on the train, we were talking about our FMP's and what we were exploring, and I mentioned that mine was about Luck. Kathryn then told me that she actually had a lucky charm that she took with her everywhere. It was perfect, I am about to start asking around for who has lucky charms/rituals etc, and randomly one was placed right infront of me!
She got her lucky charm a couple of years ago in a little shop in Dungeness. She liked visiting the area, so decided to carry the charm with her wherever she went because it reminded her of her visits to the place when we was growing up. She said that one time she had forgotten to put it into her bag, and that day she lost her phone, so now she always makes sure she has it with her.

I'm now going look at more individuals lucky charms, and I also want to explore sports people's lucky charms and rituals..

Initial Research

During the easter holidays I carried out indepth research into what luck is, looking at what if officially means, the speculation is causes, some individuals views on what it is, and how it can be enhanced or even reduced. I've been given an insight into just how broad this topic really is. I've come to realise that luck is a Personal thing. Everyone has their own lucky charms, numbers, or rituals that help them increase their luck. What is lucky to me, would mean pretty much nothing to you. And I think its that, that makes this such an interesting concept.

As part of my research I read this book:

It explains the first scientific study into why lucky people live 'charmed lives.' It took several years of research and involved interviews and experiments with hundreds of people who considered themselved exceptionally lucky of unlucky.
Throught the book Wiseman explains how to make yourself lucky, and it apparently comes down to these 4 principles:
1. Maximise your chance opportunities
2. Listen to your lucky hunches
3. Expect good fortune
4. Turn your bad luck into good.
He says that luck is not a magical ability or a gift from the gods, its a state of mind, a way of thinking and behaving.

I'm becoming more and more aware that there are a number of different topics, generated from the main topic of luck, that I think I am going to have to explore indivdually.
These include:

Lucky Charms
Lucky Numbers
Wiseman's chance encounters & luck increasing techniques
My Barcelona Holiday (so many things, lucky and unlucky happened over the 6 days..)
and then there is also things to do with games, quizs, gambling, the lottery. But i suppose this could tie in with lucky numbers.

So now I am working out the different sub headings of my research, I feel that it will be easier to explore Luck, its almost like it is too broad a subject because it's understood in so many different ways. But if I work to these individual subheadings, I think I will get a much more rounded view of what luck is.

Final Major Project

In my last term of foundation I have to complete a Final Major Project, writing my own brief and planning and completing my own project. It could be on absolutely anything we wanted, and I knew that I wanted to choose a broad title that would allow me to explore lots of different ideas and processes. I chose to explore Luck.
This is my FMP statement that I had to write before starting work on the project:

Exploring Luck

On this Foundation course I have learnt about the importance of carrying out research and ideas development before creating final outcomes. I now feel that my ideas are more considered and my work has developed thanks to this new understanding of the design process.

The inspiration for my final major project is a personal one. About a month ago I attended an interview, and wore a new top that I'd bought the day before. The interview went really well and turned out to be successful, so in all the following interviews and portfolio review days, I wore the exact same outfit, and each time was successful. I suppose that for me, someone who gets very nervous about anything to do with interviews, it was nice to have something familiar on each of the days that reminded me of the previous successes, and I guess it made me feel more confident and relaxed. This got me thinking about luck, and how I could explore it. For my FMP it is important for me to choose a broad topic to explore, that doesn't limit the sort of work I can produce. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in handmade processes such as cut-outs and screen-printing, and artists and designers such as Michael Perry and Robert Ryan have influenced me in my understanding of this approach to graphic design, and how I can incorporate these techniques into visualising the ideas that I have.

The aim of my final major project is to explore the concept of luck. I am interested in looking at and investigating the science and theories behind luck and why some people are just luckier than others. I also want to look into the idea of lucky charms, but not the cliche four leaf clovers and horseshoes, but individuals own personal sources of luck and the superstitions that we all possess. I will need to carry out extensive research, using the internet and books as important starting points. I also want to collect primary research directly from people, gathering information through methods such as questionnaires. It is going to be important not to just collect information from my friends and family, but from a wide range of people if I want to get a broad understanding of how people interpret luck. Once I have collected and collated my information and I'm ready to move onto the ideas development stage of my project, I will think about using the handmade processes that I have previously practised and look at using the resources that are available to me, such as the screen-printing and letterpress workshops.

I will evaluate my progress constantly throughout this project through the use of a reflective blog, where I will record decisions and ideas development. I will also be taking part in group crits and tutorials where I will be discussing my ideas with my peers in the studio. This will be invaluable for me if I want to successfully carry out my exploration into luck.