Telling tales : pictograms as a visual voice
In this critically reflective self-study I have illustrated how my research in the field of Graphic design has been purposeful in creating a visual voice to express myself, improve my practice as an artist, teacher, and visual activist and in turn create an alternate voice for others. My study includes the conceptualization of the pictographic cards that I have named PicTopics, their value as an educational tool and their pertinence as visual prompts. My research questions have included exploring the role of the PicTopics in communicating a story or message, and how they could be pertinent to my practice as an artist, researcher, teacher and social being. My methodology, under the umbrella of self-study, has explored the living social, educational, and artistic values associated with fun, playing, creativity and wellbeing as a way to improve my practice. I used the PicTopic in a variety of settings - with the public at an art gallery to record their stories, in the classroom as creative prompts and as a way to inspire and conceptualize the practical artistic component of this study. I believe that the PicTopics when used as prompts can trigger and cultivate storytelling, enable engagement between people and open communication channels between the educator, and students. The PicTopics have become a thread between my living theories which are linked with my values and beliefs, my practice as an artist and my role as an educator and social transformer.