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Study tips 1: Community

Knowing that distance learning can be difficult we recently reached out to you, our students, to ask the people who know best what it’s like to study with OCA and what you have found has helped you to study effectively. So many of you came back to us with great hints and tips that we’ll run a mini-series to cover all the suggestions, plus a few of our own from the staff here at OCA HQ.

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A History of Pictures by David Hockney and Martin Gayford

Anyone interested in pictures and representing the world ought to find something here of value. As an accessible primer on those issues it’s hard to beat. Read it, go and look at some of the work discussed in it, then re-read it.

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Postcards from prison

In 2014 Erika was sentenced to 6 years for breaking the law for which she served 3 years in custody. She wanted to document her experience for posterity; the way that she chose to do this was to produce an epic visual Postcard Diary that consists of at least 1400 drawings, one drawing every day from 3 months into her 6 months on bail prior to sentencing, during the whole period of her 3 year incarceration and also following her release.

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rarescale summer school – a level 1 student's experience

On a warm July morning, twenty one musicians descended on Harlaxton manor for five days of flute playing and composing at the annual rarescale summer school. An eclectic bunch, the flautists ranged from talented amateurs to music college graduates embarking on performing careers, and the composition group consisted of undergraduate music students and early career composers.

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Reflection and the edit: Part 2

You may be familiar with the idea of writing a first draft of an essay, and then editing it down to get to the final version? In my view, to edit a body of work is something that needs to be done continuously and not done just at the end, through reflecting on what ideas/techniques are working and what isn’t and making the decision to either take them forwards or ‘edit’ them out and leave them behind. Editing your work ensures that ideas are always pushed forwards and projects aren’t left to become stagnant and uninspire.

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Life after level one

Beginning my first Level Two course last year, I had confidence I would be just fine; happily settled after receiving a pleasing result at assessment for my previous course at Level One. I flew through L2 Developing Creative Textiles, sure I knew what my path and career specialisation would be. As far as I was concerned, I had developed my “style”… All I had to do was repeat it.
A stark shock came at assessment, when I got a much lower mark than expected. Why? I questioned; with my confidence in tatters.

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