Monday 24th March
Today felt like the day the starting gates finally opened. First thing I received an email back from Alison regarding the situation I emailed her with on Saturday and she said that she had reminded Mark about my forms. An hour or so later I received a confirmation email on my University email address stating that my forms had been confirmed and that I now had been given the go-ahead to crack on with my work.
This made me feel so relieved because due to it taking longer for the forms to be passed I presumed that there may have been an issue with them, although I was unsure as to why there would have been as they weren’t asking for any private information or incriminating data.
Unfortunately I have to work today which means that I will not have any time to see about continuing just quite yet, however I will have about 6 hours tomorrow where I will be in university with no classes and plenty of concentration and willpower to crack on with my work so I will proceed with giving the staff questionnaires to my Dad to hand out around his school and to begin posting my online questions onto various forums. I am also hoping that today I may hear back from the ladies at BeatBullying.org RE the question I emailed to them, however I am not entirely confident with it and may have to slightly alter the basis of my article away from having a very subjective piece, although that means it will not be quite as fit for purpose as I wanted, but if I can’t get anyone to talk to me then there isn’t a lot I can do about that. However there are plenty of other websites and people to ask so I will most definitely not be stopping trying yet.
If I can get people to answer my questions on forums then I may be able to pursue basing it on a collective of people who are bullied as opposed to one individual person!
Tuesday 25th March
First thing this morning I got my dad to collect the teacher/staff questionnaires on his way to school so that he can get them handed out and I can get them back as soon as possible. I assured him that as long as I had them back within the next week it would be fine but he said that he would stay with the teachers whilst they filled them out because otherwise “it would go to the bottom of a list of things to do and then get forgotten about, and then they get annoyed with me pestering them for it at a later date.” So I’ve got him to thank for that
Today I have started looking properly at forums to post my questions to now that I have been given the go ahead. I don’t want to go onto these sites and just post my list of questions and risk getting banned if they have rules against that sort of thing. So each time I go to a site I am emailing the moderators/administrators/etc to check if it is okay for me to post the questions which I have.
I started by going to Reddit as I know the community on there is huge and you often get a lot of responses on posts and if someone thinks it is a good post it gets voted ‘up’ meaning it gets better exposure and more people are likely to see it and get involved. I planned to post it to the category titled ‘AskReddit’ as that is where people ask questions to spark discussion and upon getting there I noticed a list of rules:
Because I noticed this, I wanted to check with an authority on there to see whether it was acceptable to post my questions and so I emailed the press section as it was the only one I could find a relevant email address for with what I posted below:
I thought it would make sense to keep it quite short as they probable get a lot of emails and if it was a long tedious one they may not even really bother looking over it.
I also contacted the people at Recover Your Life. This is a forum specifically about self harm however they also have different sections where people can talk about their experiences of things and whilst I’m not specifically looking for self harm information, this might be a good avenue to look at because bullying can sometimes lead to self harm and if I can get to speak to someone who has been bullied to the extent of self harming and they are willing to share their story with me then that potentially has a great story in itself.
I have just now looked at Psychforums.com and gone to the contact section to ask about possibly posting on their website. The contact section had a link specifically for people looking to post surveys or get participation from the members of the forums:
Now they are requesting that people make a donation to the running costs of the site if they are to post surveys and this is definitely something I am going to consider, however I don’t want to make a decent sized donation if my survey then ends up getting no views or something like that. So my plan is to use this contact form to make a donation of £5 using PayPal so that I can reference the transaction as stated in the image above but then also state that I will make a significantly bigger donation upon the results of my questionnaire!
The person who posted the information that I have shown above also had the top post on the homepage of the forum with over 5000 views, so if they are able to post my questionnaire then that sounds like it might get some quite good exposure. I have donated $8.25, which is the equivalent of £5 to the website stating that if the survey is successful then I will make a significantly bigger donation as well! So I will have to wait to hear back from them! *Fingers crossed* This donation will need to be added to my Gantt chart as an individual cost and then if I add another donation I will need to create another cost for that one as well! I will do this when I access my Gantt chart this afternoon in Alison’s class!
Social Phobia World is the next website whose forum I signed up to to post my questionnaire. From the rules that I read they had no opposition to people posting asking questions and information so I have registered an account to their site. The account is pending moderation as it needs to be accepted before I can post anything so once this is completed I will be able to continue.
Turning an image to an illustration
Now because of the format of the Guardian pages that I am going to be creating I need to make sure my images will be fit for purpose. They seem to always use illustrations on the pages I am recreating and so I want to keep to the similar style. However due to the nature of the brief I need to have my 5 photographs. Therefore my plan is to take the photographs I will need and take two of them and using photoshop recreate my own images to create the appearance of them being hand drawn and/or painted.
Today I’ve been having a look at a tutorials that show a way to create the effect I would be looking for.
A problem with them is that they don’t seem to create the apparent style that I am looking for. For example this one of the bird makes it look like it has been coloured in with colouring pencils, but I want an almost more watercoloured image:
And on the other hand some of them looked a bit too watercoloured:
Then I stumbled across a fantastic little tutorial. On design.tutsplus.com I found one that allowed you to use the pen tool to roughly draw around your image and then paint back in the watercoloured effect as you like. Giving you something that looks like this:
The guy doing the tutorial was using a Wacom tablet and so had great control over everything he was doing but he states that there is no disadvantage to completing this with a mouse it just might take a bit longer. Besides you can always erase any mistakes a lot easier on computer than a real drawing!
I had a go at following this tutorial using one of my old portrait images, however I was using the trackpad on my laptop in order to complete it which I found a little difficult. When I complete my actual one I will obviously be using a mouse to make sure it is the highest possible standard and so the next time I have a practice run at doing one of these I will make sure I am able to use a mouse to make my ability better.
Here is the one I created with a comparison to the starting image. I didn’t bother with doing the background on this one but I may need one in my finals work so I will need to work on being able to do those as well:
I’m really glad I have found this tutorial and I’m really happy with the results that it has provided me, I think it is going to be an excellent resource in helping me achieve the desired appearance of my images when it comes to editing them.
I quite like the way that the paint sometimes spills over the edge, makes it look ‘not quite perfect’ which I think adds to the impression that it has been done by hand!
Late on Tuesday evening I received an email from SocialPhobiaWorld.com confirming that my account had now been validated allowing me to post on their forums so I will get my online questionnaire posted onto their forums when I get chance.
Wednesday 26th March
Today I’ve got my Work in Progress presentation with Chris and Alison at 11am in Caedmon 113 followed by a immediate travel to Leeds where I will be spending the afternoon painting the room for the exhibition with Jonny and Jordan so unfortunately won’t have any time to do any work on my project today or tomorrow as I work Thursdays.
I have just received an email from PsychForums (the website to which I made a donation) saying thank you for my donation and they sent me a follow up email asking me to send them my username so they could clear me to post in the survey forum of their website. This is a good thing because it was the one I was most hopeful of hearing back from but at the same time was a bit worried that I would have made the donation to be let down by no response. This was through no fault of the website, it’s just that the opportunity seemed a bit good to be that straight forward.
I felt my presentation went okay today. Aside from the calamity that was trying to figure out how to use Alisons mouse and keyboard! One of the key points that stands out in my mind that Chris said was that for my article about the ‘least popular politician’ would be a better idea to approach from the stance of ‘why they are least popular’ not just who is least popular. You want it to be funny but also intriguing and people will want to read to find out why. Another point Chris raised was ‘was there an ethical issue in me using a monetary incentive to get that survey seen on the forum’ and I explained that I felt there wasn’t because it wasn’t a case of me stating that I would pay them to do it, but that they asked in advance for people to make a donation if they wished to use the forum for that purpose and it was the way they worked, as opposed to the way that I did.
After today’s painting session at the Corn Exchange we agreed that we would need to come back on Friday so that meant that Friday would be another day where I would probably be unlikely to get any work done. Although I do not have Saturday listed as a working day on my Gantt chart, I am still free on Saturdays until the cricket season begins on Saturday 19th April.