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My current goal for this project is to successfully design and produce a picture book to spread awareness of childhood anxiety and insecurity. By doing this, I aim to educate and comfort those who suffer from these difficulties and let them know how to deal with these issues so that they can develop a better quality of life.
Anxiety is known to discourage adolescents from participating in social, or academic activities. This has an overall impact on the child’s wellbeing, which can have destructive repercussions in their future years. This picture book will focus on addressing and identifying these issues so that the child can know what to do. An example situation is where a child is subjected to their parents arguing or fighting, assisting in making them more emotionally secure as they mature.
As I enjoy working on artwork and writing stories, the picture book was an interesting Endeavor which allowed me to support others which assists in further personalizing this project. There are numerous factors influencing this project’s overall complexity and difficulty, such as educating the advanced topic of anxiety to young adolescents, which can affect the success of the products ability to communicate the desired message without being too detailed, or too uninteresting for the target audience. This can be remedied through extensive research and understanding into how adolescents experience anxiety and ways they can deal with this.
The global context for my project is ‘Identities and Relationships’. This global context focusses on the mental, physical, personal, social, and spiritual health on those who are suffering from anxiety and insecurity. It also allows me to get an insight into the science and psychology of adolescents suffering from these problems and provides a deeper knowledge and understanding of my weaknesses and strengths. For these particular reasons, I am easily able to conclude that this is the most practical global context when compared to others.
This particular project will be a challenge for me as I have numerous skills and techniques which I am still developing and learning. A clear example of this is digital art. Digital art can be difficult to operate because it requires understanding of the program used in designing the product and how to utilise all of its functions to the fullest in order to receive the most aesthetic illustrations. Another example of challenges faced within this project is conveying and educating adolescents suffering with anxiety/depression to cope with these problems and grow to be more enlightened about these issues. It is difficult as the information needs to be watered down to make it more child friendly without making it too dense for no message to be received at all.
Prior to pursuing my MYP Personal Project, I had gathered a variety of previous knowledge from in school classes and research, which aided me when making the picture book storyline and designing the characters a lot simpler. With certain exceptions, the majority of my MYP subjects I studied over the previous schooling years, such as Engineering and Design, Art, English, Individuals and Societies and legal studies, also the teachers, contributed to developing and mastering specific skills and useful techniques in order to expand my knowledge.
However, the specific skills I learnt for this project were creative writing, planning, research skills and creative drawing. A clear example of one of my MYP subjects improving my knowledge is in English. This is where I learnt desired techniques of creative story writing, teaching me how stories should follow a certain structure and should successfully incorporate communicative techniques. Utilizing and understanding the effectiveness of these skills allowed me to produce a more desirable product.
Additionally, the overall personal growth of my intelligence/creativity, greatly influenced the process of developing my product. Balancing and organizing my practice artwork and other subjects of school has ultimately improved the overall success of my product.
There have been numerous effective research skills that I have been equipped with, over the past few years, which I have utilized while undertaking this project. The most notable example would be the research technique of using multiple sources to credit certain other sources. When using this research technique, finding useful websites and statistics was effortless and heightened some of my other skills relating to my research, such as organizational skills and time management skills. This allowed me to effectively organize and produce a picture book to spread awareness of the issue at hand.
Research skills can be gained in many different ways, however the MYP has taught me that the majority of them come from books and the internet, as these contain a variety of information and sources which can be manipulated to access new research skills. These are mostly displayed through assignments, dissertations and experiments. The most notable skills which have been picked up throughout my MYP experience, would have to be: Data collection, planning, Critical analysis and more.
The criteria I created for my product/outcome, being a picture book for adolescents suffering from anxiety, can be found in [appendix A]. Through extensive research and reference to other criteria, I was able to construct my own criteria sheet in order to evaluate the success rate of my project. This criterion laid a foundation of the standard requirement, which I believed was fair, to get a certain mark rating. When utilizing the information gathered from my research, my overall success of my product can be judged within a threshold allowing
Given that each and every aspect of the multidimensional product criteria was validated and justified by extensive research and information provided by well-informed, professionals, my product criteria adaptations were made to the number of participants and amount of money figures, as more realistic estimations could have been made, closer to the project.
In order to establish a regulated work schedule for this project, my school provided a plan which set our long term and short-term goals. However, I found this method quite lacking and unreliable for my working methods. Instead of using this technique, I used multiple others which I designed and adjusted to my working routines. An example of this is when I composed a ‘timeline for execution’ [Appendix B] which is more specifically, an organized calendar setting key dates in which I would work on specific parts of the essay and project. This then allowed me to work at my own pace, juggling school work, social interaction and this project.
Even though there isn’t a large amount I can evaluate on the quality/success of my product, I found that for the most part, ‘Jordon’s Troublez’ the picture book I designed and created, was a definite success. The criteria which I personally developed marking the requirements for evaluating this product was an evident success with the majority of the strands being marked highly (in the 7-8) column – although, it should be noted that this is an unmistakably bias opinion however displays my learning process and overall growth throughout this assignment, as a year 10 student. The success of my product would be improved as I received numerous comments from both adults and kids, whom were willing to look at my picture book, congratulating me on how well they believed the book turned out and how much they enjoyed the artwork.
Additionally, my picture book ‘Jordon’s Troublez’ can be linked to my Global Context, Identities and Relationships. This entails a relationship and connection to the target audience (young adolescents and teenagers), as a result of planning and organization throughout the product. When utilising the artwork sharing sites, for example Pinterest, Artstation and Tumblr, I was able to not only gather feedback on my artwork but also gather reference from other people’s artworks and skills, as these platforms typically allow for artists around the world to grow and learn together which ultimately brought me closer to my goal and develop as a better artist. This allowed me to reflect on my strengths and improve my weaknesses, particularly planning, in order to expand my knowledge and mature at a greater extent, when compared to the beginning of this project.
Thinking skills are a requirement in all aspects of the MYP system with no exceptions. For this particular project, both my critical thinking and creative ideas influenced the overall decisions I made through the planning and manufacturing process of the picture book. A clear example of me exercising my creative ideas is when I designed the many different characters I was going to use for the product. This took many hours of trial and error in order to find the perfect characters for providing the most effective message and which would be most appealing for both boys and girls. This can be seen in the book where I used a two headed monster (one male head and one female) in order to represent parents.
Research into childhood anxiety had taught me about how divorce and arguing amongst parents (which is what the monster represents) is one of many triggers for anxiety. This allows me to educate adolescents about how they can help the issue or escape it for it to be solved. Critical thinking was also implemented in many other tasks and had such a large influence over this entire project teaching me important skills and enhancing previously learnt techniques such as effectively planning.
In addition to these skills, I also have cultivated many other skills such as communication and social skills throughout this project. As stated beforehand, communication has played a major role in evaluating the overall success of my project. A clear example of this can be seen as how well I could communicate my message throughout my book. This was important because I needed to educate children through words meaning I had to develop this skill in order to do this effectively. If this was done improperly, the success of my product in relation to both my criteria and my personal success would have failed.
Another way I had improved my social/communication skills was through the website I used in order to gain feedback for my work. This played a major role in improving my social skills, primarily due to the fact that I had communicated ideas and thoughts not only on my product, but other art as well, discussing techniques which I would later use throughout my project. Overall, the consistent exposure to these different skills allowed me to grow not only in confidence, but through experience which is significant as I have more social interactions with more people, or when communicating with employers in pursuit of a particular field.
As a whole, I believe that my product/outcome was a success. This is primarily because it conveys the message that was targeted and provided an insight to how children suffering with anxiety can learn to have some control/handle over the triggers. Additionally, as stated before, many friends and family have reviewed my product and have stated similar opinions, the majority being positive. This was an amazing experience allowing me to look into and understand the struggles amongst children suffering with anxiety and I have hoped to make a mark by educating them.
Reflecting on my strengths and weaknesses, it is safe to assume that my product, ‘Jordon’s Troublez’, has strengths outweighing weaknesses. However, this means that there are still things I can learn and improve on. An example of a weakness is when I gathered feedback from friends and family. They all had little changes I could make here and there which ultimately improved my product and I am grateful to them. They also stated that the product seemed rushed which meant that what I said previously in criterion C, where I stated that my organisation and planning skills were on par with my work, was now irrelevant as there has been little to no development of these skills if the feedback revolves around it.
This overall experience has been extremely beneficial to improving/expanding my knowledge, not only from prior to this project, but throughout it as well. I have managed to improve on numerous skills and learn skills and techniques. From the artist website, I have learnt numerous skills and techniques I could use throughout my product. An example of this is how when using digital art, it is always important to utilise the paint bucket tool when colouring in the initial picture to prepare it for shading with ease. Not only this, but I have accumulated and improved numerous social and communicative skills which will heavily improve my future. Additionally, it can be assumed that there is no easy way out with anything you do, in my case, it was the picture book.
Also, there have been numerous aspects that require rigorous consultations, such as artistic development (improving artwork), creative thinking (when writing the script for the picture book), educational effect (whether the information had impacted the target audience), and many other features. My overall knowledge has grown throughout this project, specifically through my Global Context ‘Identities and relationships’, and has broadened my thought process.
I have become aware that improving art and creating well-made art takes time and effort with little to no shortcuts. Being an IB learner has come into play throughout this project. My knowledge as an MYP student has vastly expanded as I move my way out of the Middle Years Program into the IB.
In terms of my critical thinking, there have been numerous important decisions improved this proficiency. The main one for example is thinking of a script while maintaining a poetic sequence throughout the book. This made it a challenge and encouraged me to overcome this component and objectively create an improved script to previous versions. Even though this process took an extensive amount of time, it was engaging and a helpful learning experience which helped with other aspects of the storyline.
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