Last month was the annual cohort of grad shows, like the education spy I am I visited a few of the exhibitions to check out the competition. Not really, I went to screw myself into comparing the level and standard of their work against where I feel like I am at and also to try and figure out new advantages/disadvantages of doing my DIY MA.
Firstly, there are a lot of graduates. That seems obvious now but I was expecting much smaller numbers. I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing in relation to my Ma.
Although a strength I think my MA has is that the curriculum is completely unique there were some real project envy going on, particularly in the standard if the finish and the scale some students had managed to achieve.
The biggest downside for me was the fact that these students graduated as a group, they had spent the past few years bouncing off one an other and could really grow together. As much as I am getting help from quite a lot of people it is still quite a lonely way to learn and it would be really great to have people around in a similar circumstance. They have built a network of people a lot like themselves, where as mine is much more diverse I'm not sure which would be more beneficial moving forward if the point of an Ma is to speacialise.
The exposure these students were receiving did feel massive, the shows were always busy and this is something I really need to consider and create for myself.
The positives for me was that their work along side mine did not feel a million miles away, I think I'm thinking in a similar way so something must be working.
As much as the lack of peer group and the exposure feels like a disadvantage at this point I'm hopping that when I figure things out a little more this will actually become a strength as my education and practice will be completely different to anyone else.
An obvious bonus is I haven't spent a large amount of money like these students which is great, and the fact I'm managing to work part time in a job that is in 100% the right direction for me are all reassurances.
One issue I must address though is the fact they all now have a little seal of approval from their establishments which I'm going to have to try hard to replicate and match.