The 30 days of the John Vernon Lord inspired challenge started by the House of Illustration ends today and so I am ready to review the experience which, for me, was a bit of a learning curve. I am looking back on the huge collection of 1 inch squares, the many attempts and failures at documenting a thought, or something I saw and wanted to test out and feel pride tinged with sadness. This was a fun challenge and I don’t want it to end, even if it ending means the start of Inktober and a new adventure in creative-land.
As this is the first challenge of this nature that I started, and also the first I finished, I wasn’t entirely sure about how to approach it. Yes, I had some boundaries to work within, but felt like I needed more in terms of parameters. Should I draw flowers, birds, animals, imagined scenes?
For the end of my MA summer term I decided to test out my research on travel by working on a subject I know best and address some stereotypes most people gravitate towards in connection with my native country. Make no mistakes, we all have stereotypes about all manner of things and places and so, while the stereotypes about Romania bother me quite a bit I am also able to understand that a lot of them are due to a lack of more profound education about our people, customs and traditions.
My research took me to websites that listed the top 10 or 20 stereotypes and sometimes purported to correct them, and to wonderful visuals about many other countries in the world and the stereotypes surrounding them. What I found interesting in the end is that our beliefs define us, they tell something about our own culture and upbringing so you can actually stereotypify (there, I made a new word) stereotypes by their places of origin.