One of the things that surprised me when embarking on this project was the fact that people think what I do is magic. While artists are pretty cool people, I am but a mortal. Many people passing by the table during the community survey couldn't wrap their mind around how I produced symbols of hope based on the conversations I had with others. While it is not an exact science, I can say that creating these symbols was not a one shot deal. There's a process to the madness!
Step 1: Much like a scholar or researcher, after listening to their interpretation of my question, I asked community members more questions that put a focus on what they were expressing about hope. The underlying idea here is that attentive listening will lead us both to understanding.
Step 2: Then I jotted down notes in a brainstorm-y way. Mostly key words that rose from the things that community members said to me. Because I actively did this as we engaged in conversation my writing was pretty messy (and I also didn't have time to concern myself with proper spelling, so forgive me as you view the images below!).
Step 3: After the listening and the note taking, came the sketching. That was a totally collaborative process because as I began drawing, the person I was talking to would give me feedback on how they thought the contours related to their ideas and our conversation until we found common ground.
Step 4: The final step was inking the last draft of the symbol and stapling it to the participant's response on paper.
I'm excited to see these evolve from paper to sculpture!