Heres how I start a project…
1) Get the brief and read it through fully. Make sure that you understand what is being asked of you… (whoever ‘they’ are..lecturer, client, friend etc…)
2) Think about it for a bit and start writing down initial ideas, these could be in note form, as pictures, a bubble diagram/bubble chart/spider diagram/mind map (it has so many different names! See here… http://www.the-organic-mind.com/spider-diagrams.html)
3) Research the topic, for example, on my last project about the family I looked at sociology and the family, family definitions, society and family, family and friends, my own definition of family etc. Cover every idea and term there is surrounding your given topic and read up about it.
4) Gather images linked to your topic, you may never use these but it is useful if you want to expand on the images or use them as an illustration in your presentations about your work and ideas.
5) Look at all the things you have found out during the research process and work through any ideas that you have generated throught this process (hopefully you will have written down any ideas along the way.) Think about which one suits what you want to do, which direction you want to take the project in and think about how to further yourself, this could be through further research/reaing etc.
6) Create your work. Once it is created think about how you could continue with it or how you could improve your work and if you have time continue with the work or make adjustments. Sometimes this will lead to more work or re-starting but dont be disheartened, the end product will be worth it.
7) Think about display. I tend to think about display as I go along but rarely seem to display the work as I thought I would have at the beginning of the project. My work “Model Family” was initially going to be displayed on a plinth that was going to rest on a desk but ended up being on boards that would be on a wall.
8) Once you have created whatever work it is that you set out to do, evaluate it and the process you went through. There are always improvements to be made along the way and ways of doing things differently to suit you.
Remember, whatever way and however you create work, this is mine and works for me. Some times I do change things about and start taking photos or creating something without doing any background work first, just to give myself a better understanding of what I want to do and where to go with my projects. Hope this can help you!