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Showcasing accomplishment

  

ObjectiveTo exchange your creative thoughts on accomplishment by designing a typographic poster of this concept!

Duration: 15 to 45 minutes

Material: 

  • Sheets of paper
  • Pencils and eraser
  • Coloured pencils and markers

Instructions: 

Many people want to accomplish great things. But what exactly does it mean to accomplish something? For example, is brushing your teeth an accomplishment? Maybe it depends on who accomplishes it... To better understand accomplishment, your mission will be to create a typographic poster of this concept!

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  1. Make up a quote. Your mission is to invent a quote about accomplishment and to design a typographic poster showcasing it. The first step is to come up with a quote about accomplishment. First, think about the definition of accomplishment. Does it require having accomplished something major? But who gets to decide what is major? Maybe it's just about being able to do something that you used to find difficult... Ask yourself what helps people accomplish their projects or dreams. Then, using the well known quotes below as examples, write a sentence that a wise philosopher (whose name you can make up) could have said:

    • "What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?" Eleanore Roosevelt
    • "To accomplish great things, we must not only act but also dream; not only plan but also believe." Anatole France
    • "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try." John F. Kennedy
    • "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. Decide how to represent your quote. A typographic poster is a very special creation: It only contains text, with no other visual element (no drawing or symbol). It’s all about choosing the right font, colour and arrangement of the letters. You will find some examples below. As you think about the idea expressed in the quote you made up, decide how you could use typographical elements to convey that idea. Are you going to choose a thicker font to show the intensity needed to accomplish something? Maybe writing the text in a warm colour on a cool background could underline the extraordinary nature of accomplishment... unless it's the other way around: If you define accomplishment as something we all do every day, then you might want to write the text smaller and have it blend in with the rest of the poster. You can sketch out your ideas on a piece of paper. Remember that as long as you have good reasons, there is no such thing as a bad creative choice! 
  3. Create the poster. Grab a new sheet and get started! With all your talent and care, start with the background by colouring it or drawing the visuals you've chosen. Then write the words in pencil, giving the letters the shape you want. Then trace and colour them in with markers to give them their final appearance.
  4. Share your thoughts about accomplishment. As you admire your poster, think about these questions: Is accomplishment necessary to a good life? Can accomplishment lead to happiness? Why or why not? And who decides what is an accomplishment and what is not? Write your ideas on the sheet, take a picture of both the sheet and your poster, and send them to ipcj@philo.umontreal.ca with your first name and age so we can share your position with other Philoquesters!

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Bonus: If you still have a lot of imagination left, imagine that an extremely ambitious person sees your poster. How would they be able to put the idea it conveys into practice? Does your quote give them a general strategy to accomplish anything, or does it point them in the direction of something specific to accomplish? What could their ambition lead them to do if they adopted your idea of accomplishment? If you’d like, write a short story about the accomplishment this person is trying to achieve. Finally, ask yourself these questions: Is ambition a good thing? Can it be harmful? Should some groups in society be encouraged to be more—or less—ambitious? Why or why not?

 

Tricks for tots: If you prefer, instead of writing a quote, you can draw a moment of accomplishment that you have experienced! When was the last time you managed to do something difficult? How did you feel before, during, and after you accomplished that difficult thing? In your drawing, try to show both what you did and how you felt, to make it clear what the concept of accomplishment means to you. Finally, think about these few questions: Should we celebrate accomplishing something difficult? What if it's something easy? And if we get help to achieve something, is it still an accomplishment? Why or why not?
Tips for teens: We often talk about accomplishment in the context of work. It is important for many people to feel accomplished in their work: Does it simply mean that they want to do their job well, or, more broadly, do they want to be fulfilled and find meaning in their work? For the philosopher Karl Marx, work is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can be a deeply fulfilling activity through which humans transform the world according to their will. On the other hand, it can also be a means of alienation, if those who work do so under poor conditions and without the ability to freely decide what they produce, being forced to work in order to be able to meet their basic needs. What do you think about these ideas? Do you think that work is the main way for humans to be fulfilled? Is it essential to feel fulfilled at work, or is it more important to have enough free time and money to enjoy life outside of work? Would you like to live in a society where there is no need to work? Why or why not?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!