DS106 Unit 1 reflective blog

Within this blog I am going to discuss my time starting Unit 1 of the DS106 online course. In no particular order, I am going to talk about my reflection of the ‘What is Art?’ videos and what they made me think about and how I think about the course, my views on the advice given from other students to students (me) now taking part in the course, my links to my social media accounts that I have made for the course, my daily creates, and an overall explanation on how I have found the course so far.


First of all, we where told to make various accounts in order to complete tasks involved with DS106, these included, twitter, youtube and more, below are the links to my accounts.

Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/hwwmhctdc

Twitter – https://twitter.com/NicMasonx

Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5JeAxxzqwVaHkTl7KnEWKA

Flickr –  https://www.flickr.com/photos/128509410@N02/

We got asked to watch various videos titles ‘What is Art?’ In order to make us think about what the course is about, art and creativity.

I have watched the videos about what is Art and written down some notes. What is Art? Under this section of Unit 1, it asks us to think about what the course is about. ‘It is about an explosion of creative expression in media, on the web– from you’. Where do good ideas come from? Very good question, after watching the video provided, its totally true that good ideas, let alone ‘great’ ideas that could in fact, make life changing moments for people, do take time to ‘brew’. An idea could be inside a person for 10 years before it clicks and all falls into place. Or a great idea could be half inside one persons head, its just a matter of time before they find the other half, and makes ends meet.

In the first video, Leon Botstein describes art as the ‘fingerprint of human existence’. This would mean to me that each and every human being is an individual, which is very true. And every human has a fingerprint – so with this, every piece of ‘Art’ that people make, whether it be music, writing, paintings etc, is YOUR own fingerprint. It is individual to YOU and noone else, people can copy the fingerprint, but its still very far off the original.

Another thing that Leon Botstein said is that ‘Tv, video and film, we get caught up in a story line that may take years and centuries. It seems real to us the only thing is an hour and a half long, but it has the illusion of realism and that is the artificial manipulation of our sensibilities, through the work of an artist’. To me this is brilliant, it hits the nail right on the head, because it is so true. All TV and film is Art, and we use it to sometimes escape reality, its realism is SO real, that whilst caught up in the story, we forget about reality may it only be for an hour and a half, to escape into this other world in the film. People use art in all sorts of ways and for all sorts of meanings, but for me personally, this is the perfect example because i can relate to it so much.

Once starting the course, we also got asked to read, listen or watch advice that student who had already completed the course, had made for student just starting out with the course. I listened to a few pieces, but by far the one that stuck out the most to me was by a soundcloud user named ‘mbutlerr’. Who had recorded a piece only a few minutes long in which gives amazing advice which everyone can relate to who is just starting up with DS106. Some of her advice includes the following; Expect to have fun (which is always a plus!), Put effort in. You’ll learn what you’re capable of with online media (creating and learning). Pace everything out (which to me is important, because who wants to rush something to get rubbish results that you wont be proud of). Be open and honest. And expect to learn about yourself. Personally the last one might be the most important one out of them all, because the more you learn about yourself, the more you learn what you are and are not capable of, and who knows what you’re capable of if you’re not willing to learn, put the time and effort in, pace your work out and be open and honest. So i think her advice really stood out and seems to be working so far!

Another thing that we have to do in the DS106 course is do a ‘Daily Create’; which are small but fun daily assignments for students to do, they all require a good imagination and a steady amount of creativity, because surely thats what this course is about, learning how to MAKE media, art, whatever. Below is a link to one of my daily creates which was posted onto Flickr, I havent done more as of yet but over the next few weeks i am definitely going to try and do 3/4 or maybe even more per week.

#dailycreate #tdc1007

I was also told to update my ‘About’ page on my wordpress blog, as a warm and friendly welcome, because I think that if someone is going to take their time out to come and read my blog, then they should feel welcome in doing so, right?


Within my about page, there is a photo of myself so people can know what I look like, and there is a small overview of myself, reading ‘I am a second year student at De Montfort University, Leicester, studying BSc Media Production.
I work part time at weekends in a coffee shop.’ Keeping it short but blunt and to the point, i think people wouldn’t get turned away or bored, and/or too put off.

Overall, in Unit 1 I have enjoyed it, all the way back from setting up all my accounts, through to doing daily creates and writing my final reflective blog, it has all been fun and a definite learning curve. There has not been a single part of unit 1 that i didn’t like. I especially enjoyed ‘What is Art’ because it really made me think reflectively about how you think about media, social media, art and the fact that ANYONE can have their unique ‘fingerprint’ on the world just by making art, whether it be musically, with drawings/paintings and literally anything. I didn’t think that any of the unit was ‘hard’ it was just quite time consuming, but when you get your head stuck into it and just do the work, don’t rush and most importantly, have fun with it, I think that anyone is capable of making very good and professional media pieces. In the future of the course, I am looking forward to making more daily creates, may it be photos, drawings, writing or videos, I think that they’re fun and very easy to share online with face book, twitter, you tube etc. At the moment I don’t have any questions with anything on the course, but I would imagine that this is going to change as I progress though the unit, but overall I am excited about getting stuck into this and having fun.


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