Should I get feedback on my exercises?

You can but it's not necessary. All the exercises have been designed as simply experiential, thus not requiring feedback. In other words, it's more important that you experience what it's like to try and find balance or harmony among, let's say three dissimilar shapes – than to try and get them absolutely, spot-on perfect. By experiencing the numerous examples that you'll encounter throughout this course, the ideas will grow on you. Reinforcements are quietly planted throughout the programming of this site. ■ You are encouraged to do all the exercises. After completion, re-attempt one of your first exercises, but only after you've completed the rest of the course. Then compare your first attempt with your evolved attempt. Do this with a couple of other exercises. Write down which changes you've noticed in your work and what might have changed about your approach.

Am I doing this right?

Yes, great question – and you are. Reading the lessons, viewing the videos, and doing the exercises will get you knee-deep into the experience. Do this: read all the modules and view all videos. Think of a module that made a good impression. Now take out one of your earlier art or design works. If you don't have one, just use one of the images from your phone's camera, or simply create something on paper with pencil. Modify, copy or create another version of that work, but done through the experience of what you've learned from your chosen module. Next, try it again, but now with insights gained from a different module. When finished, compare your revised composition to your original. Then ask yourself, "What's different here?" It's very important that you write down your impressions. 

I already took 2D. Why's this any different?

Design Principles always seemed so abstract to this former design student. After 19 years of instruction, I wondered if there was a way to make the traditional 2D Design class far less intimidating or at least seem more accessible. I mean think about it folks...does 2D Design really have to be complicated and entangled? Research conducted by this author over a series of twelve design workshops, conducted at a variety of colleges and universities, revealed that a second dose of 2D Design administered a bit down the line (at least two terms out) revealed an improved degree of absorption not apparent within the earlier timeframe.  One looming issue in education involves the variation of transfer platforms represented by transferring students. If the long-term goal of educational scaffolding (which is basically the updated baseline of learned ideas, one layer built upon the previous layer) is reliant on reinforcement, what happens if one's student's reinforcement is merely another student's introduction? What happens when scaffolds do not match up? Design principles are a required learning immersion. However, the wide variety of principles that are out there allow individual instructors to feature those principles which have shown the most successful yield for their pedagogic approach. That makes sense and it works. Unless you didn't get it the first time. Some first year students in 2D Foundation design are dealing with new ideas involving design principles as abstract concepts. A comb is a comb. A passive area is a what? It's one thing to cognitively acknowledge negative space, but it may be another to get engaged with it. A second exposure or a reintroduction at a time of design principles when a student's had a bit more life experience/creative experience frequently produces remarkably engaging results.  This second immersion – either led through an educator's request or whether self-taught, can provide game-changing reinforcement at a time when it's most effectively addressed. Despite meeting rigorous accreditation standards, not all two-dimensional design courses are the same. Some educators emphasize a broad and highly detailed immersion into design principles while some take an approach emphasizing narrative development or design elements. And then there are numerous formulations in-between. One problem has always been the constriction on the term of the course, which is typically a semester (15 weeks). Most every educator has on at least one occasion hit the following wall: How to fit 18 weeks into 15? One option to consider through this site is supplementation – similar to reading assignments, but with a binge-watching video component. 

Why the need for a course on Rhythm and Unity?

Rhythm dominates the natural world and has been part of the human experience since our earliest ancestors began to recognize patterns. Unity is analogous to order and amounts to a creative way to make sense out of a natural world populated with collisions, entanglements, and black holes. Unity is comprised of various modes. This course attempts to bring them all together under one roof. Rhythm in visual arts is traditionally taught by identifying it while it in the process of creating something. Suddenly it appears and it gets pointed out. Or an instructor coaxes the student towards enabling a rhythmical event to emerge. Rhythm and Unity are analogous chaos and order, the underpinnings of all the visual arts. Rhythm existed long before their was a need to identify it. Call it anything you'd like. The name is immaterial compared to its underlying benefits and affect. Pattern with movement is the basis for how the ancient Greeks constructed the term. Rhythms can evoke complexity or simplicity. Rhythm and unity are ubiquitous and right in front of you. The sentiment that visual rhythm is a tough cookie to convey is a commonly held sentiment in the art and design education community. It's been tough to advocate and harder to cover its range and gamut for quite some time. That is until now. Welcome to DesignPrinciples101.com.    

Can this site benefit my students even if they've already taken a beginning 2D class??

The goal behind this site is to contribute towards leveling the creative playing field a bit more than regular procedure would traditionally permit. In reality, some students won’t need it as much as others. But those that do, however – really need it! Merely completing a two-dimensional or beginning design class implies no degree of proficiency. Some people simply take longer than others when it comes to grasping notions of rhythm and unity. Remember, design elements are relatively tangible. It's the more abstract notions of design principles that seem to be a stumbling point for some. Some grab on early, others don't. Some students may need a supplemental tool chest that they can access and proceed with at their own pace.