Wednesday, 30 November 2016

OUGD602 - Career's Advice Meeting @ Village - 30/11/16

Today I attended a careers advice workshop at Village in Leeds. I had a one on one session with an ex student from LCA, who graduated this year.

We discussed life after college, what sort of opportunities there are for recent graduates, the prospects of freelancing and getting in contact with studios and freelance designers.

What I took away from the session:

The chat was pretty brief, but it filled me with confidence and has made me excited to continue getting in contact with people. It was really positive to hear that a student from LCA has been so successful since graduating. It also opened up my eyes to the freedoms of freelancing.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

OUGD602 - PPP Employability Workshop 4/11/16

Today we did a workshop with Alec from Intern Magazine, focused on life after the course. The aim of the session was to discuss the themes of employability, making money from your work, self branding and successful networking attitudes. It was also highly focused on discussing insecurities with the intent to boost self confidence.

The first exercise we did was to critique each other's online presence in small groups. I found this particularly useful as currently, my online presence is pretty minimal and could do with a lot of work in order for it to reflect my practice in a more professional manner.

The only 'professional' online presence I have currently resides on a Tumblr domain, so this was all I was able to present to my group. I do use Instagram, but this is a personal account at the moment. I am considering setting up profiles on Behance and LinkedIn to further my presence.

Feedback received:

Start - update my personal website more often and consider changing the theme to make it seem more professional and reflective of my practice. Consider creating a presence on other social media platforms to widen your reach and get your voice heard. Perhaps make a separate Instagram account for professional development?

Stop - using short descriptions on personal website - pad out the descriptions so that users get a well rounded idea of the project and all of its contexts and background considerations

Continue - producing great work and uploading it online - stay true to your own aesthetic and style but just make sure it looks professionally presented online

The second exercise we did was focused on voicing anxieties we have concerning the course and the topic of graphic design in general. We wrote them down and discussed them with group, which was actually really useful.

My main current anxieties include:

- Getting in contact with studios/practitioners in general
- Supporting myself after I graduate from LCA
- Finding work that enjoy and feel inspired to do
- Worried that my aesthetic may be understood/interpreted in a way I wouldn't like it to be

The group identified and was able to relate to these concerns. I also spoke to Alec about contacting designers, and he basically told me not to worry, as at the end of the day, most of these people are actually pretty down to earth. Talking to 'professionals' shouldn't be seen as a daunting task, as they are only human at the end of the day. I need to stop idolising people and putting them on a pedestal, as this puts them out of reach. I just need to remember to be confident and don't let me nerves get in the way of putting myself at an advantage.

The final exercise involved us considering our 'spheres of influence'. We had to consider the people around us that inspire us to do what we do. I also thought about areas, places and other cultural influences which have an impact on my practice. These include:

Creative cities in Europe - in particular Berlin
Contemporary trends in design
Historical and contextual factors - COP has really helped me to realise my concerns and interests
DIY design studios such as Dr. Me
Fine art is a big passion of mine and constantly informs my practice

What I took away from today's session:

Give yourself experience - there will be plenty of people out there who will tell you that you don't have experience and therefore won't find work. If you give yourself the experience, through creating your own opportunities, then you will overcome the negatives attitudes that await you after you graduate

Set yourself briefs, solve other people's problems for them without them asking you to, re-visit old briefs, enter as many competitions as possible and just keep busy.

Confidence is the biggest tool to use to get you anywhere. If you don't appear to believe in yourself and the work you are undertaking, no one else will.

Surround yourself with like-minded people who are nice and do interesting things. This immediate sphere of positive influence can carry you a long way.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

OUGD602 - 3/11/16 - First Extended Practice Crit

Today we had our first formal feedback session in a small group. I presented the work I have been getting on with for my current live brief; designing a set of posters for The Real Junk Food Project in Leeds. The session was useful in helping me to think deeper about the work and adopt a more critical approach the content. It also helped me to think about what I need to put in place to become a lot more organised.

Issues Raised:

The work has to be able to appeal to a very diverse group of people, as the aim of the Junk-Food project is to be inclusive of many different types people in society who find themselves in situations of food insecurity. At the moment, the aesthetic of the work is highly contemporary and perhaps not speaking to a broad enough audience - this has to be assessed

Needs to make people comfortable - when they enter the cafe's, this will be the first thing they see, so it needs to make them feel instantly welcome to the environment. The idea of eating 'waste' food could seem off-putting to certain people, therefore the visuals need to reassure them of the legitimacy of the project

Pay As You Feel means more than just money, so far the PAYF posters are pretty much completely focused on the idea of paying with money - consider moving away from this in order to strike a more appropriate tone of voice - the project caters towards people who perhaps don't have much money, so the emphasis needs to shift here

Perhaps consider producing some sort of conceptual business card which acts as an advertisement for the cause, encouraging people who are unaware of the project or maybe even embarrassed to use the cafes to engage and spread the positive message - a good way of extending the work past the initial outcomes agreed with the client

Action To Be Taken:

I need to set my own restrictions, deliverables and deadlines for this brief as the 'client' has pretty much left me to own devises. In order to be productive and efficient with this brief, I need to get more organised and put way more thought into the background considerations and the contexts in which the work will ultimately appear

Contact the project again and ask them about any specific problems that they are facing right now - what needs addressing and what can be solved through visual communication/ a graphic output?

General Feedback:

The designs needs to make the food seem a lot more appealing that it actually is. The designs have to reflect a certain atmosphere that will entice people to engage with the project.

Make appropriate production considerations - think about making it as cheap and sustainable as possible

Consider printing the designs using screen-printing or risograph techniques to give it texture and authenticity

The colour palettes needs assessing - currently they don't really suit the context, seem a bit random - also the outlining of the type and the illustrations cheapen the aesthetic and make it seem slightly childish