Today I paid a visit to meet Stephen Woowat a member of 'Something More' based in Duke Studios.
I went basically to have a very informal chat about my personal branding and to discuss my future creative aspirations.
I didn't approach the studio with the hope of attaining a placement, I went purely because I really enjoyed the workshop that they did with us in the studio and got very positive vibes from them. I used the studio visit as a feedback session essentially, in order to pick their brains.
The first topic we discussed was my personal branding and whether or not they thought it was successful, appropriate or even necessary.
Their feedback was direct but constructive, which I found incredibly useful.
I came away from the meeting with mixed emotions. On the one hand, it was incredibly useful to see the set up of their studio, the space that they work in and the other people that they are surrounded with. On the other hand, I felt almost instantly that I wouldn't really enjoy working in a studio environment such as Something More - too corporate and male dominated.
It basically allowed me to realise that that sort of environment is definitely somewhere that I would not see myself fitting in, for a number of reasons.
I picked up on a number of barriers in terms of the type of work they do and the general ethos of the studio and their outlook/perspective on graphic design which kind of turned me off the idea of working in a studio of that nature. I found it difficult to relate to their outlook.
It got me to thinking that maybe I don't actually want to be a part of that scene. I'm not sure if I want to work for huge commercial brands, clients etc. I much prefer producing work that is concept driven, has meaning behind it and is targeted at smaller audiences.
Stephen asked me a blunt question: 'What do you want to do then, after graduation.'
And I replied back 'I want to get into the world of publication and printed matter. I definitely know that I like doing things that end up in the print based section of 'graphic design. I think that printed matter is going to become increasingly important as the world pushes ever further into the digital realm, where it is difficult to distinguish what is real and what is fake. This made a nice link to the themes that I have dealt with in COP over the past three years. Everything seemed to come together in a moment of clarity.
Digital design is fun and all, but I find it very difficult to connect with and really relate to. The digital world scares me, because of its fast paced nature, lack of authenticity, superficial qualities and intangibility. I realise that this may come across as contradictory, as I do use digital design tools a lot in my own practice, but everything ends up in printed form at the end of the day.
People want things quickly, especially now in the mass media age where instant gratification is so dominant. People
They said if you're going to print out a portfolio, make it massive so you can see the detail. People need big visuals nowadays. They also said to maybe think about having a digital portfolio, as it can grow and evolve as your briefs develop. Committing to print is a thing of the past. You have to get with the programme and move with the times.
I found this feedback and advice very useful, but I have to remember to stick to my guns and not take everything they say as gospel. Its more interesting to stay true to your belief system than follow the crowd all of the time.