A picture that I took during one of my lockdown walks in London
How time flies! I still remember when I went to the LCC Open Day few years ago while I was doing my Foundation in Art and Design and considering the possibility of getting into uni at 26.
I still remember Craig talking about the DPS program.He kind of bought me when he said some students went on placements in California.
And here we are now, three years later, seating in my living room with my cat while writing this post and outside it’s flat.
But this is nobody’s fault really. I believe that you can work hard towards a goal and that you are the owner of what happens in your life up to certain point. Then there are other factors that neither you or nobody can control.
You might want to do part of your placement year in sunny California but hey, who knew a year ago that there was going to be a world pandemic? Life keeps changing and we need to keep adapting.
I am not saying let’s all forget about design for now, get a huge chocolate Haagen Dazs and starting watching “Friends” from episode 1. No. I am saying that I am going to accept that things have obviously changed, that maybe my plans will have to wait for now. Maybe I will not go to California this year or at least not by now but that doesn’t mean I can’t do other things meanwhile.
I am not a big fan of this “Mr Wonderful” life outlook where regardless what happens, you have to "keep smiling". I think we should embrace that sometimes, when we have to change our plans, it really sucks (and yeah, some days we will fancy Haagen Daz and Friends. Why not?)
But at the same time, those undesired changes can make you think about other possibilities which turn out great.
To illustrate what I am talking about above, I have started my first placement and yeah, somedays are not great.
I get paid shit, I work a lot of hours, I spent hours and hours in front of Photoshop only resizing pictures and sometimes I lose my patient because everybody is doing three jobs at the same time and nobody has time to explain anything, after spending hours doing something, they tell me they don’t need it anymore.
But in the other hand, because they are so busy (and short in staff) that also allows me to try things, to learn by myself, to take directions. Because I have a previous career in photography, they let me taking pictures for the social media content, which is more creative.
Some days I can work from home so that means I am not spending money in transport or food, other days they ask me to go but I go cycling which I really enjoy (it’s a pretty long way so also works as a free gym session). I am getting some money which is better than nothing. I am learning soft skills (like how to say to Simon from Sales that what he is asking me to do doesn’t make any sense whatsoever without offending him).
Like Lemmy said, “you win some, you lose some”.
Expectations and ambitions
So far the start of my DPS year has been quite different to how I imagined it would be before COVID hit. I found lockdown quite a hard time to stay focused and as a result the majority of my attention was away from DPS and on just trying to pass second year. Before the term ended I feel I had not yet put enough work into finishing my portfolio or CV for internship applications, however now with more time over summer I have been able to develop them and create something more presentable that I’m a bit more confident with. My plans haven’t changed that much since first writing my proposal, I still would like to get an internship for a few months in London and then hopefully one abroad later in the year. Before term ended I had planned to get some work over the summer, although I have found looking for somewhere in London fairly hard as the majority of places I would have applied for had not gone back to their offices or properly started regular work again. The pandemic has in someways made looking for internships slightly disheartening, however having finished my portfolio for now I have been sending application emails to different people and companies and will continue sending as much as I can over the next month. Over summer I have been able to keep busy by working on music and creating music videos for my friends.
One of my initial goals for the year was to create and release a zine as a self initiated project. Last year I created a zine as the outcome for my first year 1 project, I really enjoyed working in this format and think there’s potential to create some of my best still image work if I were to make another one, so I plan to start working on this soon once I have secured an internship. As far as places or people I would like to work with, I have made a long list of magazines, mostly based in London but some abroad as well, whose work I like and collected contact details as well as emails for the editor for some fo them. Last week I emailed out my portfolio, CV and references with a cover letter to a few and by the end of this week I plan to create a list for fashion designers and video directors and send applications to them as well the rest of the magazines. I have also applied for an internship at Show Studio. I am basically looking for anywhere I could apply skills like photography, film making or the research process and production for visual / conceptual work within fashion, art and design, so this would be a really good place to gain experience.