Joanna Domagalska (Graphic and Media Design)
Every single day over the past two weeks, I've been trying to come up with an easy way to touch on all the things I want to write about, not sure whether I should even include certain aspects at all. I am always trying to find a balanced approach but overthink everything I do and say, which is very counterproductive, because, well - I’ve been working on this blog in my head for this long without even beginning to write a single word. And I worry that I will make it too personal. But personally, I love it when people make it personal. Makes it more genuine.
I'm probably not going to surprise anyone by saying that my life's been pretty much turned upside down this year, which includes me being back at home for the longest period since I moved out during my gap year. It has been a real shock, coming from an environment where my schedule was packed to the limits with both university and work, being financially independent and living on my own terms to being back in my home country with no clue of what was going to happen next and no plans in sight. But there have also been multiple positive aspects - it has given me a lot of valuable time to think and focus on what I really want to do without the external pressure of having to worry about rent and all those stressful factors that arise when living in another country. To my own surprise, I felt really comfortable in my safe little bubble, and whilst overwhelmingly anxious about what was happening in the world, I felt grateful for the opportunity to reset after some incredibly hectic months.
Since then, I've been trying to redefine my practice and find the new ways of working™. Am I a graphic designer? An illustrator? A 3D motion designer? Maybe I'm all at once or maybe I'm none. I'd say being lost would be the most fitting description of how I've felt throughout this confusing period of time. Luckily though, recently I've been beginning to find my voice and a steady ground under my feet. I have my curiosity and a constant drive to learn to thank for it. I should probably mention here all those unsuccessful internship applications, rejections, interviews, and placements canceled last minute so prevalent in the current climate. I knew it wouldn't be easy to get an internship this year, but I'm not gonna lie, I felt quite disheartened reading rejection e-mails, if any at all. However, a rejection e-mail is still better than no reply. At least I know where I'm standing. I'm not letting this put me down though, as I still have so many things I have planned to do this academic year. It has only just begun and I know there will be more opportunities later during the year. So far I've been mostly working on small freelance projects, as well as modeling and assisting in a lookbook shoot for a local crochet brand and working on my own ideas.
I'm going to be honest - I've never experienced the painful notion of impermanence and unpredictability more than I have this year in face of Covid - and even more so during the past month. At some point, I feared I wouldn't even be able to continue my DPS year or anything at all. The sudden loss of a loved one has been the most challenging thing I've ever had to deal with in my silly 22 years of life on this Earth. Sometimes I find it really difficult to accept that the world is relentlessly moving forward and I feel really angry. But I'm learning to be at peace with it. If anything, it reassured me about what's most important in life and what I should focus on. I feel really motivated to continue what I've started - my journey with studying abroad and DPS - after all it was one of the key factors that made me choose to study at LCC and I worked really hard to be in that place.
Learning new skills has been a positive channel of energy for me and helped me to stay hopeful and motivated. A little over a week ago I started an online course on Cinema4D and motion graphics that I've been really happy with. It has given me a much-needed structure, alongside working on the DPS live briefs. I feel like I'm picking up the knowledge quickly and already feel confident enough to work on making my own stuff in C4D. I am looking forward to putting my skills into practice for the Selfridges project. I am also really excited about the Not Just a Shop brief, as I feel it will be really helpful in getting experience in setting up my own brand whilst having help with the business and marketing side of things.
Apart from that, I've been really trying to stay on track regardless of the difficulties and started my DPS Instagram to post my reflections and findings, as well as document my progress. Documenting and reflecting is one of my favorite things to do so it felt really natural. Plus, the goal of posting at least 1 reflection a week will keep me motivated to keep working.