Through September and October I spent all day, everyday, working on my portfolio, writing cover letters and emailing design agencies in Europe. Unfortunately all the responses I received were along the lines of no interns are currently being taken on due to the pandemic. It was very disheartening. Then one day I received an email from De Designpolitie in Amsterdam, saying they loved my portfolio and wanted to arrange an interview via zoom. I was immediately excited and grateful to be given the opportunity, but also very nervous. I spent days, researching the company thoroughly, their people, projects, and preparing answers to possible questions. I dressed up professionally for the interview, and located a quiet space to receive the call.
The interview itself was very relaxed, involving me just talking through my portfolio to a founder of the company, Pepijn, and explaining to him what I wanted to get out of the internship. He was very nice and polite, explaining the agency to me in great detail. Sadly, though I didn’t get it. Initially, I was very hurt however I look at it now as an experience, a learning point. I will be that much better for my next interview, which will happen as I really want to work and live abroad this year, and I will continue applying. This rejection has only made me more determined than before.
Currently I am working on a Live Screenwriting Brief, until December, designing posters for two different scripts. One is a real-life drama based around a Victorian street and the other, a modern day detective story with Shakespearean connotations. I have been immersing myself into research and communicating with the writers in order to design a poster that will depict their stories accurately and emotionally. Yesterday was the first feedback session since being given the brief. My designs were overall highly received, however many suggestions were also made to improve them. I have taken all the notes from the meeting and am already considering possible changes to make to the posters and discuss with the writer about. I am very intrigued to see where the project will take me and although lockdown may make it difficult, I am full of ambitious ideas about designs, mediums and materials I could use in order to replicate them accurately.
Whilst working on this project, I will still be applying to studios and keeping in contact with my tutors. My goal is to have an internship successfully lined up for next year by Christmas, although if this does not happen it will not stop me applying next year. The current situation has definitely complicated and taken many possible opportunities away, however I will keep trying to make the most of this DPS year and do what I previously intended, which was get real world experience.
I am also in the early stages of my SIP project, researching Projection Mapping, and looking into the current designers that are using it. I am drawing up potential experiments to undertake in public and political messages to address, the obvious one being the pandemic. I will, however, not be able to actually go out, and test the work in public spaces, due to the lockdown.
The Global reset has not effected me so much as of yet, although I believe it is the reason why many agencies have so far rejected me, as they can not take on any interns at the moment.
I will experience remote working a lot more as I delve deeper into my Live Brief project. The last meeting was rather hard at times due to technical difficulties, it would definitely be a lot easier in person. Designing for a client would also be a lot more beneficial in person as communication would be a lot clearer and they could physically be there with me throughout the entire designing process. Unfortunately all we can do is discuss over the phone and send documents of possible designs. I found this a real problem last session, when it was evident my designs were not explicit enough to represent the script showing a breakdown of communication and understanding between us. However I can make changes to improve this, ensuring the poster depicts the story.
Collaboration is also a lot harder as I can’t be with the other designer and work with them physically, meaning miscommunication is highly probable. We are messaging constantly though and sending images and documents of all our different ideas to inform each other of exactly what we are working on and how we can move the poster forward together. Actually producing the poster using mediums such as printing and photography, as well as location scouting for them, is almost impossible whilst being stuck inside. This therefore, limits the production process of the final piece and what we can physically produce. It is also impossible for me to go into London, and test my SIP project in public spaces, as we are again under strict lockdown regulations.
The interview for De Designpolitie, although relaxed, was still a struggle. The physical connection and chemistry was not there between us as it was over a zoom call and not in person. It felt rather awkward at times, and the lacking of the internet connection meant we were sometimes speaking over one another. It was definitely an experience though and will help me be more prepared for the next one. It was definitely hard to read the interviewer and connect with his personality, I believe that in person I could have made a much better impression, ensuring me a better chance.
Working from home has also challenged me creatively over the past few months. The home environment is very relaxing and the motivation is sometimes lacking. Always seeing the same things in my environment, due to being stuck indoors from lockdown, is offering me no outside stimulus or inspiration. Everything new I see is through a computer or phone screen, which can mean what I’m seeing has been distorted and manipulated. Events and environments that have often sparked a creative idea are out there in the world, and I cannot experience them for myself whilst in my house. One of the first things I love to do during a brief is visit the location in person which is how I get my ideas, however this is not possible due to lockdown. I feel like my ideas are forced and not from personal experience, however I am still designing as best I can.
My house has 7 people living in it also, which can make working very hard. Both my dad and eldest sister are working from home permanently meaning most of the time I am stuck using the desk in my bedroom as it is the only quiet and available space to work on my Live Brief designs. The internet is poor in my room however, which can make it very difficult at times.
Overall, I am positive about the future, particularly next year, and although I haven’t yet been able to secure an internship, I am still applying and working on Live Briefs as well as my own projects. The Global reset of making all agencies digital in their running, has definitely complicated things but will not stop me from pursuing this amazing opportunity which is the DPS year.
This is an image depicting a number of different emails I sent to agencies enquiring about an Internship position
This is a Google image representing how my design process is now all online, via Zoom
This is the desk in my room that I am currently working at for all my different design projects