Amber Cape (Graphic and Media Design)
A pile of never-ending paper work, my 7 year old, overheating laptop, not to mention a worldwide pandemic, and yet somehow I managed to make it to Thessolaniki in once piece (although this laptop might not return in one piece). I admit, I was weirdly lucky in getting this internship. I had just finalised my portfolio and I applied to a studio that Sarah had recommended on a whim, they replied and arranged an interview; within a week of applying, I was already looking at flights to Greece. So after worrying about who would hire me to work in their studio for the past year, and ready to happily settle for a any studio that would accept me regardless of pay or their design, suddenly I’m thrusted into a situation where not only will I be working in a studio that I admire but also a studio in a completely different country. Which, for me at least, came hand in hand with a dash of imposter syndrome, which as always, is a blessing to deal with.
I spent most of the summer (after lockdown 1.0) working as much as I could in a bar as I knew this year would be harder financially, and so I was a little out of practice when I arrived in Greece. But ~graphic design is my passion~ and I quickly got back into the swing of things. Due to a new greek law (which reeked havoc with the Erasmus paperwork) the studio cut my hours in half, and so I would be working on live briefs as well as in studio work, which despite not being the original plan will be an exciting opportunity and will keep me busy with design when I’m not in the studio. Having these two opportunities is more than I could have asked for; I am able to expand and explore my design skills within a professional environment while working on more ‘close-to-home’ projects along side my time in the studio. If I have the time, I would also like to start/develop my self initiated project, however as this is not my priority for the next three months I won’t be too annoyed with myself if I procrastinate the project until after Christmas.
< Cut to 6 weeks after arriving in Greece and it’s Lockdown 2.0! New and improved! This time there’s a possibility you could be stuck in Greece! (spoiler: I wasn’t (thank fck) but it did mean that I flew back to London forfeiting my internship:( ) >
The main reason I decided to do a DPS year was that able to get real world experience while still in the safety net of education, and not have to worry too much about the ~real world~. When starting the course I, nor was anyone, expecting the world to schedule a global pandemic for 2020 but here we are. Getting an internship in another country was also a bit of a shock to the system too; Erasmus had always been an option but relatively at the back of my mind for the most part as London is such a hub of creative and has a great art scene as it is I hadn’t really considered much elsewhere. However, I’m glad I did, as I would not be able to afford an opportunity like this without having Erasmus+ funding; I feel bad for all those in upcoming years where after Brexit this might just become another opportunity exclusively available for the wealthy :(
Looking back at my experience from the last few months; I don’t think the first time getting an internship, I should have gone for somewhere where I barely understand what’s going on. It was a little frustrating at times; like when I’ve worked all day on a project for them to turn round and not need it anymore because they already sent it off without telling me. Hearing people discuss their own work was something I think I had overlooked; not only giving input but just simply overhearing discussions about projects. So, obviously, not understanding the discussions that are ongoing around me was frustrating. I think this disconnection also transferred into the interactions I would have with the designers. Having zero, zilch, nada, no experience in a design studio before Greece, it’s hard to differentiate what was specific to this studio and this experience and what are overarching experiences within the entire design world. For one, I found myself being quite shy and introverted which is uh,, quite out of character, but it’s hard to know if this is completely reliant on the language barrier or if it was a mixture of that and my lack of confidence within my own work. It all comes back to the infamous Mr. Imposter Syndrome, who, it seems, I will be getting to know very well in the upcoming year; guess I'll get the kettle on.
But there's enough Prét's in London for him to get coffee so I won't be entertaining him for too long.