Graphic and Media Design
Between now and my previous WOW blog post I have already started and finished my first internship.
This internship was a smooth start to knowing "adult" life and understand what it means to no longer be a student. To get you into the context, for four weeks I was Evening Standard Magazine's design intern and I absolutely loved it. Working at a magazine was not something I imagined myself doing, neither during DPS nor after I graduate. I hadn't planned this at all and to be perfectly honest editorial design was always my least favourite part of graphic design.
Having applied to a billion opportunities and studios and being ignored by all was disappointing and just when I was about to give up and ambiguity and rejection started hitting me, an email came back! Ben Turner, ES Magazine's art director and former GMD student at LCC (or LCP as he remembers it) invited me over for a quick chat and offered me a place at ES Magazine's art desk for October! I obviously had nothing better to do during this month and so I accepted this position even though it was unpaid and not really what I was looking for. DPS is all about new, unexpected experiences, how could I say no?
At the end of the month I did not want to leave; even though my time with the ES Magazine was limited, I managed to learn many things. What I particularly loved was that I didn't only learn about design, but explored a plethora of topics which were featured in our issues, such as sustainable fashion, music, films and travels. It was eye-opening for me to suddenly work in an environment where not everyone shares a passion for design and people are experts in other things, like social media, beauty, health, fashion. In those four weeks, I was assisting Ben and Andy (art director and acting deputy art director respectively) with all aspects of design for the weekly issues. I was primarily responsible for regular pages and illustrations, allowing them to dedicate more time to features, which don't necessarily always follow a template and hence can be trickier to work on. I also was fortunate enough to be present in various fashion photoshoots, which was a unique experience.
Here are a few things I knew about editorial design when I walked in the office for the very first time:
1. Text and image are the basic denominators of all design.
2. All designers need to be able to put together well designed pages.
3. Harmonic collaboration between type, photography and illustration is essential.
Having these in mind I felt ready and confident in my design skills and my software knowledge (they use Indesign almost exclusively) and I learned everything else very fast: how to set up new pages, how to work on multiple layouts for one page, incorporate templates etc. Now there are also a few things I hadn't realised about design, which I observed happening during my time with the ES Magazine.
1. Design can happen much, much faster than I thought:
It is so different working on a university project with a deadline after 2-3 months and working to new, weekly time scales. I was surprised to notice the full progress of a whole magazine of average 60-70 pages; it's almost non-existent on Monday and ready for print by Friday. The process was simple and specific days were assigned to each task, from a raw page to subbed layouts, generating soft proof, corrections, editor's marks and layout to release, but this process often involves other parties like external article writers etc. and hence design, which is the last step, is often left to the last minute. I was even more surprised to observe myself adapting to this fast pace, getting pages ready in only a couple of hours.
2. My solutions are unique and distinctive:
I was so pleased each time I completed a page and received positive feedback on it from my mentors. At first it's really hard not to get lost in the process. I did find myself in situations where I spent too much time moving things around a page and not really knowing when to stop. Apart from that, when working closely with the picture editors and assistants it's hard to choose between images and select the one which will engage the audience and travel fast. But at the end of the day, when I believed in my decisions the feedback reassuring.
3. Strict restrictions enhance ability to be creative.
Obviously when working in a magazine with a huge history and a distinguishing identity you can't put too much of your own style in the pages, you have to follow rules and guidelines. But it is truly astonishing how such "limitation" boost ideas and generate results. Not only it encouraged me to develop new ways of working in layouts but also it benefited my line-illustration skills, which I honestly didn't even know I had!
There are so many things I learned and appreciated during this month that I will hold on to, about design, about London, about communities and about office life; I loved every second of it.
On my last day we went the whole team went for lunch with me to say goodbye and kept saying how they will miss my details and illustrations. I felt so lucky to be a part of this and so proud that my work there left a tiny mark.
Graphic and Media Design.
Like many others I first impression towards Art is simply drawing and painting on a canvas. I used to consider graphic design as “doing art digitally and conveniently”, which I can freely create pieces without many consequences and less time-consuming. Throughout the years participating in media communication I have realised that graphic design is far beyond aesthetics, Its versatility, functionality, and applicability exceed my narrow-mind expectation when I first approached the field.
With little experience in my early period, I could only correlate visual design with simple posters and billboards. Back in high school, my portfolio was stuffed with posters and illustrations. It soon came to my attention that graphic design is far more than working on big papers, I became curious about the design of books, logos, packaging, and signs. Growing up in a city, I was surrounded by billboards and commercials, in any form and size. Visual communication is everywhere in my environment. I saw the potential and need for graphic design, I was delighted by its diversification and how it can be applied in a different area. With that admiration, I knew I would go for graphic design for my future studies. I found visual communication more challenging and entertaining than expected, meanwhile being practical as well.
Even tho graphic design is mainly exercised for generating profits in the market, but it can also be interpreted in different ways and not simply about pleasing visuals. One of my favourite book of all time –––– “Rebranding x Consumption Jungle” by Tommy Li, suggests that visual design can be a powerful tool not only for telling messages but also an act of responding to the society, sculpting an ideal environment in favour of people and luring them to behave in certain ways, such as consumerism. I was inspired by his view on how design is plays its role in the society, teaching me that creativity is not the only ladder to great design, it requires a huge amount of background research, years of practice and knowledge. Above all, it is the willingness to take risk for innovations.
To design great pieces, practical skills for software and equipment are fundamental. Quite often I have difficulties in delivering concepts though my pieces due to poor production skill. Basic skills for equipment and machines are essential for design, but making a great design requires our cumulative skill and aesthetics. Some of the practices even include an understanding of psychology, behavioral sciences and more, which are far beyond basics but necessary to create a cohesive and well-rounded outcome. Everyone can be a designer, what draws the line in-between the good and bad ones are our senses. Design is not solely a progress but also a life style, a combination of our interpretation, skills, value and insights.
One thing which keeps me motivated in the field is its unpredictability. Back in the days' graphic design is most likely about editorial and printmaking. After the rise of touch screen devices, there is an increase in demand for user interface design for websites and applications. Now with the advance of technology, people are craving digital content, the form of graphic design is so diverse that I never stop searching for new insights. Back in my first year, I discovered our society are spending more time on screens and hoping to get more information within a shorter time, I saw the potential of motion graphics for the future. Moving images give a stronger elaboration of ideas and a bigger possibility to show more, allowing me to establish new ideas with the latest technology. During my internships at ROSE, by showcasing my skill in producing moving images, the team is astonished when they realised how their work can be presented dynamically, having an alternative way to promote, display and illustrate their views on different projects.
There are voices talking about the use of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Forums are discussing how images can be created to help to navigate systems by blending content into reality, which involves a few understanding of psychology. Graphic design always finds its way to compromise and transform with new eras, showcasing its unique value and function by expending its application. And being a designer it is an entertainment for me to be part of this process and evolvement.
I get exposed to billboards and commercials all the time, and I used to wonder how some of them appear to be more attractive. Something was triggering my senses but yet unable to articulate clearly. With the skill and knowledge I learned over the years in the field, I started to see things differently. I started studying the structure and factors of every publications from the newspaper’s layout to billboards, I see them not only as texts and images, I wish to understand the purpose of every decision made on the pieces. By understanding the secrets lie behind every design, I have become more aware and sensitive to my surroundings, gathering different inspirations bit by bit to generate new ideas and outcomes. Looking at things differently helps me to become a more creative person and maintain my curiosity, which I believe will have a tremendous impact not only on my practices in graphic design but also the way I appreciate my lifestyle as well.
The practice of graphic design builds a virtual bridge between my creativity and the physical world, allowing me to express my ideas through medias which are sophisticated and commercially effective. Being astonished by how responsive the creative industry is, studying in the field always reminds me of how active I should be pushing the boundary not only of myself but also the possibility of the future community.
It’s been two months since the start of the DPS Year and things are not slowing down. Even while working two jobs simultaneously I still find myself looking for more opportunities and I try to plan out every day so I can get the most out of this year. I wouldn’t say there was much that surprised me, as I have freelanced for a couple of years now. But there was still a lot I didn’t really consider before that.
The animation studio I interned for, for example, was really quiet, it wasn’t a big team, it felt a lot like a family – easy going but also firm when work needs to get down. I was surprised by the way they treated me – it wasn’t just like an intern but as a proper member of the team and in a really short amount of time I went from illustrator, to creating a storyboard, and even creating assets for the upcoming animation they employed me for. They were very professional, and the pay was a lot for an internship, it was an overall surprisingly pleasant experience. But, there’s always a ‘but’, working a 8.30am to 6pm job is exhausting. I no longer wonder why my dad always comes home tired. I really thought office work wasn’t as tiring as it actually was, even though it was time spent doing something I like I still needed a good rest after every day.
Because of that sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get out of bed and start working. (especially if your commute is an hour long and you live in London... rush hour is inhumane) But what keeps me going is the fact that I do enjoy working after all. The feeling you get from finishing a project you’re proud of is the same of seeing your friends succeed – pure happiness. You can see that you get more out of it than you put into it, all the work, confusion, mistakes, even tears sometimes are worth it in the end to see this idea come to life.
I am happy with how my DPS Year is going as I am already getting used to working in an office during office hours and I think that will make my life after graduation that much easier.
During the start of my DPS year I’ve been completing bits of freelance work and searching through internships for the year 2020. However, I’ve decided to dedicate start the year focusing on running the Unsettled Magazine. This magazine has been such a strong part of my life since I began University. I started off as an illustrator in 2017, I can remember the excitement to this day of attending my first magazine meeting. It gave me reasoning, it gave me motivation, it gave me a reason to keep busy and a sense of belonging.
Apart from this I’ve never had any experience in magazine. Yet two years later I find myself upgraded to the role of Creative director alongside my friend, Editor in Chief Vee Pandey. We have recently been in the process of revamping the magazine and creating a new team, were we’ve had over 500 applicants. We have spent the last month sifting through many emails and portfolios to find team members suitable for the vision we have. We’ve recently had had the opportunity to review many music artists, gaining press access to their shows across England. We’ve been in communication with so many clients that want to collaborate with the magazine, and we’ve managed to build a team of writers, photographers, illustrators and designers. We have recently been working with BBC Music Introducing Live, were we have held competitions and gained press access to workshops, speakers and live shows. Having the chance to be alongside artists such as James Bay, Catfish + the Bottlemen, Jake Bugg and speakers such as Dermot O’Leary is extremely exciting. I’ve found this experience so surreal and rewarding, seeing the magazine grow in such a short space of time gives me confidence for it to only develop into a bigger and better magazine.
Pursuing this position in the magazine has definitely felt overwhelming and difficult at times, especially as the funding is limited so we have to find ways to keep going with a very tiny budget. Spending so much time on a project that is unpaid is very daunting, so squeezing this magazine in alongside paid freelance work has felt very chaotic. Inspiring me to build a confident and strong team, which will allow me to have more time to be able to pursue paid internships in 2020.
Initially, I was so scared to going in to something like this, to have such a great responsibility. But as time has gone on it has been such an exciting feeling, this position has allowed me to experience things I’ve never had the chance to before. I’ve learnt how to lead group meetings, how to collaborate, how to create a team, how to set goals, how to prototype, how to build a community and how to run a magazine. This magazine may only be small, but I have strong beliefs that it has an impact on people lives, as it has mine. Giving people the platform to show their work, to experience working in a professional environment, to allow people to spark conversations and build contacts. Our plan is to make this magazine grow, to build its following and showcase the talents of UAL and London to as many people as possible.
I was initially very nervous about leaving my comfort zone, I've also found I've experienced a lot of self-doubt whilst been on the DPS year. On the back of my mind I constantly worry that I could be doing more, that I should be doing as many internships as possible. But I’ve learnt to take in everything that I am doing and how grateful I am for the opportunity of the space and time for me to try new things. Working on a magazine, working with freelance clients and working on myself, my portfolio and my website. I’ve found everyone that I’ve come across, the things I’ve learnt and experienced, the excitement, the disappointment, the rejection all contribute to who I am as a designer right now.
Illustration and Visual Media
Starting my DPS experience I had a clear idea in mind of how my DPS year should go. I was convinced that the only way for me to make this year productive was to find as many internships as I could. I did have a successful interview with Sarabande and was offered a 3 month internship starting in November. Unfortunately it was then pushed back to start January although I am still very much excited about this opportunity. This gave me a lot of extra time which I have been using to work on private commissions that have helped me get back into my illustration practice. In addition I used the time to redesigned my portfolio and website to better suit the jobs I would like to apply to and hope this will be more effective in securing internships.
Although finding more internships is still an essential part of my year I also chose to use this time to focus on finding out what truly excites me in the creative industry. I have been lacking motivation regarding my current practice for a while now and people who have experienced this will know how incredibly frustrating it can be. As artists our emotional state is so closely connected to our practice that this frustration will reflect in our work. I always heard stories of people having moments of self discovery but I could never fully understand them until I experienced it myself. After days of research and sleepless nights I realised I had spend over two years dreaming of studying fashion design but was hesitant to fully admit it to my tutors or even myself. However after a very helpful meeting with Stephanie and a long talk with my parents I came to the conclusion that I should start fully concentrating on this ambition. I feel so lucky to have people around me who fully support this decision and the DPS programme gives me the perfect opportunity to start this process.
For now this means I will be preparing a fashion portfolio which I will use to apply for a fashion course in January. I tailored my SIP to be supportive of this process and plan to do short courses to help me develop skillsets that are needed for this industry. At the moment I am working on gathering research by following an online course which has helped me understand the fashion designing process. At the moment I am learning about how to create mood boards and gather inspiration. This work has helped me to finally feel motivated and excited about my projects again and with a clear goal in mind I have been much more productive. I am writing about this experience because I want to be an example to everyone who might feel similarly frustrated to find the courage to follow whatever excites you, because this will ultimately reflect in the quality of your work. Having said this I think it is important to understand that these last two years have not been a waste by any means. I needed this time to reflect on my ambitions and the improvements I have seen in my illustration work over the last two years have been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Lucie Walmsley (GMD)
Something I found surprising and kind of funny although I probably shouldn’t is the giggles in the studio when a portfolio gets sent in and we all gather around the Mac screen and mock it… oppps sorry guys. It's an insight to see how the tables change one you are on the inside. God only knows what other studios have giggled about when I’ve sent my portfolio in…
Before starting my internship I was worried that I might be asked to make coffees for people. This couldn’t be further from the truth, the guys have welcomed me into their studio with open arms and I hope I stay connected with Max and Jakob (the founders and creative directors) after my internship. After being here a month and a half I couldn’t be happier, my bosses are two of the funniest people I have ever met and I am ethically and creatively satisfied with the body of clients the studio works for. I’m meeting such an array of creatives, within the studio and out and obviously having a great time on the razz. The studio's clients are mainly cultural organisations such as religious arts festivals, theatres, and activism organisations. This aligns entirely with the type of designer and creative I wish to be – creating design that brings communities and people together. Outside of studio hours I have attended workshops such as actors of urban change and Citymakers which brings together a group of people to make artivism and create design for change. At this workshop there was a series of talks and group work, we then got into groups to create our campaign for change in which the group I was in focused on environmentalism using the term “eco over eco”. The workshop made me very aware of the insecurities I still have around public speaking and communication within a group, I am glad I had the experience because I can now look at working through this in the following 12 months through doing similar events in the future.
My initial plan was to move back to London in Mid December and during my time in Berlin (mid-September to Mid December) to search for an internship in London. My intentions have changed extensively, I realize I no longer have any interest to return to London, there are a few studios I have reached out to and align with (style and with client base) but its an odd few. Berlin is far more playful and experimental in terms of projects and clients and I find I align personally far more to studios in European cities (outside of the UK) from my research and I feel so much healthier mentally and physically in Berlin. Three weeks ago I started to contact studios in Berlin, applying for an internship starting between December and February. Coming to Berlin has made me realize I need to grab this opportunity whilst I can, with Erasmus traveling across Europe is made possible, SO WHY would I go back to London? Making this happen on my own has made me realize the possibilities and see my value and self-worth to go and grab some more opportunities which may be out of my comfort zone.
Most of the tasks I have done at Any Studio have been done autonomously, usually with feedback every couple of days. The project where I have been able to work with most creative freedom has been the ongoing work for The High, a bar in Munich. Producing Instagram content, t-shirt design, and stickers. It's great when one of my co-workers produces a piece and we all gather around to discuss it, I like to hear the different opinions people have on the same thing and discover how subjective design is. I have been taught certain ‘design principles’ by tutors at LCC and its interesting to see how these ‘rules’ are thrown out the window at the Studio. Berlin has been a bit of a challenge for me photographically as photography in clubs is strictly forbidden, ironically most of my photographs in the past have been taken of people in clubs. It’s a challenge that initially dampened my creative spirit but as I’ve spent more time here I’ve thought of different places to use my camera. I also plan on doing a shoot with my friend from Berlin Lin, who’s studying photography in Berlin.
Whilst being at the studio I have been given the opportunity and time to learn after effects whilst on the job. I was given the task to create a 10-second long animation for Jewish Kulturage Days which was shown at Friedrichstraße U Bahn station on 1080x 1920 screens for a week. Initially, I have no experience whatsoever using After Affects, I had used premier once or twice so I was initially really worried. At first I found it a bit embarrassing that I was watching design tutorials at work but after the brief for the illustration was given to me Max told me he was no expert in using After Effects, and that most of the time he just watches tutorials on YouTube to help him do certain things this reassured me. I’m now feeling excited about using these skills in the final year of my degree.
Having the structure of working within the studio over the past month and a half has taught me extensively about the importance of time and place. Whilst at university in my first and second year I would end up in an extremely unhealthy working pattern (unknown to me at the time) where I eat sleep and do work in my bedroom. Coming into the studio for a set amount of hours four days a week has reiterated to me how important it is to have a specific place to do work. I have found this way of work so rewarding for my mentally and practically as I have learned the importance of free time, and having a home and bedroom where I can come back to and relax. I will certainly be stricter with myself when I return to university in terms of doing work outside of my bedroom and being strict with myself to work ours and schedule. After moving to Berlin my mental health has improved dramatically and its extremely refreshing to be out of London and the toxicity of my living and working situation. I have come to realize how unhealthy university structure and culture is and will certainly do my best to create a more stable and constant university life once I return. Which we hopefully allow me to have stable mental health and not allow myself to get worked up over university work.
Still from Animation created for Friedrichstraße U Bahn Station!
I'm only two weeks into my first internship and only 2 months into DPS so far. I’m interning in the in-house design agency for the Ministry of Justice, where they focus on social design. I thought I would feel like a fish out of water interning in a design office full time, i’ve never had any sort of creative work experience so my nerves were absolutely sky high on my first day. I had absolutely no idea what to expect in terms of people, work, and my general role in the company.
A few things that have surprised me about this experience in my first two weeks:
But, i'm not finding it very stimulating.
It has a lot of many pros, and I don’t necessarily dislike the work I’m doing, it’s just that i’ve realised social design isn’t really what I want to do as a career. I absolutely love creating design for change and problem solving, but something about creating data visualisation logos all day just isn’t getting me out of bed in the morning. I ended up at this job because a majority of my portfolio is social design based, so I thought it was well suited to a job like this. I definitely found myself getting upset and self doubting my talents, thinking to myself 'some people are abroad or working at cool branding companies right now and what am I doing?' So what’s surprised me about social design is that, in short, is that I don’t love it.
Another social design company offered me a paid 4 month internship to start in January, but ended up emailing me last week to let me know they were hiring a junior and can’t afford to pay an intern. Surprisingly, even though that meant I had no solid plans for my next internship I have to admit i was kind of relieved. It means all of my 2020 is free for me to hopefully find something I will enjoy and get some different experience to compare, and figure out what I want to do.
I was initially really scared to leave my comfort zone when DPS started, and I said to myself ‘I’m definitely going to look for an easy internship in London’ but i’ve definitely now realised that not everyone gets the opportunity to take a year out of uni, and I want to make the most of it. Instead of looking at job openings for cool companies abroad and thinking ‘I shouldn’t even bother applying because its too far/I wont get the job’ I’m going to take the plunge and just do it.
Its daunting thinking about what i’m going to do for most of 2020, but I’ve got plans to spend as much free time as I can working on my 3D skills and creating some work for my portfolio, and apply for internships in branding/design studios that I admire. My aim is to go back to uni in October feeling more confident as a designer.
WOW BLOG This half of the year has been an introspective theatrical play. I have discovered, rediscovered and I feel new in many ways - new experiences, new opportunities and new aspirations. My take on design in this technologically driven landscape has completely reformed with my introduction to magazine publishing and the technical / communication issues I have experienced as a creative hustler. The riches haven’t come as of yet but good experiences and positive manifestations have outweighed the rags.
Expanding into editorial work as an editorial assistant intern writing and researching at Dazed Magazine, I have gained opportunities working in a more speculative design role than before. Having a breather from commissions and freelance work and taken time to explore myself as an observer / broadcaster off discussions coming from the creative landscapes - has allowed me to reflect hugely on my role as a designer, my portfolio and my plan as I see commissions and news pieces enter the Dazed offices and enter new heights through its influence. Which is nothing short of motivating as I am beginning to truly understand the business.
About to enter the next stage of my placement entering a new team at AnOther Magazine (one of Dazed’s multiple platforms), I can state that my time with Dazed Beauty has been challenging (bleak at times…interning is not glamorous) and most importantly has revealed to me the weight and responsibilities a small team has to take on in order to take the spotlight of Rankin and Jefferson Hack’s publication. All of this has made me woke to what it is I need to do and the attitude I need to refine in order to get into these doors as a paid commission or in years to come evolve into a role as a creative director. And in honest hindsight, it no longer seems as daunting as it did before but a lot of work has still to be done.
While taking on an unpaid role I have also realised the time it is we take for granted. Full time and unpaid I have learned how to delegate my time so squeeze in commissions and balance a part time job. This has made me understand the sacrifices you have to make in these early years of a career and beyond that. At peace with this, I am now entirely committed to keep paving my way, work late hours for little money and do this without forgetting my value when paid opportunities are on the way. This mindset has become somewhat second nature.
Reflecting on this year and the intentions I wish to set for the rest of the year and 2020 - I want to take this energy and use it to focus on expanding my practice into moving image. Having drafted the treatment of my first mood film and reaching out to funding I feel confident in taking my next steps into my next (very ambitious) self initiated venture.
Illustration and Visual Media
The DPS year so far have been a real challenge for me. The first thing that I want to write about is how difficult it is to find a placement. I believe this has to do with many things like me not being prepared to showcase my work or having anxiety issues in general. The thing that I've realised while looking for placements is the demand of graphic designers is the biggest. I don't really know what I am as a creative yet as I still want to try out many techniques and methods of working and the fact that people look for creatives that already know who they are and what they're best at creates a barrier in my head which I know that doesn't make sense, but still limits my capability of even trying. The good thing that I got from all the pressure that I've probably put myself under is that I learned how to present myself better, even if I'm not completely sure of what I'm doing (also a huge thanks to the tutorials, I feel like I was completely lost before).
The beginning sounds horrible, but this has actually pushed me to look into ways of finding creative work that works best for my goals and what I want to achieve. I began looking into people that I can work for. I managed to get a few submissions and this was a big achievement for me who've never did anything outside of the university. I've also got into a few projects that Sarah introduced as and I don't feel as behind as before. I'm surprised of of how capable I'm to adapt and create work that doesn't necessarily match my course. I did things related to spatial design, design activism, printing, using new (for me at least) software and this makes me happy. The design industry is always shifting, improving and expanding and this means that there are space for everybody who are stubborn enough.
I've also learned that I can make a lot of things that I used to dream of happen, I just need to look for it. Since last year I began getting interested in AI and computational art. I even wrote my thesis proposal about generative art, but honestly I didn't have much hope in writing it as I thought this year will change me and I won't get any experience in that field (very negative, I know). Quite the opposite happened as I applied for a workshop with Anna Ridler about GAN held by Creative Computing Institute of UAL. AND I GOT ACCEPTED! This is the most exciting thing that I have time for because I'm doing DPS. Researching AI and GAN in general made me realise how modern and technology driven the industry is and also made me realise what skills I want and need to get to make my ideas come true.
I've always looked at design as a secret element behind everything. The ways that people express themselves keep on surprising me. Design is everywhere and the further humanity goes, the further it merges with our daily life in unexpected ways. Before DPS I had no trust in myself and what I am able to do. I had to push myself quite hard so that I wouldn't fail in general and that I wouldn't fail my own expectations. I'm sure that whatever you do doesn't have to match a certain description and even though there many people who stay in the comfort zone even in the design industry, I think the real joy and excitement comes when you do something that you've never even thought about trying. This just proves that challenges, failures and sometimes dissappointment all lead to a better you.
There are always opportunities to learn, better yourself if you look and try hard enough. Even if you don't think so ( I didn't at least). Here's some stuff that I've been working on
"Something that has surprised you about design".
Although I have collaborated on projects before, I have never worked as intensely alongside someone creatively as I am doing in Los Angeles at The School of Light. When me and Andrew Hall, my cameraless photography teacher, are working together in the darkroom, I often find that a comment he makes about something lingers in my head and develops into an idea or concept suddenly one day when my brain connects it to something else. So for me, the thing that has surprised me about design is how much of an impact collaboration has on your practice. My professional practice is teaching me that some of the best work a creative can produce comes from two or more people bouncing ideas off each other and inspiring one another. In the past, I think that I have not appreciated that as an artist, it can be extremely beneficial to share and discuss my ideas and concepts with other creatives as their knowledge and feedback can develop and enhance them and can lead me to produce more refined work. I have come to realise that I find it difficult to talk about my work with other people and so I have set myself the goal of improving on this during my DPS year. I think that I struggle with this because of the abstract nature of my artwork as when I have shown people my work in the past I have found that the response I often receive is "What is it?" or "It looks like...". But, I have come to realise that this is actually the response that I want from people - I want people to have a reaction to my art, I want them to explore it and question it, and I want them to interpret my artwork in their own way.
In my opinion, the work that I am currently creating on my placement is some of the most professional work that I have produced which I think is down to the fact that I am learning techniques from someone who has over 30 years of photography experience. I also think that the quality of my artwork is better because I am so interested and excited by what I am being taught and what I am making in the darkroom. I am so happy that I am enjoying my professional practice in LA as I worked hard over summer to save up a lot of money for it/to be out here and came a long way from home for this opportunity. The School of Light is unique and what I am doing there is very specific and isn't being taught anywhere else in the world which is why the offer from Hall to do a placement at the school was one that I couldn't refuse.
I think that Los Angeles is quite often at the top of people's list of places they want to visit but for me, it's never been up there. However, now that I am here, I don't want to leave and I am currently searching for a paid internship here that I can do after I have completed my placement at The School of Light or that I can come back and do in 2020.