Monday, 21 September 2009

Skill Evaluation

I did this at the start of summer and before work experience and since then i feel i have learnt so much that i am doing this again as my views/skills and focus has changed since then. So here is my current Skill Profile...

I think my focus as a designer is still on materials and technique with a heavy obsession for paper cutting for illustration purposes and handmade publications. I prefer design for print in general and definitely prefer it over digital design as i like to have a hands on approach to designing, to get a feel for the materials. I will and can use a mac but i don't really have any interest in designing things like websites or animations. I see computers as a way to produce something with a specific end product in mind and not a tool to produce everything. I feel that I am reasonably good at researching and writing things for critical studies, blogs and when i have to analyse briefs and annotating design sheets but lack the confidence and skills when it comes to verbal communication, such as presentations. I would like to further develop my typography and layout skills and my work experience placement at the Leeds Guide definitely helped me to focus on these areas of weakness for me. I feel as though i have really improved on these and have a greater understanding of how basic typography and layout works which will help me in my personal design process. I have also realised that magazine layout design is not something i am actually interested in pursuing a career in anymore. I feel as though there is not enough creative freedom. I understand that this is prevalent in many other jobs too but if i am at the point of choosing a career path then i would rather focus on something i find fully creative, even the monotonous parts! I also think i now have something more 'real world' to put into my portfolio and the experience of working on a magazine, to their deadlines is also great work experience. I would like to play around more with illustrative type and illustration in general too, while trying to incorporate my style and techniques i find interesting (such as paper cutting) into my future work. I feel i need to improve on my drawn illustrations too as i have always put off drawing. This is something i feel i have focused on over summer too as i have created an illustrated alphabet of birds, a small zine of doodles and experimented with different materials and techniques. I feel the practice in Indesign and illustrator i have had over summer has greatly improved my understanding of both and have figured out and been taught new things i didn't know before. I feel i have also developed my skills when contacting designers/illustrators and people who's work i admire and have been doing so over summer. Some people i have contacted to ask their opinion on my work and for information for my dissertation include Michael Nobbs (illustrator), Heather Moore (aka Skinny laMinx - illustrator and paper cut artist) Craig Atkinson (zine creator and distributor of Cafe Royal) and Alex Wrekk (zine creator and Author of "Stolen Sharpie Revolution") I have had positive responses and some have even promoted my work on their twitter accounts!

All in all i have had a productive summer, learnt so much, changed my opinion on my career and gained clarity and focus for my third and final year at university.

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