Monday, 21 September 2009

Year three

Going back after summer is always a daunting time and i know this year there is going to be even more pressure as it is my final year. Alongside university briefs i will need to create my own website, contact people in the industry that i would like to produce work for or with, produce an interview ready portfolio and carry on with my personal work. I think at some point, personal work and uni work will merge into one and make things easier, but for now they are separate things that need to be addressed in different ways. Over this summer i have contacted a few designers in relation to my work, my dissertation and just purely for chats. I think this will need to be an ongoing thing throughout my final year, so i can build up some contacts and relationships with potential employers and maybe even future clients! I will also need to find some more work experience through university holidays, before i finish my final year, to help me decide the direction i want to go in design. On another note, I don't want all my hard work over summer on my personal mrYen blog (promoting my shop, getting work created for it and building up followers and contacts) to be wasted so i will try and keep it going alongside university blogs/briefs/deadlines.

Also as i stated in my first post for this summer blog i will answer the following questions:

Work Placement/Professional Research
* What activities have i undertaken over summer that have broadened my understanding of the design industry?
I have had a two week work placement with the Leeds Guide magazine and have produced Layouts, adverts, ideas for re-branding the Student Guide and been interviewed by the magazine. I have also created a programme for Opera in the Park for Leeds City Council, from start to finish that went to print and was sold at the event.

* What have i learnt from these and how will they inform my design practice?
I have learnt a great deal about inDesign, communicating with clients, working to tight deadlines and working within strict parameters for designing layouts and adverts for clients. All this experience will really help my personal design practice in the future as i now know where my strengths and abilities are and how to use these to my advantage. I can also now use a limited amount of content with restrictions and still create something creative.

* How have i evidenced this?
I have created a box set of booklets. Three booklets that house all my work created for the Leeds Guide (cover designs, layouts and illustrator experiments) a personal booklet that includes all my doodles, sketches an illustrations from summer 09 and a booklet which i created that is an A-Z of illustrated Birds. I have also received my free copy of the Opera in the Park brochure and will soon be getting my free copy of this years Student Guide.

Dissertation/Theoretical Research
*Summarise the progress i have made on my dissertation in relation to primary and secondary research.(visits, interviews etc)
My dissertation topic in "What is the Value of Handmade Publications" and I have read the six books that i planned to read over summer and taken appropriate notes, gathered quotes and sentences for citations, I have emailed interviews to people who create zines and are well known in the zine culture (Craig Atkinson and Alex Wrekk) and have started to look for zine events and handmade book fairs within my time frame of my dissertation.

* How this has influenced decisions that effect my studio practice.
My dissertation topic and research has influenced my studio practice as i have created my own small publications that show my progression over summer and my interests that have developed over summer too. This has affected my thoughts about what i want to focus on next year and why. Also my work experience has changed my mind about working for a magazine creating layouts. This is something i no longer aim for as a career and have veered more towards illustration and typography with handmade publications being the end product.

Design Practice/Independent Research
* What do i want to be?
I would like to be an illustrator who creates imagery using paper cut art work and hand drawn typography, while still having a background in graphic design.

* Who do i want to work with/for?
I would love to work with other paper cut artists, professional illustrators and some serious graphic design companies. I would also really like to get some work experience with an illustrator and see how they react to a brief, their methods, their organisation and their processes.

* What kind of work do i want to produce?
I would like to produce editorial illustrations, illustrations for posters, my own handmade books, my own promotional items, custom hand made paper cut art works and small publications/zines.

* What kind of audiences/contexts or areas do i want to aim my work towards/engage with?
I would like to aim my work towards a commercial audience, to gain commissions for books, magazines, newspapers, posters, promotional work and any that really focuses on open and free illustration.

*Identify and discuss how i have maintained my design practice using visual/type journals, live briefs and independent practical research (such as sketchbooks)
I have maintained my design practice by creating illustrations, paper cut designs, booklets, blogs, an online shop, having my work on international websites front pages, a presentation and constant evaluation. I think this constant stream of work has kept me up to speed with designing to deadlines and with specific ideas in mind (such as the A-Z of Illustrated birds) I think the mixture of personal development, opening an online shop and creating work for a university type brief has kept me interested in design, wanting to develop my skills further and has also really helped when contacting designers/illustrators. Also having my work on front pages of websites and regularly updating a blog has been a great way to show my work to designers, the design and blogging community and potential clients/customers.

A Professional Skills Plan
* Evaluate current skills (periodically over summer)
Done. I filled out a skills questionnaire at the start of summer and just at the end of my summer too, comparing where my choices and decisions about my practice are.

* A 10 minute presentation (powerpoint/pdf)
Done. I created a pdf presentation in InDesign, that includes all my summer work, work experience work and dissertation research.

* A completed skills profile from before summer (which you can find here and after summer, which you can find here)

* Blog entries that document my progress over summer (which you can find on this blog)

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