Recently my life has taken a big turn. Things have changed a lot and in the last few weeks, my path has altered its direction quite rapidly, taking me somewhere I wasn’t expecting to go, at least not yet anyway! Life is like a storybook, with different characters, various plotlines and a wild array of emotions, and as each page turns, the story develops, the characters get stronger and the direction changes. If my life was a storybook, right now I would be heading into a brand new chapter and I can’t wait to turn that page.
As a lettering artist or typographer, the ability to vectorise your work is a great skill to have. Having your typeface or artwork in a vector format makes it cleaner and allows you to scale it infinitely, meaning that you could have it small on the side of a pencil, or huge on the side of a building and the quality will remain the same. Using the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator is a whole new world, but I’ve got a few tips to help make it easier to get started!
“Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.” - Mother Teresa
Being honest can be difficult; what if it’s too much information, or people disagree, or maybe they laugh at my experiences? These fears are rational worries about transparency, but I believe that the rewards by far outweigh the risk.
Semester 1 is just around the corner, and my thoughts have lately been with those who will soon be undertaking their final year of design school as I did in 2016. I know that in the lead up to my last year, I was unsure about what lay ahead, my head full of unanswered questions and my heart full of anxiety. To ease those panicked feelings, I am here with an arsenal of advice for you to turn to when you are looking towards what’s to come.
Relationships can be difficult at the best of times, let alone when you’re dating somebody who is enduring the rollercoaster that is the creative process. Dating a creative person does have it’s challenges, but it can also be an amazing experience. Both me & my partner, Sam, have creative jobs and hobbies, and we have a few insights to share about the whole thing.
A few weeks ago, I uploaded a video all about how to photograph your creative work in the best ways for your portfolio and I thought I would do a little recap here for those who prefer to read or as something for you to be able to refer back to when you get your camera out. So, here are my tips for photographing your design work!
There are so many people, particularly online who seem like they have it all sorted. They know what they’re doing, where they’re headed and how they’re going to get there. Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond happy for those people and proud of them for having a clear sense of direction, but even though I know that most of those people don’t have it together at all despite what their twitter feed suggests, it can sometimes make me feel like I’m doing something wrong because I don’t have it all figured out. I’ve recently been realising that actually, it’s okay to be a bit unsure, and that it is all a part of the creative process.
A good portion of our early life is dedicated to learning. We are taught the basics from the beginning and then gradually learn more complicated and in-depth things as we grow up and gain the ability to comprehend more complex things. Once we reach a certain age, our requirement to continue learning these things is over, and it’s all over to us. Whether we choose to continue on to more schooling or not, our education is never truly over, or at least it shouldn’t be.
When I’m at work and attempting to get focused, the best thing for me is to listen to a podcast. Podcasts are a great way to keep the mind going, help you focus on the task at hand, and learn some things along the way. It’s also great for segmenting your time - I’ll often work for the duration of one episode, and then have a break, and so on. Creative ones are definitely my favourite, and I’ve had a few questions about my recommendations so here are my top 5 (in no particular order)!
One of the most important things you’ll ever create as a designer is your own portfolio. It is the thing that will help to convince clients and/or employers that they should hire you and that’s a lot of responsibility. Your portfolio carries the fate of your career in the palm of it’s hands. If that’s not a lot of pressure then I’m not sure what is. Creating the perfect portfolio with that weight hanging over it has the potential to be a stressful ordeal, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a few things that will help guide you when making those crucial decisions about what to include and how to put it all together.
Sometimes in life, all you need is a little magic, or in some special cases, Big Magic. This week I finished reading the highly recommended book, Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and I have definitely caught the recommendation bug. I can’t stop telling everyone that I know about this masterpiece and how much it will transform their lives. If you’re reading this, then prepare to also catch the bug once you’ve read the book as you won’t be able to stop shouting its praises!
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reevaluate what you’re doing and where you’re heading. Things might not be going as well as hoped, it may not be as enjoyable anymore, or it could be sending you down the wrong path. These things happen, and that’s okay, but it’s never too late for a little course correction to get you going strong again. The way that you respond to the journey will determine your destination. You might even be surprised by how much of a difference a diversion from the road you once knew can make - I know I definitely have been.
While the rest of the world seems to be glad to be well rid of 2016, I personally think that it was a great year. Yes, there may have been bad things going on all around the world, but there were also just as many wonderful things happening too. I read a huge thread on twitter that listed these and while it took me a long time to read, it was well worth it because it helped me to shift into a more positive mindset about the year that was.
As you might already know from my constant talking about it, I finished my degree! After 4 long years filled with learning, long nights, life lessons and lots of tea, I made it. I can’t officially say that I’m a qualified designer yet because we don’t graduate until May next year, but I’m gonna claim it anyway! I’ve had the chance to work on so many different projects over the course of my degree, but I some have definitely been better than others! Some were amazing, some I liked just okay, and some we will never speak of again. Today, I’m going to share 4 of my favourites with you and I hope you enjoy!
As part of my Honours Design Research project this year, I wrote a manifesto. The AMPLIFY manifesto unites its advocates around common values in order to create a community of like-minded creatives. This manifesto is all about feedback and is central to the AMPLIFY community. I really believe in this manifesto outside of just my project and I hope that you enjoy it! It’s still a work in progress, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too, even if you don’t agree at all! Also, If you want to find out any more about my project, you can watch the promo video here! Enjoy!
Every year, the College of Creative Arts at Massey University in Wellington puts on a school-wide exhibition to showcase the work of their incredible Design and Fine Arts students. This exhibition includes work from Visual Communication, Spatial, Industrial, Textiles, and Fashion design, as well as Fine Arts and Photography, across Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Design, Honours and Masters students. Hundreds of students share the work that they have spent the entire year working on and luckily for you, the exhibition is open to the public! Exposure 2016 has been open for a week already, and countless amounts of people have been through to view all of our hard work, but there’s still one week to go! Whether you’ve been already, or are yet to make the trip, I thought I’d share my top 8 picks from the School of Design with you! It might give you some advice on the must-see pieces when you visit, or we can compare and chat about our favourite ones!
I spend a lot of time at uni, so I get quite used to what's around me and how it feels to be in the studio surrounded by other students. I was thinking the other day about how great it is that we have a space to be creative in, and that we have made it our own, in our own strange ways. In less than three months, this space will have transformed into someone else's studio, so I might be getting prematurely nostalgic, and attempting to make the most of it while I have it. I don't know if this studio space is like others, but its ours and I love it. I went in the other day and tried to capture some of the little details that make our space what it is, so that I could share with you what a design school studio is like if you've never been, and also remind myself of all the great things about it!
I just came back from the most incredible weekend up in Auckland at Semi-Permanent and I haven’t even fully processed everything that my brain took in over the last few days but I’m here to share it with you! If you weren’t able to make it to the conference, or maybe you did and just want to see what things stood out to me, here are the four things that impacted me the most!
Throughout the research and development project I’ve been undertaking all year, one of the most repeated phrases I have encountered through interactions with both students and staff, is ‘trust the process.’ One tutor drew me a diagram explaining the creative process through a series of squiggles, doodles and loop-de-loops, explaining that sometimes you’ll move forwards, when at other times you might move backwards or maybe even stay in the same place. For me, the research and development process has been somewhat of a rollercoaster ride, filled with those aforementioned loop-de-loops, plenty of ups and downs, and a fair few moments of freefall.
So in my last favourites post, I was talking to you guys about how I had been finding it difficult to find new things that I really loved and wanted to share with you, so I’m going to try something new and slightly different. Hear me out, and go with me here - I know that change can be difficult, but we can get through it! So from here, I’m going to try structure these posts into categories, and each month I’ll share my favourite thing from each category with you! I’m including some things that aren’t necessarily directly design or art related, but you might enjoy alongside your creative adventures! Let’s give it a go!