Chasing Inspiration!

So the semester break is coming to an end and tomorrow I head back to university for my last semester as a design student. Throughout the break, I unfortunately haven’t really had the motivation or inspiration to be as creative as I would’ve liked - I mostly used the time to work and watch a whole lot of Gilmore Girls. However, with uni returning this week, I need to get inspired and come up with the best ideas I’ve ever had to ensure that I go out with a bang! If you, like me, need a bit of help in the inspiration department, here are some tips and tricks I’ll be using to get those creative juices flowing again!

Kickstarting Semester 2!

So, only one week left until we head back to uni! It always amazes me how quickly the semester breaks just fly past without me even realising, and before I know it, I’m sorting out timetables and getting my things together to head back to classes. Sometimes it can be difficult to transition from holiday mode to university mode, but there are a few small things that can help you get things going again!

My Design Bookshelf

I have always been a book-lover ever since I was a small child and I almost always had a book in my hand; however, as I got older, I gradually got busier and busier and the time for reading seemed to slip away. I miss reading novels and taking a break from my life by transporting myself into someone else’s through the stories and tales in books, and I love learning new things through reading too. In the past few years, I have been attempting to rekindle my book-reading days by reading books about design, so that I can justify the time spent reading because it’s informative, inspiring and encouraging as well as being related to my university work or side projects. I’m chronic for daydreaming about books and often buying more when I haven’t finished the ones I already have (oops), so I’ve made myself stop buying more until I’ve finished all the ones I’ve yet to make it through, although this is proving very difficult! I thought that today I would share the books I have bought and enjoyed so far so that you can enjoy them too! 

22 Life Lessons from 22 Years of Life!

Yesterday I turned the ripe old age of 22 and I’m feeling like a real life adult now that I’ve passed the major milestone ages of 18 and 21. To mark the big day, I thought I’d share with you something that I’ve learnt for each year of my existence! I may only be a small portion of the way through life but I might have a few gems to share so in no particular order, here we go!

AdviceHollie Arnett
1 Semester Down, 1 To Go!

We made it! Semester 1 is over already and it’s been quite the rollercoaster! Full of ups and downs, loop-de-loops and some nail-biting moments, it has definitely not been boring! Three papers and 5 assignments later, we’re one step closer to our degree! With only 12 weeks of the year left to go, I wanted to reflect on the first 12 to give you an update on it all and also for me to look back on at the end of the year and see how things have changed! 

May Favourites

I’m not going to lie to you, I find these favourites posts really difficult and I think it gets harder each month! I don’t really buy many new things, and when I do it’s usually practical things like food,  paper to print my uni projects on, or replacing things that have broken, stuff like that. I do, however get to try new creative practices and different ways of working, so I’m going to share some of those with you today, as well as one or two new items! Enjoy!

4 Secrets to Overcoming Stress

I don’t want to be the one to remind you, but we’re getting pretty close to the end of semester now where things are almost due to be handed in. For me, I have just over a week until my first assignment is due in and things are getting busy! There’s a lot of things still to do and sometimes keeping on top of things and continuing to work can be exhausting, especially if you’re working and have other commitments too. I can totally relate to this, and last week was both mentally and physically exhausting for me, so I know what it’s like. Sometimes things just get too much and all you want to do is curl up in a ball and escape all responsibility, and that’s fine, but there are other times when you just need to pull it together and get it done. No matter what the situation is, I hope that these tips will help you through the sleepless nights and stressful days and onwards to success!

Hollie & Friends: Part 1

Throughout life you meet so many people and gather friends along the way. I have been lucky enough to surround myself with some of the most talented and incredible people ever, and somehow tend to draw creative people into my life. I think that these people are amazing, they inspire me every day and I’m not afraid to brag about them because I think you should get to enjoy their wonderfulness with me! I’m not at all trying to say that I’m awesome because I know these people, I just want to give them some well-deserved praise and share their amazing work with you! I also don't want to put these people in a box, because many of them are amazing at more than one thing, but I've tried to share what they're most known for or what I enjoy the most about their work, so enjoy! I’m thinking about doing several of these posts, but for now, here’s the first five people that I want to introduce you to!

My Top Secret List of Design Resources

Okay, I might have fooled you a little with the title, it's not that top secret! There is so much out there in the world wide web these days that sometimes it can be hard to know where to start and when you do, it’s difficult to know what is actually worth your time. Here are a few of my favourite tried and tested resources to help with all of your design tasks! 

How to Balance Your Obligations by Learning to Say No

Not to scare you, but we’ve passed halfway through the semester which means that assignments will be due before we know it and things are potentially about to get crazy. As someone with a lot of commitments, I can tell you that when things at uni start getting busy, it definitely gets harder to juggle all of the other things in life. How can you balance everything all at once? How do you prioritise some things over others? These are the big questions that will come up when you start feeling like you have too much on your plate, so I’m here to try and help you answer them!

April Favourites

It’s that time again where I share my favourite things of the month with you in the hopes that maybe you will give them a go to and it will improve your creative life or the way you do things even just a little, or that it’ll just bring you a little bit of joy and fun! This month I bought a few new books and took on a new lettering challenge so prepare for some reading and lettering favourites and enjoy!

My Creative Career (So Far)

We all have dreams and goals in life, often related to our careers, and most of the time, it isn’t a straightforward or instant process to get to that point, but rather there are several steps along the way that guide you towards your goal and hopefully eventually get you there. Chances are that most of us have worked several jobs, maybe not in our chosen industry, and are working our way towards the dream job in the process. I have worked in multiple jobs since I was about 13 and while they haven’t all been the most glamorous, they have all taught me different things and made me the person who I am today.

Taking On the Creative Rollercoster One Day at a Time

Hey guys! Just a quick one from me this week because I’m currently at home in Christchurch for a friend’s wedding and spending some time with my family so time has been pretty scarce! I’m just ducking away to write this so that you can have a little bit of something this week to keep things trucking along; don’t worry, I couldn’t leave you hanging with nothing to read! I really wanted to have something prepared and ready before this but alas, life got in the way as it does, and things have been pretty hectic to say the least, so my plans didn’t go as planned, but I’m here now! 

7 Tips to Help You Easily Ace Your Group Projects

When I mention group projects, I can already hear the sighs and panicked thoughts coming from wherever you are, and that’s fine, I expect that. Group projects often come with bad connotations because everybody always shares the horror stories. Rarely do you hear the great things about being in a group and working alongside other people, but I’m here to change your mind and hopefully get you excited for that upcoming assignment. At design school you’re more than likely to have at least one group project throughout your years, so it’s important to approach it with a good attitude and some hope for the awesome things you could create together!

5 Valuable Ways to Easily Balance Study & Relationships

It can be pretty difficult to get work done sometimes, and it’s even harder when there are other people around. Trying to stay focused, meet deadlines and work hard can be a challenge in itself, so whether you live with your friends, family, flatmates or partner, it’s important to work out how to get these things done while the people around you are also vying for your attention. I’ve lived with my family, flatmates and my partner throughout my studies and career so far, and while I’m not saying that I’ve got it all completely figured out, there are some things that I’ve noticed along the way that can help make things easier.

March Favourites

Another month gone means another month of favourites! I find these quite difficult to do because I don’t really buy new things often, and I rarely come across something that I love enough to share with you, but I’ve managed to think of some things that have brought me joy, ease and smiles throughout the month of March so I hope that you enjoy!

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: My Fourth Year So Far

The first part of Semester 1 is already over and I can’t believe it’s gone so fast. In just four weeks I’ve made a start on what will be the most important and probably most stressful projects in my university career, and in just 8 more weeks, I’ll be halfway through the year! It must be true when they say that ‘time flies when you’re having fun’, because, while it has definitely not been easy, I have been thoroughly enjoying the process that I’ve been through in these first four weeks to get me to where I am now. To give you a better idea of what I’m up to and keep you up to date with life as a fourth year design student, I thought I’d briefly outline what papers I’m taking, what’s required for them, and how it’s going for me so far!

How to give and receive constructive criticism

It’s hard to believe but we’ve been back at university for two weeks now, and by this point there’s already been a few shared moments of critique between both classmates and tutors. Critique happens all the way through the creative process and it’s not only important but also really helpful. It can sometimes be difficult to confidently move forward with your ideas without any feedback or direction from your peers or tutors, which is why it’s important to know not only how to receive critique from others, but also how to provide constructive feedback for your fellow students.