Monthly Archives: May 2010

Interior Designer? I wish!

To be honest, I haven’t been doing anything design related for portfolio or otherwise (I did doodle a penguin/puffin-type bird out of geometric shapes in my notebook yesterday during class, but that hardly counts). I realized that during my one week off between classes that I was spending all of my time on the computer with the Adobe Creative suite open, instead of “enjoying free time”. Part of my problem, I’m starting to think, is that I love design so much that it’s hard for me to define when I’m trying to make something ‘for work’ instead of ‘for fun’. Doesn’t really matter all too much since I’ve been relatively busy with classes instead – ‘ordinary’ classes, which is a little surreal sometimes. Out of the four classes I’m taking – two are easy and two are hard. Two I just show up for and sit there, and two require daily homework/practice/review/etc.

It is insane to think that we are done with one week of school, so that there are only 10 left. Oh my!

Back to designer-y things: I feel almost obsessed at times to come up with ‘the perfect’ things – the perfect grouping of colors, the perfect grouping of graphic elements (stripes, antlers, etc.), the PERFECT symbol to ‘represent me’. It’s been so stressed to be cohesive across all elements and to ‘brand oneself’ that I always feel like I am striving for the perfect visual representation of myself. But what if someone hates green? And stripes? AND antlers? Ah. Design life is so hard! I go back and forth between trying to find neutral things that everyone could potentially like and also ‘things that express myself well’. It is difficult to try and be cutesy and professional and edgy and all-around appealing. Plus I could never be ‘traditional’! Pfft! (sligh sarcasm there, y’all)

Finally, getting to the subject matter of the title of this post – I have been tirelessly trying to decorate/clean/organize the house! I feel so sad that it’s still in the crazy state that it is. The real reason for my frustration is the large amount of items from Ikea that are all approximately the same height, color, and fake birch veneer – making everything sort of bland. I wish that I had more carefully selected ‘exotic’ or ‘eclectic’ pieces. And I am trying to decorate without having to buy anything – at all (although I really do need curtains in some places).
I just don’t have any money in my monthly budget (to pay for haircuts or guinea pig food) to try to buy extra things for the house. I also can’t/don’t want to work right now when I really need to/want to spend all my time focusing on school.

Back to School

Started back to another semester of classes at Tech today! Woo! 14 hours over the summer is going to be an interesting experience to say the least. I have to get used to the schedule and stuff, but I don’t really have any time since we’re already getting into everything – especially lab on Wednesday already!

Anyway, I’m sure I’ve said it like 304 times already but – I want to use my free time this summer to continue design work and possibly *gasp* have fun via painting and photography or whatever. I just struggle with inspiration – the start to a project. The initial spark, the problem to solve. I’ll spend hours thinking of things I could be doing instead of having something to do. So, before I lose my motivation, I’m going to try and play around with ink, paint, and other art materials and work on the Converse stuff a little bit…

Sorry this was quick and disjointed, I’m just afraid to lose momentum!

The “Professional” Struggle

For me, the most daunting part of making a portfolio is the fine line between representing yourself as a designer – your personal aesthetic, the fonts you like, the things you think are totally awesome (giraffes, coffee, the color green) vs. what is “acceptable” and “professional” and generally appealing to other people. When I try to make a portoflio, presentation, collection or whatever of work – I get really overwhelming and usually give up because I force myself down some road of “they’ll love this ______ font! and it’ all black and white!” and whatever it is that I’m working on isn’t “me” so I lose interest and can’t do it well because I don’t know what I’m doing! Like, oh hey, I found this cool thing this person did and it looks like this and the font they have is really great, so I’m going to try and incorporate it….but the grid system doesn’t match the things I’m working with and I’ve somehow forgotten that almost all of my designs are photographed horizontally, and what have you.

I’ve tossed around the idea of a pop up book several times, but let’s be honest, I can’t walk into an office and show someone a pop up book and read it to them. It isn’t story time, and I want whatever job I’m applying for. And why can’t I just figure this out?! I mean! I was the IDSA president! I did 23504235092-5 portfolio workshops! But I’m not, or I refuse not to be, an average, run-of the-mill designer with a crappy 11×17 layout and what have you. I refuse. Not because I think I’m better than that, but because I want to push myself beyond that to really think about things. At the first portfolio workshop thing, I invited the instructor from my typography module and she said that I would do something beyond the traditional business card and it shocked me — like, what, really? Me? I’ve impressed you so much in the 4, 2.5 hour sessions from that one month of teaching me something that you know, you know that I would have to do something different? It’s a curse and a gift, because after hearing that I HAVE to make something different because this woman I barely know thinks that that’s who I am because what if she’s right and knows me better than I do because I am overly critical and she’s just a super dooper great judge of character?

So if my business card is meant to be so different, so beyond a “business card” (perhaps the anti-business card, a sticker, and iron-on patch, who KNOWS! I AM SO INVENTIVE!) my portfolio also has to be. Has to be.

And welcome to my dilemma of having to do something that I care about, that is true to me, but also get a job and appeal to anyone and everyone I ever show it to. Because that’s how I am.

Blogging for Money

As I wander through Dezeen (one of my more favorite ‘design blogs’, because they cover what seems to be a broader range of things, and mostly items that have actually been put into production vs. ridiculous, bad photoshopped “concepts” featured on some other blogs), I am reminded that I would probably love a desk job with a cubicle if and only if the general workplace is really cool and I can spend all my time looking up and writing about cool things on the internet.

I could totally be a product blogger because I have lots of ideas and I like to talk and write and stuff.
Except for now, when I sound very much like a vapid girl. Totally.
But really.
I could.

Portfolio Shmortfolio

Making a portfolio is one of the biggest challenges that I have, plus it is one of the most important things for a designer – i.e. the only way to get a job. I’ve been trying to ‘enjoy’ this week of by working on designy stuff on my computer, but so far, I am mainly stressed out a lot. A lot.

I still want to create and print a book instead of a traditional binder + plastic sleeves portfolio on a website like blurb or something, because I like the idea of that so much more. After writing up a quick list of projects I would want to include, I am surprised and almost shocked to know that a majority of the things that I’d like to include are mainly graphic, interface, website-ish design! It’s making me re-evaluate my strengths and weaknesses and what I’d like to further improve on. On a side note, I feel like a majority of the projects we’re assigned at school are ‘traditional industrial design’ and serve as very important and good exercises, but not great projects…like cups, plates, and saucers. Oh well!

After some extra thought, I realize that I’d like to compile a book of work for this ‘chapter’ in my life – a wonderful, hardcover coffee-table book of everything I’ve done so far just for myself to have because wouldn’t that be lovely?

Ah, well, I am tired and need to go get my hair cut soon – so that’s all of my jumbled thinking for now.

Hey! May!

This month I’ll be working on finishing two projects – VIM bikebag website and all the things that go with that, and re-doing the Converse promotional products and posters. I’ve been working on both of these projects lately – and especially this past week – for my independent study (did a lot, but still have a lot to do for my own standards, ya know how it is). So cool! I guess for now I’m going to try splitting my month in two, and focus on one project at a time. This shall be my trial run to see if splitting each month into two two-week sessions is better than sharing projects the whole month! I’m excited to finish up the ‘website’ I started for the VIM brand since I still have the DIY bag section to finish out -> this is all finishing/re-working/whatever the ‘Give Me 3’ bag that I worked on with Chris and Allison for the final project of fall semester of junior year. I’ll try to share tidbits of the project as I go along!

brand website for imaginary company of bike-bags = VIM

Another Season

I’m finished with another semester of school, with a week of free time before I return to summer school. Although this sounds horrible, I am actually insanely excited. I’m (sort of) on the homestretch to graduation (soonish)! I just looked up the commencement schedule for December and I’ll be graduating around December 18th which is close to my birthday – a lovely present to have while I’m still 21 and still during the school year of 2010 (so it SEEMS like I’m still a 2010 graduate)!
Now that I won’t be having a scheduled studio class, I have time to work on projects to prepare for graduation and a job search.

Right now, as I sit on the couch in the comfort of my home, I feel thrilled and excited and optimistic about my future – even though I have absolutely no idea what might be happening. When I say “I have absolutely no idea what might be happening” I mean that I don’t know where I will get a job at yet, or where I will move to, or any of those details. But I am quite excited about the idea of all of the options and freedom and all of those things that will open up in a few short months (some days short of eight, I counted).

I’m also pleasantly surprised with all the things that I’ve accomplished withs studio so far. You see, I won’t be taking anymore studio classes at Tech because I’ve completed the eight required studio classes (and doubt they’d let me sit in on any others) – but looking back, I can tell that I have learned a lot and improved. I think that as a designer, you’re taught to be really critical, and to always assume that whatever you do could be much better. It’s hard for me to feel really good about the things that I’ve done (made, designed, created, crafted, what-have-you) because of two reasons – 1. if you fall too much in love with the idea that you have, you can’t see that there’s more you need to do or think about or that ‘blah-blah-blah’ detail isn’t 100% right and 2. you have to be humble about your designs because they might not appeal to everyone and everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I believe that you need to be ready for people to be …not to pleased with your shtuff.

Anyhoo, I’m just feeling pretty good because I’ve managed to make a really long list of all the projects from every year and another list of things I want to work on – so I’ll be doing two projects every month for 7ish months, then re-assemble my portfolio for the end of December and then get a job! Woop!

Excited to get going on things again, and keep a record of everything. I found that theses blogs are incredibly helpful. David’s idea so long ago was really wonderful, and I’m glad to keep up with it. It’s nice to go back through old blog posts and remember what I was thinking in the middle of projects – especially when I need to re-work something or have forgotten what it was that I meant to do with some specific detail that doesn’t make sense now. I’ll also be updating my portfolio website over the summer, although I’ll have to think more carefully about what it is that I want to put on the internet in case people think I’m amazing and steal everything…haha

That’s all for now! Just wanted to share my excitement and plans!

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