Welcome to my blog.
When I set up my website, I thought about creating a blog but decided that no one would want to read my rambling about shiny, colourful things. But then I was advised that all the cool kids are doing it, and I'm cool, so bandwagon > me.
I've decided to write about reflection - get all mindful and grateful on you.
The last few weeks at Shillington were probably the most creatively challenging weeks that I've experienced in my life, and at the time, I was so clueless (and scared) as to the end game. After all, I had quit my job 5 months prior on a whim to finally change my career and life direction. It takes a few weeks (and one interview later) to realise how much you really are capable of, how clever you really are, and how you've discovered your own style (and yourself in the process).
I am a perfectionist by nature, and with that comes a lot of self doubt and a lot of second guessing myself. Regardless of my never-ending love for Design and my ability to actually visualise, create, "design", I experienced this uncomfortableness throughout the course, constantly worried about whether I was achieving anything or going out of my comfort zone.. or when I was attempting to (begrudgingly) go out of my comfort zone, if I was I even doing it right. Was I even doing myself proud? Is the work I'm producing even a product of myself?
The thing with Design is that it is completely subjective. One man's Futura could be another man's Papyrus. There's nothing wrong with Papyrus. It's all in the eye of the beholder. And I just had to open my mind and vibe to everything. Having studied (and dropped out of) Fashion Design, my mind was only set on the aesthetics. I love aesthetics, but don't we all? I love minimalism, simplicity and a blank slate. All I could see were these aesthetics, so when I started the course, experimentation and the willingness to do something that didn't look like fashion branding felt unnatural. I needed to be pushed. I needed to, as they say in Design, "think outside the box". I needed to find meaning and purpose, in many different ways.
It is only now looking at the finished product in comparison to what I started with, I know how I have totally done the whole cocoon > butterfly thing. I know, cliche. What I was already drawn to in Design (i.e. brights, shapes, playfulness) but originally felt like it was not my natural calling, became "my thing". Completely organically. And I was genuinely stunned when my classmates would comment and say "That is SO YOU" when I really never felt it was to start. It was such a defining/eye opening/pleased as punch moment.
I think everything started coming together for me when Paul Garbett from Garbett Design came in to share some advice. I was already a hardcore fan of the studio, but one piece of advice that really stuck with me is "Fill Your Well" - essentially, we already have a well within us full of inspiration and ideas and we constantly dip into this well to solve our design problems. For this reason, we must keep refilling the well otherwise we will bleed the well dry. Dry well = creative block, burnout, blah concepts etc. Cue lightbulb moment (an obvious one, I know) - I need to fill the well with not only things that looked pretty and aligned with my aesthetic, I had to fill it with as much as I could outside that space - artistically, culturally etc. and since that point, my whole design process evolved and I've opened up to so much more than fashion labels. This was the extra push I needed, alongside my teachers also pushing me to challenge myself and my thought process and concepts. Like magic, it all made sense.
Anyways, to wrap up the waffle, I am pretty chuffed with everything that I've learnt and experienced and created. I wake up, pretty excited to start the day doing what I love. A feeling I have not felt in a long time. And yes, there's cats at my office.
If you are looking for a fresh and fun approach to graphic design - get in touch. Would love to work together on creating something that knocks your socks off.
Next time on the blog - One of my favourite studios that I discovered via lucky dip.