A year on from university

Well, not quite a year from graduating but a year from our final submission and degree show, which I can’t get my head around.

Following uni my only real aspirations where to stay in Cardiff and not go back to my small town in S-W Wales to live at home, which I’ve done, although I do miss my dogs and being able to play golf weekends. On a plus note to staying in this amazing city I got a job relevant to my degree, unfortunately as I started a week after graduating I lost my summer, the first summer since starting uni 4 years ago where I could of just had a few months out to relax….but there you go, life does wait around.

11 month in a professional environment has been…tough, tiring and unrewarding…maybe I’m being a little pessimistic here, I have worked on some interesting projects, learn’t loads and meet interesting and lovely people. Things didn’t start off great, I found adjusting to the long week hours, especially in winter when the days where short, the pace of the commercial environment, not to mention at the time managing a long distance relationship, all very difficult. Unfortunately 3 months had pasted and the long distance relationship ended, like most do, and to top things off getting an informal disciplinary, at this point thought’s of quitting where creeping in and becoming a certainty, but  I stepped up a gear and reached my 6 month probation in good spirit, receive good feedback and being offered a permanent position.

Almost one year on and I haven’t really thought about what is next. I am worried that not having any aspirations has starting making life seem rather stale and repetitive, so it’s got me thinking…….where do I want to be next year?

Aside from a couple of tutorial in uni and in my spare time I didn’t really know my way around Indesign before getting this job…a job in creating publications, but after hearing the term “Fake it, until you make become it” I blagged the job and now I’m great on Indesign and QUARK EXPRESS(awful indesign alternative). I’ve learn’t loads of other stuff too, Being a print company I now understand a great deal about print, dealing with customers both pleasant and difficult, handling high passed work, etc…

However, I have no intention of staying at this job much longer after I get the year experience. The pay isn’t great, a job in Cardiff would be more convenient and it’s just too much on commercial side of things, I need something more creative that isn’t driven by profit, screw the man!

I need a plan, I need something to work towards.

Ideas:

Sort out my portfolio

Consider Travelling? Still so much of the world I need to see, while I still can.

Be productive, Work on my design skills, watch tutorials, find interesting Ted Talks, be creative.

 

One year on and still smiling, Drew > Life

✌️


Routine

I worked out that some of the reason I’ve been unhappy of recent was because I had become stuck in a routine.

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I would wake up, go to work, get home, eat, watch tv and then go to sleep. It’s funny that I fell into that trap because I do, given the opportunity, try anything and feel that I am a spontaneous individual, unfortunately working in a corporate company doing 40 hours a week has taken it’s toll on me.

This week has been different, I have LIVED outside this soul destroying job and I feel better for it. Not only do I have a better mindset but creativity speaking I’ve been far more productive and it feels good!

One of the things I changed about this week was I arrange to meet up with a fellow creative and friend to do design stuff and if all goes to plan we’ll do this one evening every week! One idea we had was that we would meet at a different place every week, again, based on my own personal interest in the powers of Serendipity and how it encourages creativity.

FUCK ROUTINE, BE HAPPY!

 


Donald who?

Wednesday is my least favourite day of the week but todays outcome is only a 1 reason why, but we wont go there, not today at least.

I could easily be distract like a large percentage of the population and have a little rant about Donald Trump, sorry, President Donald Trump, but I’m not, I’m going to focus on my own problems.

This post is dedicated to my first professional job since graduating in July. I work at a corporate print factory in Pontyclyn, which is on the outskirt of Cardiff, as a graphic design in-house. Thats doesn’t sound too bad right….false, the company I work for has a contract with Just Eat and produces the menu’s for all the takeaway restaurants in the UK that uses Just Eat. Despite this the job has it’s pros, I’m just not sure they outweigh the cons.

Pros

  • I’m a graphic designer, of sorts 😂
  • I’ve gone straight from university into a job 💪
  • It’s not only a graphic design job but being in a print factory I’m learning a lot about that too.
  • I’m on 40hw and my probation period ends in two months so more £££.
  • I use Adobe photoshops/indesign/illustrator every day.
  • The experience looks good on my CV.

Cons

  • I design take away menu’s…enough said?
  • 90% of the time I’m not designing menus but amending old one, so changing items, prices, pictures…so not very creative.
  • Some of the time I have to use this program called Quark 😡  which is an alternative to Indesign, a shit alternative.
  • I work for a corporate company and I don’t particularly like what they do.
  • I get paid my cheque…..yes it matters
  • I don’t feel as creative or confident as I did when I left uni
  • I’m unhappy and comfortable

It’s fair to say I’m in a pickle! I want to quit because I am unhappy but I feel like I need to grind it out at least until my probation period. I think if I do see it out for a few more month I should get the most out of it, learn everything I can and more, but I feel motivated in any way.

The question is…what would I alternatively do? go back to working in Tesco? as if 8 years wasn’t enough! Go home and move back in with my parents? Would that be giving up? I guess that is what I’m trying to work out!

 


Life > me

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Whether or not this is the case, I feel as if life has got one over already since graduating in July. Yes I’m living in Cardiff as intend instead of going back home, and yes I’ve secured a 40 hours a week job that is sort of relevant to my degree working at a corporate print company as a graphic design, but I’m currently in a state of panic and feel lost because I don’t know where I’m going in life. Part of me is saying “you’re fine, you’re living in the capital city, you have a job and your friends all live around Cardiff” but the other voice in my head is saying “I’m doing a job I don’t enjoy, a job I’m frankly not very good at because of my learning disability, where I spend 40hrs a week sat at a computer and worst of all the work I’m producing is against everything I believe in!” so what do I do?

I used this blog a hell of a lot in uni to reflect on projects because my head was always so busy with thought, so I think writing this post to reflect on my current position in life will help, because in my head I am panicking a little a little

Starting from now, yes right now, I’m going to work out what the hell I’m going to do with my life!

Peace out ✌️


Viva voce

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1:How did the choices of projects you made, help you plan for the future?

I think I picked projects I wouldn’t typically of chosen to do. Going this university in the second year, I felt like I last year was my first and this my second, so I wanted to experiment and take on projects, maybe I shouldn’t of, to see what I’d prefer. Overall this final year I’ve tried:

Real world: product design(wood lazer cut) and sustainable design

Penguin: book-cover design and illustration

Competition Fever-Tree: illustration and product packaging

The Big Idea: Publication and print

SSP – Fortune Favours The Brave: branding, publication, video and comic

Then I came to the conclusion that despite trying all of this, that I wasn’t interested in any specific one, but rather all of them. When I spoke to Neil a while ago I used the term graphic designer to describe what we do, when he replied that where creatives rather than graphic designers. That got me thinking, I don’t want to limit myself to graphic design, despite being a broad field, I think what I’ve learn’t from all the projects is this. So for the future, I would think about being a flextible designer, which might involve learning more skills, but that might be something I work on over summer.

2:Which piece of work or project best represents your ambition? Why?

I guess the first questions answers this question, although, Real World in particular change the way I thought about design. It was the structor of the project, working to deadlines, managing a team, working for, well rather with a client, and producing a fitting design solution. That made it real and well relevant to how I’d see myself working in a creative group towards flexible

3:Which is the most memorable, interesting idea in your work?

I’d have to say the publication ‘Serendipity: A Designers Guide’ I produced for The Big Idea. Why?  Well to start with I chose the word serendipity because I had never heard of before, and didn’t want to do it on a word I had pre-conception on, also thought it may be interesting. From not know about this word, and the research I did, I was able to tie it to design. With the purpose of my outcome to influence other creative like myself, I think that why I would call this my most interesting idea.

4:Which is your most appropriate solution to a communication problem?

That difficult because every project had different levels of creative solutions, for example the YCN: Fever-Tree brief’s proposed was to create a bottle wrap where “The designs must be beautiful and sophisticated in style (not childish in any way) to achieve stand out and to connect with our premium target audience“, while the penguin brief was to design a contemporary and original book cover. The D&AD brief required a creative solution and The Big Idea, was communicating a word. I know these questions are designed so we consider what we’ve done over the last 8months

5:Give an example of work formed or influenced by your research, by your dissertation topic, and/or contemporary culture.

My dissertation topic, how design can influence Global Warming, was inspired after doing ‘Agents Of Change’ as a field module last year, but continued and continued became a real foucs when we did the Real World which was also manage by Wendy with the core focus of sustainable design. I’ve alway kept in mind sustainability when  approaching a project, although, I’ve learned that put sustainability into practice is very difficult and an impossible task, referring to what David Bermans says in his book ‘Do good design’, there is no such things as a completely sustainable material, and how he talks about it being difficulty  designing with sustainability in mind, but it’s relevance in our current situation.

 

 


Two week left

The last 48 hours have been slightly frustrating, well, not so much frustrating, just no good from my project and deadline. I applied for this job Ian recommend for DW Studios, which in all honesty is a shot in the dark because I haven’t done any motion graphics, but I thought I’d apply anyway, you never know. The thing is that I understood they just wanted to meet up and have a conversation with anyone interested in the position, but instead, they asked for my CV and portfolio. Both I had to develop and update, which took some time, especially developing a brand identity for myself. I decided to go with a bold headline type in Avenir Next that I paired with a Museo Sans Rounded for the text body, over a crisp white and vintage colours, green and pink. Of course, It ended up being a long progress because I couldn’t really do my portfolio until I’d done my CV, as they needed to be suited.

My custom design portfolio: http://drewgooddesign.myportfolio.com/

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and my CV: Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 15.47.17.png