Finding the Gap
In this lecture pretty much all the practitioners couldn’t see themselves in any other position than what they’re doing now. They share their love from challenges in running a studio, the nature of the work, and the culture surrounding their practice. Sarah Boris suggests she would love to explore her skills in other mediums like furniture, textiles, and product design, which comes away from her initial approach in editorial and identity design. There was a discussion that side projects are somewhat a personal development that can grow into a full-time career and lead to new and great challenges. Every practitioner has dabbled in side projects that then became the making of either their studio practice or identify their true potential area of design. The great thing about side projects is that you have great ownership of how your outcome is developed and what you want to achieve. This validates your creative needs, what you’re making, and ownership of your ideas which gives a sense of belief in your craft and creativity. Criteria are key to your side project and you need to be clear what your end goals are to support your ideas. If not careful the project can be turned on its head and won’t succeed in its outcome. You just got to have fun with them and use these for opportunities to develop yourself as a designer and know that the project could achieve something greater financially as well creatively.
Brian Eno talks about helping the mind in times of having creative blocks by generating new thoughts and perspectives away from the subject wither its music, design, writing, or any creative output. He created a card-based method for promoting creativity jointly with Peter Schmidt called Oblique Strategies. Each card offers a challenging constraint intended to help artists break creative blocks by encouraging lateral thinking. This method to me seems a very useful and fun engagement of approaching a project from many different angles to forward creativity. Sometimes breaking away from a project can be hard and when hitting that wall you constantly keep trying to pursue but nothing ever moves forward. Using this technique can really benefit within or coming away from your project.
Eno short talk on the creative potential shares the way great ideas are not generated from individuals but from communities. He makes a strong point about how artists are referred to as the individual where the ideas are articulated but they drew from a very active flourishing culture scene that co-operative their intelligence. The intelligence of the community is understood that everyone is born un-equal, but everyone has a particular gift or talent to bring to the world. The only intelligence is generated by communities. His theory is based on the collaboration of others to help with evolving knowledge and creativity to influence others or individuals in creating unique artifacts or creation.
He also encourages you to leave yourself in a position to do the things you want to do with your time and persevere in your possibilities to achieve greater achievements. I really think this is a great point as I always believe in doing something for the good of yourself can lead to a happier and healthier job prospect.
The game-changer about side projects
Life as a designer from my perspective is to always improve in areas of design and learn new things to develop your career. If the job you’re enrolled in never always plans out to give you those opportunities then it’s up to you to make these side projects to come to life. It’s the job you’re employed in doesn’t always allow you to hone on skills and development that you want to thrive in. The client’s work doesn’t at a time allows you to use the idea or skill set for the brief as this is a less thrilling commercial work for a corporate company.
A good self-initiated side project can be a massive boon in honing in your skills to create and develop exciting new projects that can fulfill your desire and motivate your inspiration. A side project can provide an outlet for your own creative dreams and give you the chance to explore more experimental design, but it can also provide opportunities down the line. Side projects can demonstrate your craft and your passion for potential clients and employers, which adds to your design portfolio.
Side projects can lead to getting the sort of work that you want to do, and in some cases, a side project can grow into your main source of income. Edoardo Rainoldi a digital product designer from Italy, launched Rokki.Design as a side project. This website is an online magazine for young creatives and features interviews with designers, showcases work from regular up-and-coming designers, and sharing tips and tricks for those wanting to upskills their craft in the industry. This was a case of starting a side project of gathering a collective of designers for future referencing and now has become somewhat larger to scale platform for a network of creatives. They have grown to be established by other award bodies such as Awwwards and FWA that have partnered to work on their own design awards for design recognition.
This website reminds me of the likes of ‘Behance‘ that showcases a collective of designers from different fields of design, which you can connect and be creatively inspired. This can help with your own side project ideas where you want to hone in on areas of design you would love to work on. I personally also like to use other resource sites like ‘It’s Nice That‘ for keeping up with trends to further my knowledge that can lead to changes in the industry and implement ideas into my own work.
This week’s challenge was to analyse my skills and where the gaps lie within my practice. We had to question What skills do you have? What skills do you need?
We had to write a list of our skills, ways of working, thinking, or area of knowledge that we wish to develop. I had to create a design that summarises a process model that works for the moment and highlight the skills and the gaps I have.
This was a great reflection on what I can offer as a graphic designer but also shows many key areas of weaknesses that I need to improve on. Skills and crafts are always developing and anything new I’ve always made time understands and practices to further my knowledge. It’s more down to what skills I need in knowing about my practice that I lack in grasping the creative freedom I desire to be better and embrace as a designer. I want to broader my understanding of the fundamental process, in theory, research, and design, so I can better my lateral thinking to lead me to better opportunities in projects I can love to enjoy.
Made With Letters is a side project by Paris-based designer Hugo Jourdan who created the series of 26 abstract posters using only the letters of the alphabet. These posters range from geometric, grid-based compositions to more organic, fractal-inspired forms.
I really like the form and shape of how these posters are created and thinking of how words can be produced to something that will influence my outcome. I like the idea of the letters or words making the shape of the form which could be a figure of a person or an object.
What I have and What I need
This week, we had to explore our strengths and weaknesses as to where we position our abilities as a graphic designer. The lecture interview several practices asking what they would like to be doing that they are not now and also the importance of side projects in their practice. Many are really enjoying the work they currently do as it constantly changing and developing them as creative, which is very exciting for them all. Side projects are a great way of developing yourself as a designer, which allows you to be flexible on what medium you want to challenge yourself. It then can also become a real project that can lead to greater opportunities for your portfolio and creates a corridor of exciting new ventures for your practice. Brian Eno on creative potential makes a bold statement on how ideas are not generated by an individual but communities that influence others in creating unique artifacts or creation. This statement is potentially right and it is observing what is around us that can have a greater influence in our approach to skill set. He also encourages you to leave yourself in a position to do the things you want to do with your time and persevere in your possibilities to achieve greater achievements. I really think this is a great point as I always believe in doing something for the good of yourself can lead to a happier and healthier job prospect. Side projects can lead to getting the sort of work that you want to do, and in some cases, a side project can grow into your main source of income and lead you to opportunities that you strive for in life.
The workshop challenge for this week was to find what skills I have today and what new skills I want to achieve for the future. This was a great exercise to extract the areas of strength and weakness in my current ability to see where I want to direct new beginnings. I wanted to design something that was a figurative visual that represented myself for the present and future. I started to imagine a piece that could represent the present and future and something on the lines of a Venn Diagram that overlaps these skills. So I thought to create this silhouette image of myself with a play on words that created this form of overlapping skills and techniques to create this timepiece. I finished with the visual on a large format a size paper that would be hung up for me to see the abilities I need to achieve. I liked my approach to how this visual looks but I can improve how it is placed using the different, medium to represent the idea. I would of like to use a transparent acetate to print my image that would be hung up with a distance apart to show the cross over at different angles. Also, a screen print of my visual could have a really nice authentic look of old print in a contemporary outcome. There’s possibly a number of great ways I can display this form and would gather more research and evidence in inspiration for different mediums.