Resolutions

3rd semester has started. I survived the second semester but here is the very big question: Did I reach the goals I set for it?
Well, kind of 😃
The first goal was to be more organized and take notes of my thought process: check. Did that.
Second goal was – and I am going to quote myself here – “to put more thought and basically everything I have into all my projects, whatever it takes“:
Well, I did with some projects. Like the Micro-Comic, I put so much time in it and I am quite happy with how it turned out! I think I can show you a tiny snippet of it:
Comic_snippet
But I think, that was the one I put the most effort in, except for our project week, where we made a card game, which was the best project anyway.
The other things though? I’m not too sure if I put all my heart in them..
Third goal: Be more creative and do more artsy things outside of school: I think I can check that, too. I haven’t done anything too overwhelming but I filled my sketchbooks and practiceD some drawing, so check.
Now, what are my goal for the new semester?
First: survive. I have a job now, so I will have less time and have to manage it better – or get less sleep. I will see which one it will be.
Second: Same as last semester: put more effort into every project.
And third (because I think 3 is a great number): Keep up the artsy stuff.
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Inspiration.Music.

What cheers you up when you’re down?
What do you do on a long bus ride home?
What do you do to stay sane in stressful times?
What motivates you to keep running at 6:30 am?
What helps you to calm down?
What do you do when you can’t fall asleep?
What do you do when your thoughts are too loud?
What keeps you going in a design process?
What helps you write blog posts?
What helps you to stay creative?
What inspires you?
There is one thing I can answer all these questions with: Music.
A bus ride to my parents, or even the subway ride to school by myself would be ten times longer and more exhausting without music.
Stressful times for me usually include lots of people, nothing stresses me more than knowing there will be a lot of people I don’t know. On a subway? Headphones on and the people are out (add a book and the risk for me missing my station will double).
Yes, I am that crazy morning person that goes for a run before work or school but the only way to make that happen is with music. Just one more song, then you can slow down a bit. And then comes another song that is really quick and you keep running. It makes me really happy and my day much better to have that kind of accomplishment right at the beginning of the day. And after my run with loud and quick music, I like some softer tones, for breakfast. I am in general a very calm person and don’t like loud noises or too loud music. But usually it depends on my mood.
I feel like I need forever to fall asleep. But I found that music for meditation helps a lot. There are loads of videos with sleep music, that are up to 10 hours long on You Tube. I usually use one that is 2 hours and probably never made it to the end.
When thoughts are too loud, the solutions is, you guessed it: music. depending on the mood I am in, they will be overtoned or supported for a bit and then calmed.
For designing and writing it always depends on my mood (I am such a moody person). Sometimes, I need quiet music. Sometimes it’s more on the heavier side. Ed Sheeran for example always makes me happy, and when I am happy, I design better. But sometimes Linkin Park or Avenged Sevenfold will have the same effect.
My taste in music ranges from Disney Soundtracks and instrumental music to rock and heavy metal, and my moods shift quite a bit as well, so it is never really possible for me to answer the question: What do you want to hear? What I don’t like, I can tell you though: Techno and Hip Hop and Remixes. I hate Remixes. Please, stop destroying beautiful songs.
But anyway, without music life would be pretty dull, as it would be without colors. I have absolutely no musical talent but admire everyone who has. Music has probably more effect on me than anything else. It helps me in every situation, makes me laugh and cry and everything in between. I don’t want to imagine a life without it.

 

Photo by Natalie Rhea Riggs on Unsplash

Second Semester: What did I learn?

Sooooo, it’s semester break again and I have officially survived the second semester, which is so strange. I feel like I have just started this, but I will start the third semester in October and it will be officially one year in Berlin for me.

So, what did I take from this semester?
Not nearly as much as from the first semester.

Okay, let’s start with the not so nice things.

The film and postproduction class I had showed me, that while I admire the films and videos from my favorite Youtubers, I do not enjoy making videos myself. It is sooooo much work and needs so much more preparation than I thought. I really underestimated this. But I am glad that I’ve done it at least once, even if the movie didn’t turn out the way I wanted, I will never tell another soul that I ever made it. But it gave me a tiny taste of what video creators are doing all day and showed me that it’s not what I want to do. I think I prefer simple photography.

The second thing I learned was that there are teachers that, I think, sometimes forget to actually teach us. Yes, we are not in high school anymore where everything is laid out for us and just have to learn it, we have to put in effort ourselves but if you want me to develop a key visual, why don’t you start with telling me what that actually is? But I see this as an opportunity to prepare for future exhausting clients who have no clue about what they want. But in all honesty I am hoping for new teachers, because that will provide new input and thoughts and I think our class might need that.

Enough negativity.

loveillustrations-01

I found my love for illustration. We had a project week where we developed a card game for children, which we illustrated. We developed characters, objects etc. and that was something I really enjoyed. I started using my drawing tablet more than I have ever before and got much better in using it. It also got me interested in digital drawing. I have played around in Photoshop but nothing really came out, I’ll just have keep trying.

Actually, the featured picture on this post is something I drew really quickly because I wanted to upload this post, but didn’t want to look for a stock photo or even take a photo myself.

The last thing is, that working for an actual purpose, like a client, is way better than just designing something for myself. It comes with a completely different kind of motivation for the project. And this semester we had 3 projects that were for actual clients, and that kind of made things easier for me.

Also, we finally had a class about typography, which I was awaiting for so long, because it’s such a fundamental topic. And in this same class, we designed a logo. I was really happy with my design, then talked to my teacher about it and he basically crushed it. That was soo frustrating. But we also had to make a poster, so I decided to take a break from the logo and do that, which, to my surprise, he had absolutely nothing to complain about. That gave me some new motivation for the logo and I managed to get him to like it, which is just what I needed.

Even though this semester didn’t feel as positive as the last one, it was not a waste. There will always be good and bad days. And I know that I will probably learn way more from the struggles than from the easy times..

Inspiration. Content Creators

I feel like I always knew what YouTube was. But I think the first time I really turned to it, was because I wanted something from it, when I reached my final exams in school. I wanted to watch people who spoke English. So I found this guy from Minnesota, he was cute and funny and talked about things I liked. And before I knew I was sucked into the YouTube world.
Now, this cute guy from Minnesota, who is just one year older than me, has 5,6 million subscribers and a million other things he does. He lives in LA, has his own brand, is co-founder of a music label, had his clothing line in Urban outfitters and wrote 2 books.
The guy I am talking about is Connor Franta. It always fascinated me how many things he got done being just one year older than me. What have I done? Where are my finished projects that I can put out in the world?

But I think what always kept bringing me back to watching his videos was that he just does what feels right, what he wants to do. He quit college to move to LA and follow his dream of a YouTube career. He wrote books because he wanted to. He raises money for the Thirst Project, uses his popularity to do good. He developed his own brand, sells things he loves: Coffee, candles, clothes and music. He manages to live of what he loves to do. And I admire that.
Of course I know it’s not always bees and butterflies, especially if you put your life out in the internet. But he works through it, no matter what. And I also know, that it is quite a bit of work. He designed the clothes, the brand and everything and writing a book is not easy either. But he is passionate about everything he is doing and does it, even if it is hard.

I read his first book (soon ordering the second one as well) and the words he wrote got me, I understood. And I felt understood. I always related to him talking about social awkwardness, but when I read the book I really felt understood. I took it with me for a while, just to read certain chapters, whenever I had time.
He inspires me, motivates me to do whatever feels right, just by living his life and sharing parts of it with me.

He had his struggles in life, is basically just an average person like me and you but he does these amazing things. He worked hard enough for his success, that it now pays off and he has the freedom to do the things loves. Which is a thing I like about YouTube in general: you have so much freedom in what you do, so many possibilities, and if you work hard enough and reach people with what you do you can live from it and that is something I’ve always admired and wanted for my life and my career. I want to do what I love, what makes me happy. And Connor Franta is one of the people that inspire and motivate me to do exactly that. Thank you, Connor.

 

 

The photo was taken  for theimagista.com by Michael Williams

First semester in design school: what did I learn?

I’m on semester break right now. I started studying in October 2016. It is March now and April 3rd the second semester starts. But what did I learn in the first semester other then some design basics?

Being able to draw is good, but not necessary.

In the first lessons we were told that our focus will not be on drawing. But the first lessons themselves were. We had, I think, two days where we were drawing 9am to 4:30pm that were not an actual drawing class (we had that later in the semester). There we learned a different approach to drawing like a designer and not like an artist. At least it was new for me and I loved it. Thanks to that, the first pages of my big sketchbook look great.

Always have a sketchbook with you.

Unlike high school, teachers and professors in art school love it when you draw or doodle in class! They even wonder why there is no one there with an open sketchbook and pen in hand. So, no matter what class you’re in: take your sketchbook and doodle! Comes in handy, when the class is about scientific working and is extremely boring. I went out of this class with some pretty good drawings. 😃
And the same is to be said about a flash drive! Always have something with you to save your work on!

I am not the most creative unique snowflake out there.

I learned that the hard way. I know I have never been the only and most creative person but I was still good enough to be some kind of special. I had people telling me, that they would love to be able to draw like me and was asked to draw something for others. But in design or art school everyone has a somewhat creative background and some even already have a style that you envy. Which left me with some kind of drawing anxiety. I just realized that some people are so much more talented and have better ideas than me and it drives me crazy. I want to be the one, where everyone says: “Oh, that is such a great idea! It looks amazing!“. I don’t want to be the one to envy others. Something I will have to work on next semester.

My school accepts students easily.

While getting to know the other students in my class, I realized that some of them got in without even showing a portfolio. I prepared a big and thought through portfolio which took a lot of time and hard work, while that one guy just sent them some photos he took.  And I thought: Why did I put so much effort in this? Why did I even worry about not getting in, when they seem to accept everyone who is willing to pay? It made me question my school choice right at the beginning but I’m still there, because now I would still be afraid that other schools wouldn’t accept me.

We do not get taught how to use the design programs properly and probably never will.

Luckily, I have the best host mum ever who made it possible for me to use the adobe creative cloud and I was able to learn by myself how the programs work pretty well. Because when it came to actually work on the projects we have, it’s more of a learning by doing thing. We had 4 classes of 3 hours each where we were introduced to Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator and that was it. The professor who controls this says that we don’t need to learn that. And other classes taught us about the same: In the area we work, we are mostly the ones who make the concepts and the plans. Someone else is supposed to ‚build‘ the actual poster for example. So learning by doing it is.

There is a lot more to my future job than I thought.

Yep, I thought in graphic design people tell you what they want, like a poster, and you build it. But that’s not quite the way it works. They come to you and say: “I am a lawyer and I want to start my own business. Help me.“ So what a designer has to do is to ask the right questions, analyse the situation ( all the marketing stuff), make an effective plan according to that and then you design. You do so much more than just designing a logo or a website. There is quite a lot of thought and work behind what you end up seeing. I kind of knew that before, but the first semester made it much clearer.
But for the most part it was exactly what I thought it would be and I do not regret choosing graphic design. I was a little concerned about the client consultation at the beginning, because I am just not really good at talking and presenting things but I think this will help me to get out and be more comfortable speaking to people. So that’s it for the first semester. Let’s see what the next one will bring.

First blog post

Wohooo, my very first post on this blog! I think I’ll just introduce myself a bit:
I am Lisa, currently 22, living in Berlin. I was born in Chemnitz in Saxony though. I have also lived in Dallas, Texas for a while and worked as an Au Pair for the most perfect family. My hostmum helped me a lot with figuring out what to do with the rest of my life, or maybe she just helped me to really go for it, because, to be honest, graphic design has always been my first choice, even right after middle school, when I had basically no idea what it actually meant. And now I study Graphic Design and visual Communication in Berlin.

I want to say that I have always been drawing, but that is simply not true. I started drawing when I was about 12. I saw the Anime One Piece on TV one afternoon and was so fascinated by the way it looked, that I wanted to create this myself. And I did. I still have the first thing I intentionally drew. It was the main character Ruffy.

In middle school, all the way up to tenth grade I drew a lot of  Manga and just doodled a lot. But then I changed school to get my High School Degree and the easy days were over. I left the house at 6:15 am and sometimes didn’t get home until 5:30pm. I had about an hour long way by tram and bus and after using my head all day, I just didn’t feel like using it more to draw, especially if I had homework as well. So I stopped drawing.. It was never a conscious decision, it just happened. I still doodled here and there, but that was rare. When I finished school and started being an Au Pair, I wanted to draw again but found myself struggling because I had lost all my skills. I also put a lot of pressure on myself and started thinking way to much about it. And I still do. I still struggle with drawing because I constantly compare myself to others and think about it to much.

So that’s the very basic struggle of me as a design student.They say we don’t necessarily need to be able to draw. And they also say that the agencies will love us if we can draw. So, yeah. The only thing you need to be able to do, is to visualize your thoughts. Bring your ideas on paper, either for you to remember it better or for others to understand. Something I learned in the first semester. But then again, you can never have enough skills, right? If I can draw well, I can use it in my designs, so: I need to be able to draw. Or better: I want to be able to draw. And that needs practice but I am also a lazy person, so even though I love drawing, I sometimes just can’t get myself to do it, because I don’t want to mess it up. I have a big collection of pens, markers and pencils and several sketchbooks but I am always afraid to mess things up. And this is annoying. I am working on it though 🙂

So, I think this is enough for the first post. I don’t know if I will post something every week or every day or probably just whenever I want or when I think of something. 🙂