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.

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

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.