July Update

Wow, does it feel like a long time since my last blog entry!

As far as a record of my activities, this has been rather sparse lately. Yet this does not meant to say I have been taking it too easy on myself! With the unfortunately premature ending of my internship with DJS, I have since had the opportunity to get more involved in a couple of small scale projects that I have been promising myself.

The most prominent of these was to give some deserved TLC to the microbrewery whose fine beverages I have the pleasure of being design-involved with!
As well as creating some sassy labels, social media assets and imagery, I have also been giving thought to further creative scope. Seeing the updates of the brewery finding its feet are very encouraging, and I would love to get stuck into some photographic documentation of their first offerings!

I have also been charged to design a ~30 page baby keepsake/records book for a family member’s fast approaching addition to their family. I know I regard my own book with some fondness, so theres no pressure here at all..! With the design based on the decorations of their nursery, at least an inspiration springboard has been provided, with plenty of characters, patterns and little decorative quirks to translate into digital assets. Still, Illustrator and I get on rather well these days and some concentrated drawing might provide respite from all this unexpectedly oppressive sunshine.

The search continues for a new and inspiring place to continue gaining design experience, of course. But there is only so much sitting in front of a computer anyone can take in a week, so today’s lunch break will be spent seeing if I can fill a day next week with interesting and unusual exhibitions to see in London. I might just use the ‘pin in a Timeout’ trick for added random inputs, to get me away from my usual museum haunts!

Until then, hopefully with something new under my belt (in either capacity)…

Graduate Show 2013 Photographs

It feels like an age since I have been able to blog without the nagging fear of time constraints hanging over me! But my internship at Dowling Jones Design has been going well since I last checked in. Aside from getting myself enrolled in the office corporate run around Battersea Park in a couple of weeks, my time has been mostly painless. Of course I say painless, but the last time I ran 5 kilometres was (near exactly) one year ago in July and I severely doubt my ability to this time around! Hopefully the weather will be reliable enough for some practice later on this weekend, and I shall make a special effort to shift myself in a respectable starting time.

So without further delay to my original intentions for this entry, I have uploaded some of my photographs from the UCA Maidstone, Graphic Design: VisCommunication Graduate Show at the Rag Factory in London. Although now a couple of weeks back, I thought it would be nice to still put up a fraction of the work on show… giving credit where credit is due, too!

The pieces I have included here are by (l to r approximately): Nejib Ben Ayed, Jenna Williams, Sarah Knight (x3), Caz Church (x2),  Laura Kennard, Caz Church (2 images portrait), Charlie Michael Whitehouse, Amy Clipsham, Danielle Homer, Daniel Forni, Connor Hudson, Debbie Caplan, Soumbul Qureshi (x2), Jack Witcomb, Sasha Giles (x2), with Specturm flyers and GD:VisComm/Graphic Media course Publication.

Mixed Bag Updates

A micro update in the face of a busy weekend and unexpected sinusitis (not altogether a good combination!):

– Last week I dropped into the UCA Third Year GD show, at The Rag Factory. The display was fantastic, filling one of the largest spaces available, next to Illustration and Graphic Media students. Hopefully I shall be able to upload and sort through my photographs from the evening, where I also bumped into a couple of my old classmates and tutors. Suffice to say time really does fly, and it was lovely to speak to and compliment some of the creators. I know that given how grim I felt about life after graduation, a nice word about the work I had just slaved over for months, would have been very well received!
A small snapshot of the evening booklet to be going on with…

– I also received word from the art director on the the New Statesman, that the supplement I laid out and designed the cover for, is now in the shops! Very exciting of course, but I did notice an error present in an older version of my in backpage infographic. A shame, but the piece still retains its integrity in spite of it! I could not resist dropping into a WHSmith to see which cover the client had plumped for, but will be happy to wait for my copy to arrive in the post.

– My first week at DJD went very well, learning quickly, filling notebooks and discovering more CS shortcuts! Busy busy busy, I must remember to sleep when I can and soften the blow of The Dreaded Commuter Flu so until next update…

New Internship at DJD

Capping off my blogging streak this afternoon, I can announce that next week I will be starting a 3 month junior artworker internship at Dowling Jones Design, in Fulham London, specialising in interiors and property/estate agency services.

The variety should be building on the formality of my time at New Statesman with the intrigue of a new area and subjects. However, knowing my propensity to write everything down for future reference, and judging by the size of my last one, 3 months is going to need a bigger notebook…

I’m really looking forward to starting work with a new team, on new challenges in a new location. Hopefully  it will develop into a longer term position, but I’m not keen to tempt fate anymore than strictly necessary! Blog posts should drop off a little steeply until I settle into a working rhythm, but at the end of this week I shall be visiting Spectrum,  the 3rd Year Graphic Design: VisComm show at The Rag Factory. I’ll be looking to finish off this lull with a flurry of photography! So until then…

Outline: Illustration Exhibition, Maidstone

While enjoying my last few days of mid-week freedom, I have become decidedly retrospective and nostalgic for this time last year, when I was finishing University. This has not the least been helped by the influx of End of Year shows that I have noticed popping up on Facebook through my UCA connections. Luckily, I have found help to relieve this itch in the form of the 2nd Year Illustration show in Stepping Stones Studio.

Placed in the middle of town, within a supremely funky cafe by day/bar by night, it is great to see an independent arty hub not only opening but succeeding in Maidstone- especially with the controlled decline of Maidstone UCA.

As my first time visiting there was much to take in, but what I did see was an assault of colour, style, texture and talent. Large group shows always provide a feast for the eyes and the illustrators here were no exception, with individual styles placed deliberately to contrast and harmonise. With delicate, understated advertising, exhibition catalogues, contact cards and display ephemera, the work on display definitely took centre stage in the space (in a way in which I felt was more successful than my graduation exhibition in Free Range). That is of course subjective, but the location was certainly well chosen and sympathetic to the feel of the exhibition.

Pictures after the jump…
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May Update

This last week has provided a veritable plethora of food for thought. Amongst applications and keeping an eye on the Clerkenwell Design Week events planner, I have become involved in an exciting opportunity regarding the design aspects of a brand new microbrewery, in the process of startup. Beer and design? Surely the ultimate combination for extra curricular weekend research? I’m certain I would find no shortage of volunteers to help me gather materials, if only the sun would just come out of hibernation!

During my initial week formulating design ideas, I have been reflecting hard on the conversation with the brewery owner and have realised the freedom which I have been afforded! Under a single company appearance, it is intended that each beer would have its own design characteristics.

Working through these by way of 3 core styles of beer, it has taken on a schizophrenic appeal that touches base with the company mark but allows the distinct personalities to come forward in different shapes and styles. Having just come from a place of uniformity and cleanliness, the free form, all embracing creativity and enthusiasm is most definitely infectious! In particular contrast, I have been enjoying the variety and liberation that a scratchy ink pen, hand rendered type, chunky paper and ink blots, can provide.

Unfortunately, like with all good things, my exploits have been brought to a temporary halt with the arrangement of an interview for tomorrow, for a 3 month internship as a creative junior artworker. After New Statesman, I was bolstered in new ways and feel that combined with the variety of work carried out at this new location, my experiences will create a good platform from which to continue developing into a more experienced and ‘studio trained’ designer.  Fingers crossed…

Statesman book souvenirs

The books that I was granted to save from the office recycling, in my opinion, deserve a separate mention in this blog, due to interesting content in their own right. From a similar subject area, these books should read well in parallel.

‘Notebook’ by Andrea Garuti is a colour A3 hardback filled with a grungy, textured and thoroughly urban paint and photographic collage. The introduction (titled Sim Cities: Andrea Garuti’s Urban Vision’) begins its prose with the following:

‘The title of one of Le Corbusier’s most accessible books is When the Cathedrals Were White. Surely the architect was thinking of a time before photography and its complications.
We can define the relationship between photography and architecture as:
Expedient, Reverential, Confounded, Hostile, Territorial, Suspicious, Conspiratorial, Delirious.
Andrea Garuti’s photographs are a perfect example, summing up as they do most of the possible attitudes at work in the confrontation between two mediums obsessed with time, and especially with the strange collision of instantaneity and eternity.’

Like this the author Lyle Rexer continues in a way that makes me seriously and enviously reconsider why I did not take this avenue for my dissertation! As it is, I can now indulge myself with purely admiring them instead of writing about them.
By contrast, Rowan Moore’s ‘Why We Build’ is a text that ‘explores the making of buildings from conception to inhabitation and reveals the paradoxical power of architecture: it looks fixed and solid, but it is always changing in response to the lives around it’… How was I going to help myself after that?
Both of these books have served to remind me how much I admire and enjoy learning about architecture- in relation to both my discipline and in its own right as it cuts through others.  The tone is very approachable so far, and has been easy to pick and down on the tube or train. Looking forward to slotting it into the art/design/reference/magazine/book stack on my desk, as permanent reminders of the last 4 weeks!