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)…

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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…

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!

New Statesman Internship – overview at the end

After a small extension to my placement, I have now completed my internship at the New Statesman.

Totalling up the days, it is no wonder that the time has flown by. Taking into account office breaks after the centenary edition and my unfortunate day of sickness, the weeks were a little fractured to begin with and I had initially thought that I would struggle to ever get my body clock into the swing of things! However, once into the regular flow of office rhythm it provided an extremely useful view into the nuts and bolts of magazine publishing on this scale.

I have had the opportunity to work on more projects that I anticipated, from the large at the end to the small icons and daily tasks that help to keep the office on the same page- literally and metaphorically! My research had already prepared me for one of the regular design intern tasks – which was sort of cheating, no? – but I definitely felt pushed out of my comfort zone of existing knowledge and experience. Picking up Quark Xpress definitely fell into that category, as did becoming so accustomed to Windows that I would take 10 minutes to readjust to shortcuts on my small cluster of Macs! Continue reading

New Internship, New Statesman

Just over a month ago, I interviewed for and was successful in securing a month long, full time internship as a design intern at the Blackfriars office of The New Statesman. It was a surprise to say the least! Considering the profile of the magazine, I had expected to be overlooked by sheer volume of applicants, and consider myself lucky that I trusted my spur of the moment/if you don’t try you don’t know attitude paid off…. it hasn’t always! Continue reading

Isoculture photo update

Quick photo post between tasks today… volunteering and design… got to keep busy!

A French TV-magazine film crew were following the exhibition for the day, making us all a little self-conscious but was a pleasure to host international interest! Not to mention the morning lecture regarding stem cell application for targeted organ healing. Mind blowing! I must tap up my notes when I have more time, I would love to learn more about the field!

Filming the detailed and bizarre process of turning breast milk into a useable substitute for plastic. Collected interns couldn’t help but notice the similarity in process of cheese making..!

Aftermath of the filming process. When the artist is away, the interns will play! Note the strange texture of the milk/plastic. Poking is a must.

The growing collection of Isoculture objects and experiments. Recently added were human fat and caustic soda soap, as well as objects demonstrating a potential outcome in genetic random selection in hair colouring

Part of this weeks design task, preparing material for the big start of designing out isoculture