1st December 2018

Assignment 1.

Brief :

Design a series of at least three postcards (final size A6) that say something about who you are, your interests in graphic design and your wider cultural influences or interests.

You can use any medium or materials you want to. You may want to work much larger and reduce your artwork to submit it. Don’t forget if you do this that details may get lost.

Use the front of the card to present your designs while on the back of the card say something about what this image means to you or why you chose it.

1st December

What a great first project to work on! I really want to produce something that might not look out of place on moo.com - in fact once i’m done on this they’ll maybe offer me a job!

Seriously though, I’m notorious for rushing in to things and going straight for the end result without properly analysing things through. I’ve not even “met” my tutor yet but I’m keen to get cracking and if i were to pursue old habits, I’d have jumped straight on to my computer and started playing about with vectors and fonts. Fail.  

So not today, I’m doing this properly, and with pencil in hand, I decide to crack on with a mind map! What better way to get some ideas flowing?!

I’ll worry about the “brief" after I’ve had a chance to think about what this all means to me.
Anyway, desktop app “Coggle.io" has allowed me to get down all sorts of thoughts about myself. This is a very personal thing to do and I’m a little nervous about sharing. Still, it feels worthwhile. 

FYI - I've been using Coggle for business use and it’s really flexible. This tool works great for me. See the full map below.

2nd December

Browsing my old school work I see that my old college tutor pointed out that I could do with more time spent on analytical planning. What great advice! 

So I think now i’ve opened up pandora’s box in to my "tin of spaghetti" of a mind, the most logical next approach is to try and be analytical and to stop…..read the brief……. and see where that ends up.

I’m reading this as follows -

Produce three individual postcards with each one taking one of the headings :
1)who you are
2)your interests in graphic design
3)your wider cultural influences or interests

I’ve mapped enough for now - time to get sketching and see where my ideas go.

Below is a selection of my initial drawings.

4th December

Pencil and paper is a great way for me to start anything creative. I’m never without a pencil. Ever. Now i’ve got a reason to use it. This makes me happy.

So i’ve been putting down as many ideas as possible. To help me conceptualise some basic ideas, to try and visualise some of my feelings and to try and dump out as much inspiration as possible. This has been a great way to get my inspiration flowing and to try and kick start some invention.

In fact I realise very quickly how much this whole process of reflection feels like a counselling session and enjoying this self-assesment I intend to recycle this process of reflection and invention over and over until I’m feeling something start to form.

Then I speak to Melissa over the phone - we have a great call with plenty of open discussion around the OCA, what I’m doing, and whay….and what resonates most apart from the fact I’m clearly in good hands, is that Melissa tells me I'm “brave” and that i’m "not too old”, both of which inspire me more than anything else. Also that the “why” and “process” that I’ve acquired from spending time with Adrian Philpott should also be accompanied with “how”.



Anyway, I stay up till 10pm drawing.

I’m also holding on tight to this new mantra : Why, How, Process and you’ll have already seen this in my new blog logo! Not sure this is the place to explain it but I willl seeing as you ask.

I needed a brand to attach this blog to. So that it feels like a real thing as opposed to one of those random websites you accidentally stumble upon, like the old Yahoo geo-pages from the early 90’s. I wanted something simple, geometric and structured, and the simple extruded initials just looked great to me as it has the illusion of a shifting perceived visual angle. You’re just not sure which way you’re looking at it! Sums me up perfectly right now.

11th December 2018

The last few days i”ve been off sick from work. It’s been horrible, although between sleeps and coughs i have done lots of thinking and today I managed a few more sketches that I’ll add in below.

Sketching is my most comfortable journey as i’m able to visualise and evolve ideas quickly and on the fly, and already I’m finding myself gravitating towards a couple of concepts. Just wondering about the brief - produce “at least 3”…..does this mean I can produce 4?!

My favourite ideas so far :

1 - the CPU. I’m a tech lover and am proud of my logical apporach to things, so to represent my person as the CPU or brain, with all my influences, ideas and values flowing in and out. Using type to represent the connections I feel this visual has great impact and tells a story. This postcard represents who I am and also my cultural interests.

2 - The balloon - i think the balloon idea of an expanding balloon (being me) with creativity locked away and the balloon expanding to bursting point. However, I realise that a bursting balloon doesn’t quite do me justice. However the balloon as a lightbulb with a pressure valve. That could work!

3. My studio - I love vector art be this an icon, a picture or graphic. So to illustrate my studio in vector form seems perfectly apt as my entry back in to Graphic Design has pretty much been facilitated by my interest in vector graphics, and spurred on by my love for optical art (basically Bridget Riley).

4. The silhouette head with ideas flowing out - as with the cpu this can depict ideas or interests and could represent either me as a person or my cultural influences.  

5. The bowl of fruit - in some ways I feel I went to the fruit bowl to pick an apple, and there were only bananas. Explore. Bananas and milk. Maybe I need some cookies too. Maybe I went to the cupboard to get some cookies and there were only crackers. 

I’m really feeling the WHP so i’m reluctant to go anywhere near a computer for the time being (says he typing this post).

I come up with some other ideas too, for some reason i’m feeling a bit of anxiety today - probably caused by some minor annoyance of being treated like a fool by my MD and it bothers me. So i’ve tried to illustrate this - and it’s really hard to illustrate anxiety. So i’m not sure i’ll use this because i’m not inherantly an anxious person but it’s a “skill” i seem to have developed. 

I’m also liking the train time table. I feel very much that I’ve suddenly jumped on the right train that is leading somewhere that I want to be whereas i’d felt for a long time that i was on a very fast train speeding right out of town, to Chelmsford or somewhere equally as irrelevant to me, so I may re-visit my earlier idea of the entire train departure board showing various destinations. I’m sure at one point I had those choices, albeit they were probably invisible to me at the time.

11th Dec

I’m back again - hope i can keep up the regularity as this is helping me a lot.

So the graphic design thing - why. It’s hard to visualise this, but having gone back to my mind map and tried to extract some more insight, I realise now that one of my biggest motivators is not just the mere process of “creating” although that’s my primary reason, but it’s the admiration I have for successful and tasteful designers and the “lifestyle” - it’s the best form of advertising for advertising itself. Plus I was never one for fame but we all crave some form of respect. I’m a “pat on the back” guy and graphic design - good graphic design - is mostly so well received and in the audience showing their appreication of your work it’s like the ultimate pat on the back, and you don’t have to be there!.

So how do i visualise this?  It’s like the classy version of a talent show just without the tacky self centred camera fame seeking fool blinded by riches and TV. It’s like the boy at a football match looking up at his hero. It’s like me as a teenager watching BMX stars in awe. I’ve always wanted to be that person but never wanted the fame. I think being a graphic designer is the perfect way to make an impression without having to be the impression - your marks on the paper or screen - that’s your fame. 

It’s like the invisible man. 

it’s like your car tyres being at the correct pressure.

Your ski bindings being tight enough, but not too tight.

Your front brake cable holding up when you’re flying down hill on a fixed sprocket.

The silent superstar.

Perhaps if the world were blind, i’d make a better X-factor contestant!!!

Why do i want the acknowledgement of my ability?  This i do know - it goes back to my Dad and his poor ability in showing me he was proud. I grew up seeking that acknowledgement. I guess I still seek it now. It’s what gave me my ambission. It’s what drives me now and is what is pushing me down the creative path, at long last. After all these years I’m finally pursuing the path I unkowingly overlooked when my Dad was there to poiint it out, and didn’t because he was too busy trying and failing to address his own demons. 

Let me use this experience as the ultimate lesson for my own children. As well as for me. 

I’m going to try and draw this now.