Thursday, 10 May 2012

Hopes, Fears and Opportunities (Part 2)

Looking back at my last Hopes, Fears and Opportunities post is quite strange! I vividly remember writing it and how determined I was to do the best I could in the Final Major Project. I mentioned the fact that I feel I owe it to myself to work as hard as possible in order to get the grade I know I am capable of. Also, at the end of the post I said I don't want to look back and regret not putting enough effort in - but low and behold I am disappointed at myself as I know I could have worked harder. The first few weeks of the Final Major Project flew by and I didn't do as much work as I could have. I don't know if it was because I was exhausted from doing the dissertation or because I kept thinking I'd got ages to do it all - but I definitely took my eye of the ball. It was only a couple of weeks before London that I really got going and started to make progress. Even then, I felt I could have done more as these last four weeks have been a bit of a rush to get things finished. As I've got a First in the rest of my modules, I know I'm perfectly capable of achieving it overall. If I don't, I will only have myself to blame - which will not be a nice feeling!
Anyway, regardless of my grade I really hope that I will be able to get work in the next few months. I've got one possible commission at Rapport Events so far, it's just after that that I'm worried about. Making contacts with industry over the past year or so has been really helpful though and I hope to make use of those connections. As well as continuing to network and try and visit people, I want to set up a mailing list which I can use to update people on my progress. An email every three months to all my contacts will hopefully keep me in their minds but will not be too often to annoy them! Art directors and designers see so many people that even if your work is amazing, if you don't keep in touch they'll probably forget about you! I also think the idea of sending a holiday card at Easter and Christmas is a nice way of reminding people about you. On the surface it seems innocent, but the fact of the matter is is that you're getting your work in front of possible clients and employers.
I'd love to be able to make a full time career of illustration and design, but I know it will be hard to achieve. Having said that, there's no reason why I couldn't - I'm the only person standing in my way! If I work hard to forge contacts and keep improving my work, there's a chance I could make it! I really want to do more hands on work such as installations or pattern design for products. Unless it's for an interesting article, I find editorial illustration quite tedious and it's not something I want to rely on to bring in the money.
At my recent portfolio visit at Rapport Events, the creative director Chris Platt said he really wanted me to do a similar sort of thing to the Music project for them. They both seemed enthusiastic but Paul Rose (who I was seeing) said that I'd probably need to keep pestering Chris until he wrote me a brief! This is something I will definitely do as soon as the Final Major Project is out of the way. I'm really looking forward to doing something like that again as I had such a great time doing the installation at Music. I've no idea what the brief could be and it will be a test if it is something tricky - but it will be interesting to see how I cope!
Another opportunity I intend to make the most of is D&AD. I'm looking forward to going to London again and am excited to have my work displayed at the fair. When I visited D&AD in my first year I remember being really impressed by all the work so it will be a lot of fun to be directly involved when I go this time. I've also been selected by my tutors to be one of four students to take part in a portfolio surgery with a design professional. It's such a great opportunity to get advice on my portfolio from the best in the business and forge new contacts.
There will also be lots of other things going on over the course of the event which I want to get involved with. I won't get the chance to go to D&AD as a student again so I want to make the most of it. Whilst I'm in London I also want to try and visit other people in the industry whether it be for portfolio visits or to try and get commissions. It would be stupid to miss the opportunity to network with the London design scene, as that's where all the big clients are.
At the moment my main hope, aside from getting a good grade, is to put on a good exhibition. Hopefully there will be people from the design industry attending (Paul and Chris from Rapport have said they want to come) so you never know what could happen. Obviously the main wish would be to get some work, but it's always good just to meet new people and hand out business cards.
My main fear is failure! I'd hate to see the past few years go to waste but I'm determined not to let it. Even if I have to get a part time job to support myself financially, I'll never stop doing illustration and design as it's my main love in life! I've learnt so much on this degree and although there's been some downs there's been so much more ups. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to learn and work with such lovely people!

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