"People really like it when you send them something nice..."

Graham Jones- Self Promotion  

Today has been such a long day- found myself sat in the studio at 9am!! Although I was sat there for a while I didn't seem to make much progress hence why I am still working now. Anyway in the afternoon Graham came to talk to us about self-promotion, "self-promotion is one aspect of graphic design which cannot be taught." I really enjoyed this lecture, self-promotion is basically all about marketing yourself within the industry and getting yourself noticed. It seems a little daunting at first but rather exciting regarding the routes good self-promotion can take you down. Graham began by discussing the primary tools of communication needed within the industry, which include an identity, a portfolio, a website and printed literature. Graham then talked about the early stages of his career at VIA before going freelance about 5 years ago. I tried to take some pictures of the identity for VIA but they turned out really blurred. So after discussing the basic points of self promotion we had a look at Grahams work including his identity and the typographic work he produces for many clients. Below are his buisness cards, printed on a variety of stock as clients tend to like something they can see and also touch. I need to think TACTILE!

"Finding clients will be the main battle of your whole career: not only to find clients to start you going, but constantly finding clients to keep you going" It was made very clear to us that attention to detail is very important, Graham's work above is a very good example if this choosing the correct stock to print on, a personal touch to the design and even the odd gifts you could send out to people because "People really like it when you send them something nice." It's very important for us to get established within the industry very early on in our career, to catch clients attention and maintain it further into our career to keep getting jobs. "You have to tell your clients that you are available and willing for more work."
Graham gave a very inspirational lecture, it all seemed a little daunting at first and I must admit I am still felling rather nervous towards the subject of self-promotion and making myself known to complete strangers. I know though its something I have to do and a fear I must overcome in order to become established. Graham made it clear to us each individual point we had to consider when creating our own identites and was definitely really helpful, and a nice break from the ever ongoing silence brief! He rounded off the lecture by showing us some of the work he has done such as logos and the work done for his freelance group 'LooseCollective.' Here are some images of his work

Help Me with my Narrative...pleeease!

I'm currently having an on going problem with the narrative for my silence project so would like a tiny bit of help. I'm not really sure whether anyone actually sits and looks/reads my blog but it's worth a shot I suppose. So if any of you can spare a second just to remeber where you were, what you were doing and any thoughts you remember having when you heard about/saw the footage of the twin towers on 9/11 then please could you comment underneath this post with a few words, as it would be a huge help!

Thanks for your time :)

Silence Photographs

On Thursday I had my tutorial with Sue where we discussed our ongoing Silence projects! We took part in a group crit which I found to be really useful, laying our work out on the desk we then got the chance to gain critical views of our current work. I showed Sue the earlier photographs I had taken of the shadows created from the papercut feathers I had made, we went onto discuss how I might use them in correspondence to part 2 of the silence brief and I rose the issue of my struggle to find a suitable narrative to tie in with the pieces I had created so far. The earlier piece of language I had used was 'Maybe they're just birds honey,' and even though it was found to be a beautiful piece of language relating to 9/11, during previous tutorials we discussed how perhaps it wasn't personal enough to the subject. I've struggled since then to find anything that wasn't a complete memorial/testimonial to the disaster which took place. I explained this to Sue and she told me to consider the more mundane language, and how this might work combined with my images of the feathers and also how I could ask my friends and family (of all ages) to write down a few words which they remember of the event i.e. where they were, what they remember and any thoughts they had. These short pieces of text could then be broken down and used as the narrative for my project.

I felt alot happier after this tutorial, and after being given some direction I felt really motivated to get on with the project. So I sat down and did some more cuttings and played with the shadows they created. I had yet to find any narrative so I used the quote that Sue had given which was 'I need to buy a sleeping bag,' this is what she remembers thinking whilst riding home after watching footage of the twin towers. So here are a few further experiments...


"Always Make Tea"

So on Tuesday afternoon we were introduced to Nicola Rowlands. One of last years first degree graduates (or however you would say it.) Nicola talked about placements, her journal, her life after D&AD and gave us some general top tips to make 3rd year that little bit easier.

*Be nice to your teachers
*Be confident
*Be genuine
*Go out on a limb - but don't be too wacky
*Get your work out there
*Don't put all of your eggs in one basket- Keep an open mind
*Don't blend in
*Be aware - watch TV, read the newspaper
*Be yourself and not someone else
*Keep in touch
*Always make tea

I really enjoyed her light hearted approach to the lecture, there appeared to be light at the end of the tunnel and for a slight moment 3rd year seemed to be not that scary. I have looked at her website and blog (see link) and they are amazing! The blog is jam packed and totally up to date...something which I am working on, I would love to be that organised :) ah well! Nicola's work is brilliant, I loved her hand drawn techniques and all the different elements within her designs. Her creative style is so individual and really reflected in her lovely personality, all of Nicola's hard work has definitely paid off and can be considered to be an creative inspiration for us D&AD'ers!

Keep Calm (well at least try too...)

Some inspirational posters from the guy's at LoveCreative, they may be useful...

Running out of time...ALREADY eeek!

Oh dear, had my 'not so wacky week' tutorial with Sue yesterday and it seems although we're only half way through the first term, we don't have long left and I definitely need to buck my ideas up!! So here I am on a Friday night blogging and being (well trying to be) creative hmmmm...lets see how long I will last. Glad I signed up to chat with Sue and the other girlie's in the tutor group as the feedback has really helped and motivated me....I will DEFINITELY be doing full studio days now for the rest of 3rd year, I guess I've said a sad goodbye to any form of social life, or just life in general for the next 7 months. Oh the joy!


Special Collections at MMU

It seems like every year since I began at uni on the foundation course I have taken an annual trip to the special collections on the 3rd floor in the library. Today was the day I took that trip, but today I went with an actual reason and not because 'I had to for my journal!' After my discussion with Sue regarding my dissertation and being briefed with second part of 'Silence,' I felt it was necessary to visit to especially look at the handmade artist books and the paper sculptures. I began by looking at the work of an artist called Mette-Sofie D. Ambeck, an artist who uses papercut as her main form of illustration in her own books. I can't wait to see more of her collection in a few weeks when she visits for the Manchester Artist Books Fair! I really loved her different approach to each page of her books and the attention to detail in the folding and cutting of the paper. Here are some images of her work:
Her work really inspired me, especially in relation to our current 'silence' brief. Mette, it seems makes considerations for each of the pages before she starts instead of just creating a page at a time, everything corresponds! This is something I also have to do for part 2 of our brief as I want to create a document. I then went onto look at other artists books, particularly the way they were folded and how they were presented rather than the actual themes. I completely forgot to write the names of all of the artist books and the designs...but theses are the ones I liked!

I was fascinated by this 'book in a box' called Letter's Home and the complexity of the folds in the paper, I just need to figure out how it was done.

I also found the concertina books useful to look at, I really need to practice my folding skills so they are perfect for my own books, as I would really like to explore book design especially as a form of communication. Here are a few concertinas from the library.

Finally...if this hasn't bored you enough, I got the chance to see this brilliant paper sculpture, I love the dimensions of the piece and just the general themes of the birds flying out of a book. Quite a haunting piece, seeing a real paper sculpture has furthered my interest into the use of paper which will help me express my views within my dissertation.

A good website!

A blog entirely dedicated to papercut, should help me improve my technique and aid me in my dissertation!



Here are some of the experiments I did after my tutorial on Thursday...slowly but surely I feel my technique is improving!

Then I tried to get experimental with the shadows...



Look at this work, it's so lovely :)
I want one

Tutorial II

Yesterday, I made sure I the was in the studio bright and early to do some work before my second tutorial with Hitch. I really needed to create more experiments as my idea's have only just come about over the past few days. Needless to say I managed to get distracted so only managed to a few samples for my work which overall I felt weren't that great, however I took them into the tutorial with me as I suppose something is better than nothing. I knew what themes I wanted and which option to pick for part 2 of the brief, it was just the narrative and content (probably the most important factors of the project) which needed some guidance and some refining!!
I told Hitch how I wanted to use paper as I love it so much, I also want the colour scheme to be mostly white maybe with a few shades of grey. He talked simplifying my thumbnail sketches and rather than keeping myself in my sketchbook, to go and create some actual pieces which would then allow me to see how I could fit them in to making a book/ fold out poster. I found a quote 'Maybe they're just birds honey...' which was a mother talking to a child regarding the terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11. I thought this was a beautiful piece of language and made me start thinking about feathers, however maybe its too specific to the tragedy so Hitch talked about finding some more general quotes which I could combine with my imagery.
So afterwards I wandered to the good old paper store and bought all the shades of white paper they had and some grey, blue and birch(which Kirsty made me buy!!) Then I began to cut and play...I need to take pictures of the work and when I get round to doing so, I will upload them on here.

Things to do:
  • Find more quotes/narrative to use
  • Practice Cutting
  • Visit the new laser cut machine
  • Create some actual experimental pieces- but not in my sketch book!


Paper- Tear, Fold, Rip, Crease, Cut

Another new book for my collection is PAPER, which I hope will help me with my dissertation. Its full of artists and designers who choose paper as a medium, it discusses all the different techniques and methods in which paper can be used. Buying this book today has really made me want to start writing my dissertation...but I'm still yet to start!

Indie Publishing- How to Design and Create Your Own Book

This book is perfect for those who love to make their own mini books, as it illustrates all the techniques of creating your own book and even talks about the routes you need to take to produce and publish your own book designs professionally. It also discusses possible layouts and how to create your portfolio. Lets hope I can make alot of use of it within my work!

Tutorial with Sue

A Little bit late I know, but last Wednesday I had a tutorial with Sue to discuss my dissertation. The main subject of my essay will be the use of paper within art and design, looking at elegant paper cuts to contemporary experiments in paper sculpture and paper installations. Paper is one of the world's oldest and most widely used materials and I want to celebrate its diversity! Artists such as Peter Callesen and Rob Ryan gave me the inspiration to choose the subject, however during the tutorial Sue talked about how interesting it would be to discover lesser known, new artists and designers using both old and new techniques. Emailing artists and designers asking why and how they choose paper as a medium is now on my list to do! Along with a few names to research she has told me to visit the special collections in All Saints library and visit the Manchester Artist Book Fair at uni on November 7th...both of which I shall do! After talking with Sue, I felt really positive towards my dissertation especially now that the themes are more refined...now I just need to start typing...


"It's just hippy nonsense..."

Johnny Hardstaff Lecture
On Tuesday we were introduced to the world of commercials by Johnny Hardstaff, a renowned director in the field! He began the lecture talking about the start of his career and his lack of software skills in the beginning, which immediately reassured my anxiety of being a little scared of the majority of the software we use on this course!! I was deeply enthralled by the number of tiny images and doodles which filled the pages in his sketchbook, he told us when he graduated he, "didn't know what to do-so sat and doodled."
I am not a huge fan of moving image and other digital work and I wasn't really familiar with much of his work, but by the time the lecture had ended,I felt much more comfortable within my own practice as I saw what having very little software skills has led to for Johnny within the industry. Overall a very enjoyable, interesting and thought provoking lecture!!
work for sony:



Today was my first tutorial of the year with Hitch. We discussed the 'Kino4' brief and the new 'Silence' brief, and I felt really positive towards both projects afterwards.

Regarding the summer brief, we discussed the possible route in which we could take it further. Everyone's work was completely different and could be developed through many possible route, starting by selecting various film that we are more familiar with and would be suitable for the kino film club then designing posters for those would remain consistent with the ones initially designed for the brief. Hitch suggested that rather than the image, I should perhaps take the idea of the elongated text and incorporate in with the logo and it was felt it did not totally correspond with the themes within the rest of the poster design. Hitch also suggested adding stills taken from the films or illustrative features along the lines of the elongated typography.

My initial thoughts on this brief led me to think about actual silence and what it is. I began to think about 'silent' materials like cotton wool. sponge and feathers. Feathers were my main subject and I began to gather images, found feathers fall silently from often an unknown source which I feel represents their silent nature. I came across this black and white image of a feather which is covered in clear dew drops. The delicate nature of the image has an almost soothing and peaceful effect on the audience similar to what silence creates.

This idea of feathers however is far too literal and I decided it was a different route I needed to take, so began to look at what actually creates silence even when we are surrounded by other amounts of noise. I was led to think about events such as September 11th and Hurricane Katrina, both of which were completely different however no matter how much noise each of the disasters created, the complete destruction and devastation occurring at time results in a reaction of silence from the shock and confusion of what is going on. After looking at my images, Hitch gave me a few pointers to think about and suggested that I may want to consider using text instead of images and combining the ideas of the calming effect of the feathers against the destruction.

  • Refine idea
  • Silhouettes? Silent figures
  • Text could be used? People who were part of the disasters, their personal accounts
  • Combination of image of feathers and text
  • Be experimental, use photogarphy?
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