Saturday, 17 December 2011

Hopes, Fears and Opportunities

This post in itself I a scary proposition, It’s amazing how quickly the final year of my degree has crept up on me and in less than seven months time I’ll be ready to leave the safe haven of the university in pursuit of a career. 


One of the things I was hoping at the beginning of the term was that I would start to veer towards a style. This has thankfully started to happen in the sense that I now know which media I’m best suited for and this has helped me to acquaint myself with a love for traditional inking. Now that I have a way of working that I feel truly comfortable with I can start to work towards refining my methods and look at the style in which I draw particular things. Thankfully the tutors at Stockport college have been really patient with my indecisiveness in the past two years and helped to direct me onto the right path. So now I know exactly how I want to work my hope is I stick to this path and see some major improvement with a lot of hard work and experimentation. I also hope to have some time free to explore animation as this was a dream I had from an early age. It’s a subject I have dabbled with briefly in my first and second year and I think the way in which I work especially with the character style sheets would lend itself well to moving into animation. It would definitely be a good string to add to my bow.
Another hope I had at the beginning of term was that I would get a website up and running before the end of my 3rd year. I held off setting up a web hosted site for ages as I wanted to put my own stamp on it and didn’t want it looking like just another boring templated website. However, I decided last month to bite the bullet and set one up through Cargo as I thought it was better to have a website than none at all. I still need to take a proper look at the design of it as I’m not overly confident it’s really selling my talents very well, so my new hope is I’ll be able to get a swish looking site that I’m really proud of by the time I finish uni. I also hope that I can discover exactly what market place my work fits into before I leave so I can start to make the right connections with that industry.


One of my biggest fears (apart from heights) is not being able to find illustrative work at the end of my degree. I do have a design background that I can always fall back on and connections within that industry. I don’t have the luxury of becoming an illustrator straight off the bat because I have a responsibility as a parent to provide for my children. I spoke to the nice people at Taylor O’Brien about this fear recently and they said it would be a great shame for me if I were not to carry on as an illustrator when I finish. I guess the problem is if I take a job in the mean time will I be one of the many illustration graduates that fall by the wayside because I had to do it to pay the bills. I took a big gamble leaving a full time job as a designer to pursue the dream of being an illustrator and I have never been afraid of hard work, I hope I can still keep that dream in my sights when I leave and make freelancing a reality. One fear I had at the beginning of the term was that my works not good enough, but the recent portfolio visits have given my confidence the boost it needed to realise my work is good, but I also know I can make it so much better and the forthcoming major project will be the opportunity to focus on my strengths and work on the weaknesses.


"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty". Winston Churchill.

What I really need to work on with my remaining time at uni is my time management; I crumbled under the pressure this term instead of rising above everything and getting things done. Admittedly I need to stop changing my mind last minute, as this is not a productive way of working. I really want to get my head round InDesign before I leave as I think this would be highly beneficial for me in the future. I already know how to use QuarkXpress so there should be some similarities between the two packages that will help me to figure it out. Amongst the many packages I want to learn are Flash and After Effects and I hope to again find some spare time to get some basics under my belt so I can start to animate some of my work. Hopefully the opportunity will arise next term for me to explore these avenues even if I have to ask people in moving image to help me. I would also like the opportunity to do some more networking, but this time with the handy aid of a business card. I could have kicked myself for not having a business card when I was at the Thought Bubble Convention back in November as everyone I spoke to asked I If I had a card! I also secretly enjoy chatting to new people and this is a trait I don’t take enough advantage of.
One opportunity that has come up constantly over the past 3 years is presentations. I don’t think I will ever be comfortable talking in front of big groups of people no matter how many presentations I do, but I have found although I feel like I’m physically shaking on the outside my delivery isn’t as bad as I thought.

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