Sunday, 5 July 2015

london | d&ad new blood exhibition 2015

well, i did it. i became the person i never thought i'd be: a person who loves london.

leaving london on friday (however relieved i was to finally be resting my poor, tired feet) definitely brought with it a few feelings of sadness, and i suppose that's how i now know that it's where i see my future. i love the hustle and bustle, the fact that everyone has somewhere to be, the diversity, the excitement, the sheer amount of things there are to do, the fact that everyone heads to the pub after work, everything. ok, perhaps not everything, but london definitely has an atmosphere and a vibe unlike anything that i've know while living in barnsley and middlesbrough over the last decade. it's ever changing, it's exciting, and i can't wait to one day live there and soak it up in all its glory. actually, i'm not sure what the hell i'll do if i don't end up there.

all odes to london aside, i thought i'd discuss my time there and talk through what i got up to every day. we arrived in london last monday at about 3.45pm and made our way to our accommodation in dalston (which was fabulous by the way, i'd definitely recommend airbnb!) before heading to revolution in america square to meet up as a group of 17 for food and cocktails before new blood started on the tuesday. many a mojito was consumed, and after that we walked down to the thames for a slow stroll as the sun went down. it was a chilled out, relaxing evening that in no way, shape or form represented how the rest of the week would pan out.

tuesday saw us all up and at the old spitalfields market for 8am ready to set up, and by 1pm we were all exhausted, starving and (thankfully!) finished. me, being the total airhead that i am, completely forgot to take any photos at any point from tuesday to thursday, regardless of me taking my camera out with me with the intention of doing so, so i've had to make do with stealing the above image from teeser's blog. will i ever learn? probably not.

after set up i went out to meet my dad who happened to be in london too, and was treated to yet more cocktails at las iguanas, which is pretty much the best chain restaurant i've ever eaten at. after satisfying our stomachs, we headed out to camden for a couple of hours and had a mooch around the market before i had to head back to new blood ready for the private view. the private view was hot, i was sweaty and nervous as i showed up alone for half an hour, and by the end of the three hours my ankles were ready to give in, so i headed home for a shower and bed in preparation for my turn of manning the stall on wednesday.

having rested my feet and my nerves, on wednesday we were up early again for a new blood talk with betc london about the secret to achieving happiness. the talk's conclusion was that working in advertising is the secret to happiness, and while i disagreed with that fact, the talk was entertaining and enjoyable regardless.

after the talk i headed back to our stall to man it until 4pm, and much to my delight i'd been left a business card from a creative director at a publishing house, so it's fair to say all the stress of the set up and private view had been well worth it. after standing around for a few hours chatting with industry members and other students, i met up with my dad again and explored shoreditch for a while, going for yet more food and cocktails (what better way to spend an evening?!)

while we were up early again for another new blood talk (this time with google) on thursday, it was a much more relaxed, chilled out day. the talk itself once again cemented why i have issues with advertising and why i find its ethics (or lack thereof) problematic, but it is interesting to hear from different creatives and understand how they work, what gets them ticking, and where the industry is heading to next, so nothing was wasted.

after the talk, i headed to oxford street with one objective: to spend all of my money in the new three storey lush store, and it's fair to say that i achieved it. the whole vibe of the store was fantastic; it was well laid out, had fabulous new products, and to top it off all of the staff were so friendly, chatty and helpful and made for a great shopping experience. honestly, i can't wait until the next time i visit, both for more products that i intend to pick up and for the conversations i know i'll have with the staff. lush is an absolutely fabulous brand, and i've no doubt it's one i'll remain loyal to throughout my life.

all lush gushing aside, thursday also saw me and my coursemate, ashley, attend the creative conscience awards ceremony. it was a night of wine, snacks and networking, and me and ashley were pleased to leave with a bronze award for our orbit & yourbit project. after heading home to drop off our awards, we headed out to the d&ad afterparty in shoreditch and ended up staying out until 3am, which was great at the time, but not so much at 7am the next morning when we had to be up and ready for stall take down...

after taking the stall down on the friday (which was mostly done by the time i arrived, thankfully!) we headed out to the breakfast club for some late breakfast, and i've got to admit that i was a little disappointed with it – but if you never try, you'll never know! after that i made my way to south kensington to meet a couple of friends for a mooch around the natural history museum, which was completely overrun with groups of school children. normally that would be fine, but when you're exhausted, slightly hungover, and the weather's approaching 30 degrees, it's all a bit too much, so we headed back to our accommodation and chilled out for a few hours before making our way to king's cross for our train home.

to conclude, london was exciting, exhausting and aspirational. while i definitely didn't have enough time over the 5 days to sit down and rest my feet, it's definitely got me excited and looking forward to what my future could potentially be. i'm hoping that things could fall into place over the next couple of months as i hopefully hear back about jobs that i've applied for, but if they don't, i'm definitely determined now to make sure that it happens, whether it's 2 months or 2 years down the line. 

if i've learnt anything on my course, it's that graduating isn't easy. it requires a lot of autonomy, persistence and a positive outlook, and i'm going to try my hardest to possess all three of those qualities over the coming months to ensure that i stay focussed and on track towards a life i'd like to live. they say nothing worthwhile comes easily, so i'm prepared to be putting in now until i get something back out of it. here's to the future. 

Sunday, 28 June 2015

saturday scribbles (& a little update)

a belated saturday scribbles this sunday as yesterday i spent the day travelling, and then the evening reacquainting myself with alcohol in a strictly-night-out fashion (because since the end of my course i haven't enjoyed a night out, but i have enjoyed many a bottle of wine...)

as you probably know, these last three weeks i've been working all day, every day prepping our stall for the new blood exhibition, but in between i've been squeezing in any personal work i can, and this week i decided dinosaurs were a wholly necessary subject. i was a bit reluctant at first because i couldn't tell you the last time i'd drawn a dinosaur prior to this (which really is shameful due to how flippin' much i love the jurassic park films,) but surprisingly it all went very well, and i ended up with a couple of sketchbook pages that i'm pretty pleased with. 

i've said it before, but i tend to produce my best work with just a pencil, a rubber and a relaxed demeanour, and i think it once again rings true here. i'm dog sitting during july while my mum goes on holiday, and i fully intend to whack my pencils, paints and whatever else out and see what throwing colour at some dino doodles produces (hopefully something of use!) it's been strange being finished with my course and yet still not having enough free time on an evening to sit down with my sketchbook and paintbrushes, so i'm gonna make the most of those 10 days i've got scheduled out as dog sitting/me time.

i thought while i was here i'd share some snaps (albeit terrible ones) that i've taken of our process over the last three weeks and talk briefly about the experience. in three weeks we've designed, planned, curated and executed our exhibition stall, meaning that everything within the stall has been carefully considered; we drafted different layouts, went through rounds of shortlisting artwork to be displayed large scale, measured out how big the shelving we were making needed to be and how artefacts/portfolios would work on them, etc. etc. in short: the whole thing was a lot more difficult than i originally imagined.

in total, there are 17 of us exhibiting our work, and a team of 5 of us put the whole thing together. while it's been exhausting and stressful, it was nice to feel like an integral part of a design team, because none of us could have done it without each other. working on something like this has highlighted each of our strengths and weaknesses, and it's been useful to put those strengths and weaknesses to use throughout this 'project', and will no doubt be something i'll discuss in the future if i ever get around to landing myself an interview.

as well as planning out artwork and shelving, we also chose to create a catalogue to showcase everyone's work and a 'journey board' that discusses our fundraising process. a lot of courses have their exhibitions funded by the uni, but unfortunately ours isn't and we needed to raise at least £2,000 to make the whole thing a possibility. in total we raised £2,500 (which came in super handy because materials are expensive!) and we managed it through selling illustrated goods, having bake sales and setting up a kickstarter, mainly.

i ended up designing the journey board solo, and initially i was really uncomfortable with the idea of it. we intend to have the board at the front of the stall, and as a person who doesn't rate their design skills highly i was worried that i wouldn't be able to represent the course adequately. after a bit of roughing out and playing around, i soon found my feet and made something i was comfortable with by adding some hand lettering which i think gave the whole thing a bit more personality, and essentially made it feel a bit more like it was something that then belonged to me (visually, at least.) the group seemed to like the end result, so here's to hoping that it'll spark the attention of passers by, too!

the last three weeks have truly been exhausting, but i think they've also provided me with a really invaluable experience. we head down to london tomorrow before setting the stall up on tuesday, and i can't wait to see how the entire thing looks in the flesh as we couldn't properly mock it up within uni. i'm planning on taking my camera down with me, so expect some snaps from the coming week on my blog in the near future.

for now, i'm going to retreat to bed and watch a couple of hours of skins (i'm now onto season 3, if you were wondering) before getting some shut eye ready for loading the van up tomorrow at 9am. speak soon!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

saturday scribbles

quiet blog, not so quiet life. the last two weeks have been hectic for myself and four others as we've been planning and prepping our new blood exhibition stall, which turns out is a lot more difficult than i originally thought. my sympathies lie with my tutors who curate an exhibition for 40+ students every year, because it's been difficult enough doing it for 17 people. to compare it to herding sheep isn't ridiculous in the slightest.

as ever, excuses excuses. i've found bits of time here and there to work on a few personal pieces over the last couple of weeks, but when you're in the studio 10am - 8pm you just want to chill out in bed watching skins for a couple of hours before finally getting some kip (or at least that's how it's been for me, anyway. rewatching skins as a 21 year old instead of a 14 year old is really weird, by the way.)

i'm feeling a bit weird and overwhelmed at the moment with the approach of new blood. there's lots to look forward to, but also lots to worry about. maybe tomorrow i'll have a bath and try and get my thoughts written down (or maybe i'll finish off season 2 of skins, we'll see.)

Saturday, 6 June 2015

saturday scribbles

a varied selection of scribbles this saturday: a (rusty) hand lettering attempt, a commission snippet and snippets from my sketchbook. as ever, the looser my work is the better (i think) it is, but i can never seem to remember that and end up overdrawing my work into disappointment every. damn. time. i think a lightbox could come in handy, but with my current lack of funds or space it's not looking likely that i'll get my hands on one to play with any time soon.

i've decided to not set myself 'projects' over the next few months because i always end up abandoning them and then filling myself with disappointment, so instead i'm just going to focus on doing something every day, no matter how big, small, good or bad it may be; all practice is good practice, after all! one thing i would like to improve however is my hand lettering, and i'd love to get around to creating a set that could come in handy for a new section in my portfolio. my humans could also do with quite a bit of work, too... just a case of keeping busy until things feel a bit more convincing.

Sunday, 31 May 2015

saturday scribbles

this week i've yet again been enjoying painting on a small scale (a6 to be precise), and have tackled a couple more pet portraits as well as a memorial piece for my auntie after my uncle sadly lost his battle with cancer earlier in the week. i've always found that i struggle to express my sympathy for people, so i thought taking the time to paint something a little personal for her should communicate my sympathies without me having to mess it up in an attempt to verbally express them.

i'm now home for the next week and a half, and i've been drafting up a couple of mini projects to be getting on with in the mean time just to keep me busy creating daily, however small. i think anything i can be doing to fill my time, stay in practice and perhaps be building my portfolio with is the best course of action up until new blood in a month's time.

Friday, 29 May 2015

end of year exhibition

the last couple of weeks have seen myself and my coursemates preparing for our end of year exhibition, which opened on tuesday and closes at 4pm today – so if you're local, there's still time for you to nip in for a nosey!

me being me, i completely forgot to take along my dslr to take some proper pictures, so instead i had to make do with quickly snapping a few pictures on my phone at the end of my session manning the exhibition yesterday. in all the excitement of the private view on tuesday evening, i even forgot to take pictures then! so while all my coursemates have lovely pictures in front of their banners with friends and family, i have absolutely nada. i suppose the memories will have to do, right? it was great to celebrate everyone's work on tuesday night and i'm really looking forward to heading to london for new blood now, i just hope that there are equally as exciting things on the horizon afterwards! 

speaking of exciting things, i also found out yesterday that my joint entry into the creative conscience awards with a coursemate has made the finals, and we've been invited to the awards ceremony in july to see how we fared! i'm really looking forward to the opportunity to speak to other people who are about to graduate and hopefully making some fab connections. if you haven't seen the entry, you can do so below:

Monday, 25 May 2015

to tell you the truth...

an (almost) accurate portrayal of how i've spent most of my bank holiday weekend

over the last few months I've updated my blog, mostly infrequently, with the promise of more content and/or passion to follow, and as you've probably noticed, every time I've failed to deliver on said promises. 

since beginning my third year of university I've found myself with less time to blog, so blogging became less of a priority and thus became less important to me, and over the last few months I think any interest in or passion for blogging as i previously have done has slowly fizzled out, so I thought I'd pop by today to say that from here on my blog's probably going to change. 

2014 for me was a great year for blogging: I was into my beauty, outfits and ponderings and I updated at least three times a week, but since we ticked over into 2015 that passion and desire that I once had in regards to blogging has dried up. 

I'm thinking money may have played a part in my loss of desire, simply because I don't have as much money to spend on makeup or clothes, and in turn I've felt as though I've had less to share, so I feel like it's a natural progression. don't get me wrong, I still love reading other personal style blogs and a handful of cruelty free blogs, but I'm not so sure I'm all that bothered about throwing my two cents about the topics into the pot anymore, or at least not in ways that I have done in the past. 

I'm not all that sure of the future of my blog at the moment, simply because on occasion I do like to have the platform to speak about/show my work or the things that I'm interested in, but I don't want the pressure of having to stick to a rigid schedule. I think my blog needs to become more organic, more of a place for me to update as and when I see fit, rather than a place that satisfies the need for content (no matter how dull it may be) simply because I feel the need to please an audience. 

I'll be honest, I'm not sure what draws people to my blog or entices them to follow, but I assume for different people there are different reasons because my blog has previously covered beauty to fashion to illustration, and I get that not everyone will be here for all three of those things, and that's fine. for me personally however, I think the future of my blog probably lies within my illustration work because I feel like it's the only constant in my life right now, simply because I don't need to put money into creating – I just do it. I know beauty and fashion can be worked around a tight budget, but I honestly don't think I care all that much about those things anymore; there are so many fantastic beauty/style bloggers out there that I don't think my voice is very necessary or relevant, but I do think that I should be using my voice to speak out about my creative projects and direction in life, particularly at a time where I'll be graduating and hopefully settling into a new, creative, exciting job, but we'll see about that in the future. 

I think the bottom line here is to expect my blog to be much more quiet from now on. I'll no doubt update semi frequently about any creative projects, and on occasion I might even blog about any beauty/fashion that I felt I simply had to share, but I think I'm giving up on the blogging for an audience thing and now I'm just gonna play it cool and update because I want to, not because I feel that I need to, and hopefully from that my blog can become a more interesting and engaging place for not only me, but also for anyone else who may read it. 

and that's all, really. thanks to anyone who's enjoyed the ride this far, and thanks to anyone who sticks around and enjoys the changes. if not, that's okay, I don't think the loss of my ex content is going to upset anybody. for now, here's to getting on with things because I want to do so.