Sunday, 27 March 2016

London Living

It's been a while again, hasn't it?

Since moving to London, I have to say that my interest in keeping up with my social media accounts has plummeted dramatically (well, all bar Instagram which is the only one that I consistently update.) I've no idea why, and I can't see anything igniting a passion within me any time soon that may spur me on to update this blog as frequently as I once used to. That said, I thought I'd drop by again briefly to talk a little about what's been going on over the last 3 months.

I'm almost at the end of my animal A - Z I've been keeping myself busy with throughout my lunch break at work, and if anything, the entire process has stiffened me right up when it comes to doodling. I only have 3 more letters to complete until I've reached the end so for now I'll persist, but I need to have a think about how I'm gonna use my time more successfully once I've reached the end. I want to get my brain back into the habit of concocting narratives as opposed to just doodling static images, so I'm gonna have to give myself a good kick up the arse and stop being so lazy.

Back in February I saw Marina and the Diamonds live, and it was hands down the best gig I've ever attended. Marina delivered vocally and visually exactly as I expected, and after a teary heartfelt speech towards the end I shed a few tears myself. Marina is the the only musician whose work I can hand on heart say has helped me in one way or another, so it really was ticking something off of my bucket list to have the pleasure of watching her perform the songs that mean so much to me live.

I'd been toying with the idea of getting microdermals for well over a year, and then earlier in the year I started to seriously consider getting them because a) I was now on a wage that justified me paying for them, and b) I'd be back home in March and could get them done by my local piercer who I trust. After pretty much convincing myself that I wouldn't bother because I feared the fact that they could reject, I completely disregarded any logical thinking and went and had them pierced 30 minutes before the shop closed on a complete whim, and I'm bloody glad I did. If you were wondering, they didn't hurt any more than any other of my piercings, and so far they've healed like a dream. If you do have any other questions regarding them feel free to ask away in the comments and I'll get back to you!

In terms of work, I'm still thoroughly enjoying every minute of being a designer. Since starting back in January I've learnt so much, and continue to learn more every day. One of my first main solo jobs was to reformat a series of existing titles for a new customer, and from there I've storyboarded a couple of texts and am now working on a title that we'll be taking to Bologna at the beginning of April. I've found working with novelty books to be a really interesting experience, because prior to getting my job I'd never had to deal with die cuts, flaps or pop ups, so piecing documents together and understanding how the books function has been quite a fun process that has challenged me to think in ways that I'd never had to previously. Slowly but surely I'm building up my confidence, and I can't wait for the day when I'll see a book sat on a shelf that I designed.

Working as designer has also shed a lot of light on the working lives of illustrators for me, too. I knew that illustrators were expected to work quickly, but I never quite realised just how quick they're expected to be sometimes, working through evenings and weekends in order to make the lives of designers and editors that little bit easier. Seeing roughs come in, feeding back and then seeing their illustrations bloom and our texts come to life truly is a joy, and my respect for illustrators and the fantastic job that they do has only grown hugely since beginning my job. Hats off to them, they're the true heroes making books brilliant (or at least in my eyes, the eyes of a designer, they are...) All in all, I'm currently a very happy designer.

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