Friday, 14 August 2009

College Was An Education

Having spent over 10 years doing freelance desk top publishing, I thought that would be my niche on the Graphic Design course.  As it turned out, I found that my DTP was actually hampered by various bad habits I'd picked up over the years.  To my surprise, I mostly enjoyed doing the more illustrative briefs.  I tackled a lot of different techniques and, although I wouldn't say I have a signature style, I do like stuff that's brightly coloured and geometric or uses creative typography.  I have a quirky sense of humour which I like to shoehorn in as much as possible, but I also enjoy projects that tackle hard-hitting messages.

I'd already been using Adobe PhotoShop since 1994, so I'm really proficient in that.  At college I got introduced to Adobe Illustrator and now I find that's my software of choice.  During my desk top publishing career I used Quark XPress but their licences were too expensive for the college, so they used Adobe InDesign.  It may have been more convenient, but I don't think it equipped us well enough, as most job advertisements specify Quark.  My knowledge of Quark is rusty, having used nothing more advanced than version 5, but I'm confident that I could get back up to speed with it pretty quickly if required.

We did an introduction to web design, so I know the basics of Dreamweaver, Flash and ImageReady.  We didn't really get into HTML though, or look at anything more complex, so I don't feel well equipped to go into a job in that field, unless it was something pretty junior that I could learn the rest of the process from.  I'd still like to do some web work of my own, such as an online portfolio and shop.

If I had to pick a weak spot I'd say it was 3D.  It always has been.  I could never get the hang of woodwork and metalwork during the brief introduction we got of them during my 1st year at senior school ("There you are girlies, that's a chisel.  Now get back to the kitchen and don't call us sexist.")  At college we did one 3D packaging project.  I had a great idea but it kept dropping to bits so don't expect to find that in my portfolio.

My freehand drawing's also a bit too rusty.  Surprisingly for an arts course they didn't actually teach traditional art techniques, they just expected us to know them (although the younger students who came up through the National Diploma course did get that training).  I'd like to get back up to speed with my drawing and painting, because I've got some ideas that will require it.  For now, though, I find I have to prioritise my digital work because it's quicker to do and I can easily upload it to whichever site it's aimed at.

I'm also dabbling in a bit of sewing.  Again I'm no expert but I do enjoy the tactile nature of fixing on a button or doing various embroidery stitches.

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