Where Do I Fit?

“Communication is not just saying words; it is creating a true understanding”.

When people ask me what I study I tell them I am a Visual communicator and about 60% of the time they are not quite sure of what it is. So I simply tell them its like graphic design, only better. Visual communication (viscom) encompasses pretty much everything, from illustration, graphic design, photography to film and organizing events these are all processes in which we communicate. That’s why I chose this course because I would like to endeavor in all these areas. But the problem is that I don’t want to become a ‘jack of all trades’. Before joining the course I obviously had to have an idea of what I wanted to do and what I wanted to be, I made a few decisions and choices for example I knew I wanted to be a designer I knew that when I finish my degree I would want a job, a job that I would enjoy everyday. So typically I could always do freelance or work for a company but things change and I’m sure they will in the next three years. I see viscom as the new school of ‘designers’ and a new way of thinking in terms of how we communicate and why.
I did a series of workshops and seminars focusing on certain areas of viscom, documenting, storytelling, persuasion and problem solving. These were a helpful way to focus on a way that I would ‘fit in’ within viscom. One of the first workshops was problem solving which I enjoyed; we were given the task to design something to make someone happier or lives easier. We had to work in groups where we would bounce ideas off of each other to come up with ideas, I did feel comfortable doing this I think working as a collective creates a creative atmosphere that is easy to work with. Although there are problems working with other people because you have to equally work together, let everyone have their share although I didn’t find this difficult but I can see it as possibly being a problem whenever you work with other people
The second workshop was documentation, for this workshop I got to use high definition cameras to document the process of documentation. My previous project was also reportage so I do have an interest in this area because it is a collection of things I see and then trying to communicate those collections. Documentation itself encompasses curation to film making.
The third workshop was persuasion, where we were given the task to come up with an advert for a product then the rough outcomes were judged. I think this was ok I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had more time and was able to give a better visual representation.
The forth workshop was narrative, where we had to write a storyboard of our choice. I did enjoy this as we had free creativity to create the protagonist and their roles.
I was then asked to pick area and do something within it. Before all this began I had an idea to make a mini zine called ‘Throw One Up’ (which has a couple of connotations) that was a collection of illustrations from other artists within Leeds, The intention was to expose these artists and expand the art scene that is quite small. So I decided to use this but I wasn’t quite sure where it fitted within those fields. It was necessarily a collection, therefore a documentation of illustrators in Leeds, but I thought that’s not what I want to do when I finish my degree but that doesn’t matter at the moment. I do like the idea of doing editorial work doing illustration, layout design or photography. Ideally next summer for my work experience I would like to work for a magazine and gain some experience. After creating a rough version of the mini zine, the problems that had arisen was how is it going to be funded? how do I choose the work because of the limited space? And will it be colour or black and white? This is something I would like to carry on maybe do it for my final project at the end of the year but more thought needs to be put into it. So to recap do I fit in with problem solving? Well to a certain extent I do, problem solving is necessary in any design situation, you get assigned a brief (the problem) and you solve it with a solution. E.g. the problem is to convey complicated information in a simple way. What about documentation? Well I fit there because I have been working on Throw One Up a documentation of illustration. And persuasion? Of course I fit there if I’m designing something I want people to see it, I want people to understand it so I subsequently want to persuade them to see and understand it. Narrative is the only area where I see myself not fitting in as much as the others I did enjoy it but I don’t think its something I want to do maybe if I did a short film I would enjoy it more.
But overall I don’t really know where I fit, on one hand it is important because it give focus and focus is very important otherwise I don’t know where I am going. But on the other hand I don’t want to fit specifically into any category, especially in this modern day where we are making so many technological advances information is everywhere and things are constantly changing so I think its important for designers to keep up and keep innovating pushing things forward. I think it’s more important to know what you want rather than know where you belong. Ideally I want to have multiple skills that can connectively work together and create innovative ways of communication and design. I would like to be freelance but at the same time work with a company.
Over the Christmas period I got a few books ‘Tactile’, ‘Hand job’ and ‘Lost control’, these gave me a clearer understanding of what I wanted, I think deep down I am an illustrator. Tactile is a collection of 3d illustrations, I liked this because it was like wearing 3d glasses at a movie, its proves that illustrations are not stuck as the 2d format in books and magazines etc. Hand job is a book of hand drawn typefaces that was kind of going backwards against the typefaces that are so easily available on our computers. Lost control is a book of work from the Neasden Control Centre a collective of graphic designers. I really like the idea of being in a collective like the Peepshow or Seripop collectives. A collective of people with different skills and like they say two heads are better than one. Even a collective pair like kozyandan would be fun, like a creative team trying to work their way up to the top. Collectives are creative companies, which allow employers to go directly to the collective where there will be someone there to cater to their design needs. But being in a collective doesn’t mean that you cant do your own work, its possible to be freelance and be our own person. But the hard part in that is finding people you want to work with, you need people that are easy to get on with have skill and work hard. I have a long time to do this though I have barely just started working with other people I might hate it eventually, I doubt it though.

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