OUGD402 - An Individual and a Designer.

5 Statements that clearly identify me as an individual:

1. I'm fun. I like to enjoy myself in whatever I am doing, I tend to make the best out of any situation and have a very positive attitude towards things if I am in the right frame of mind.

2. I need my sleep. It's a big obstruction and prevents me doing a lot with my time, but I need a lot of sleep or I become grumpy and unmotivated. This affects my entire way of thinking in both my work and my free time.

3. I enjoy food. I am not an obese person or anything but I really do love my food. I rarely eat ready-meals as I am not keen on them and I prefer to know everything that goes into my food and I also enjoy making it. It's an expensive habit but I am sure it's much better for me than eating some of the tinned meals my flat mates eat.

4. Busy. I feel as if I never stop, trying to balance my time and keep it organised now is definitely one of the hardest things I have ran into. I have recently had to reduce my hours I work because I wasn't coping well. However I used to go to university from 9:30 till 5:00-6:00 every week day, work twenty hours a week for Apple and manage, design for and organise my own business as well. I still spend my whole weekends working but I am down to 12 hours a week now. But I still feel like I don't have time to take a break from anything as there is always something I need to get done.

5. Social. To begin with I tend to act very shy with people until I am comfortable with them, but I am a very social person. I enjoy talking to and interacting with people from a variety of different backgrounds. It's very hard to stay close to people with the lack of time I possess however, so I don't tend to have the close friends I wish I did.

5 Statements that clearly identify me as a designer:

1. I'm motivated. Designing is where I am most comfortable, I am a very practical human and enjoy doing things. There is always something driving me towards a certain goal with a piece or collection of work, whether that is client satisfaction, a learning curve for myself, or just another challenge for me to kick down.

The Pressure Is Good For You - Designspiration

2. Music drives me creatively. I am in my best mindset if I am shut off from the world with the ability to listen to any music I desire. With music I can set myself in a desired mood so I can create more freely and become connected with what I am communicating in my work. My favourite at the moment is american pop-punk, very lively music which always has a catchy tune to it but is also bursting with motivation to carry something on.

Shiro to Kuro Album Artwork - Designspiration

3. Learning excites me. I am still a student and there is still so much I am yet to discover about design around me and myself as a designer. When I am taught something or I find something out with my own studies it gets me very motivated, especially when it involves experimental practice or being involved ins something I have never done before.

Books - Designspiration

4. I love to illustrate. I have always been interested in drawing things from an early age, but in the last three years that interest has grown into a really strong passion. I will develop things visually and hands on at every moment I get as I feel its one of my strong points and interests that still has a lot of work to go.

The Black Keys Poster - Drew Millward

5. I'm tired a lot of the time. I absolutely love what I do and everything about it, but when you have a lot of dedication to something so time consuming and you also have a business to manage and money that needs earning to live things can get difficult. The only way you can manage with it all is sometimes you just can't go to sleep - which does in a way effect me but even when I am tired and grouchy, I do not stop what I do.

Sleep Through The Static - We Become Legend

OUGD402 - Study Task 5 - Where Am I Now?

Ten things I have learned about myself as an individual and a learner since the start of our first semester:

1. The first thing I learned about myself when I moved away for uni was my cooking. I'd never cooked in my life and I was pretty determined to learn how to cook and to make sure I wasn't surviving on ready meals and takeaways. I had my first ever ready meal the other week which I found revolting, not going back down that route again. But I have taught myself how to cook Spaghetti Bolognese, Fajitas, Lemon Chicken, different curries, Chinese dishes and the list goes on!

2. Some more domestic things I have learned are the casual housekeeping skills which I weren't too experienced in, such as using a washing machine, a dryer, bathroom cleaning, keeping organised, kitchen cleaning and everything else in between. I have developed a good weekly routine to keep everything clean and usable.

3. With busy flatmates, life can become very lonely. I live with two second year print and textile design students and a third year product design student who is on a work placement. Because they are so busy and never free, the only time I ever see them is the off chance they are making a pot noodle at the same time I am cooking. This attached to having a weekend job which takes up all my hours, life can get pretty lonely.

4. Time management was never my favourite aspect of studies. I have always been quite a lazy student in a sense of leaving it till the last minute and getting myself all worked up. This has had to change doing such a demanding degree and I have been teaching myself how to work around this. When I say that I mean get it done sooner rather than later instead of screwing around till the day before. I'm still in the process of sorting this out, bare with me.

5. I have learned that money is difficult to find and too easily lost. I didn't get a very big loan because my Dad had a decent earning for when the student finance wanted details however my family are no longer well off at all, which means as they can not afford to support me in any way I am 100% self sufficient. Money is only achieved through my part time job which is bare minimum so living is tough.

6. Clubbing isn't my scene whatsoever, I kind of already have an experience in it from when I lived in Spain but I was rather looking forward to the nightlife at university. Sadly I struggle to enjoy the dreadful music at ridiculous volumes, sweaty people rubbing up against me, as well as overpriced entrance and drinks in a room full of perverts and sluts.

7. All work and no play makes Alex grumpy, distressed and a dick to everyone. I tend to work myself too hard sometimes, I can go a good few days of solid work and end up laying in a puddle of pressure and lack of effort. I tire myself out pretty easily and then end up getting stressed out and just a twat to everyone I come into contact with.

8. If I have the right amount of company and a good relationship with a circle of people, I tend to be happier and I cope with work a lot better. Making my work load and social life easier and happier. I have noticed an increased amount of motivation towards my work since being in a relationship because as well as academic and practice rewards, I also enjoy rewarding myself with time away from everything to spend time with my friends and other half.

9. Work hard, work harder and then sleep like a baby. In recent discoveries of waking up early, going to university, working all day, getting back around six, working till eight, having dinner, then working till 1-2 in the morning... working this hard tires me out. I used to have a lot of trouble sleeping sometimes, but now I find myself falling asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. So as long as I make a good balance of exhaustion through productivity, I will continue with a good and flowing sleeping pattern.

10. No matter how much I care about eating healthily and cooking everything from scratch, nothing can beat a really good take-away sometimes to treat myself or if I am desperate for something unhealthy to cheer me up!

Ten things I have learned about myself as a designer:

1. Why I love Helvetica. I always had a thing for this font, it was always subconscious, I'd always choose it over anything else when writing essays or body copy for anything but I was never really sure why and was never really taught about it, it was just another font I liked the look of. It was only over this semester when learning about all the different elements of type and learning the history of this swiss modern font I discovered what made me like it so much. Now, I just like it even more!

2. Simple can be as effective as complex. I was always under the impression that the best pieces of design were the ones with obvious hours and hours of work gone into them with insane amounts of detail and craftsmanship. On this course I have learned that because Graphic Design is all about the communication of the message, a simple piece can be just as effective as a complicated one.

3. Letters, words, and communication fascinates me. I have found a massive interest in written words and typography. The actual thought of a sound or meaning transcribed as something visual, either a word, collection of words, a sign or a symbol. I have learned the ins and outs of all of these semiotics.

4. I am determined. I have grown an understanding of my determination to get things right, to try harder, to try different things and to succeed. The drive to succeed has never been bigger in my eyes in comparison to the last few months.

5. I am passionate. It's something I have grown to love is Graphic Design, but not in the sense I used to. Before I was passionate about it, I'd talk about and and have an interest in it. But now I actively look for it and observe/analyse it. If I walk through town I am in search for inspiration and always taking in my surroundings and taking a mental note of what I am seeing. It's just becoming a way of living now.

6. Business. At the end of the day you need money to live, you spend your life working to live. But in my case I am living to work. I love what I do an insane amount, and no matter how much I get stressed out or angry at what I am doing, I am continuously passionate about everything I do and I strive to get better the more I do. I currently run my own business aside from my degree and part time job which involves designing for a fashion label which I created myself a year ago. Audiences have shot up to about 3000 likes on my Facebook page, 1000 hits on my website a day and £1200 a month income.

7. What you like is not what your work is about. In graphic design, most of the time, you aren't designing for yourself, you aren't designing something that you are going to like or enjoy, you are designing to communicate, to sole a problem for a person less creative than yourself. That is our job and that is what I will have to get used to.

8. With the right skills and knowledge, you can do anything. I have built up a very good portfolio of skills in this degree, far more expansive than I had in the first place before arriving. All these tools are coming together to form my every day utilities to creating my work. My skills are increasing the more I use everything and my practices are becoming more professional the more I do.

9. Graphic Design is an ongoing exploration to find the meaning of the words 'Graphic Design'. Graphic design is different to everyone, but to me, I have found that graphic design is what you make of it. Of course it is the communication of a message formed in a visually engaging way but everyone have their own styles and methods to creating and I think the longer you work, the more experience and practice you have to develop your next brief.

10. If you enjoy something and are passionate about something, don't ever stop. The most important thing I have learned through my course is to not give up. I love what I do, and I am very passionate about what I am doing but I get frustrated and have the will to give up, but I don't let myself. If I keep going with things, I know I will learn from it and develop my understanding of my practices.

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