Tuesday, February 19, 2013

New Year, New Goals

Wow. Back for round 2 now. After the difficulties and challenges of last year, I've come back to Wellington with (hopefully) more of an idea on how to run this show.

Last year taught me a lot of things. I learnt, at the most basic level, the Design Process. And, in many respects, that's something I can never give back. It's opened my eyes in ways both good and bad. I've become more cynical of other people's design as a whole, but at the same time, it's taught me to look at things with an innocent eye when I want to appreciate simple aesthetic appeal.

Sometimes looking at things with an educated eye is to see all of the flaws, all of the process that's gone into it, which can sometimes hold you back from seeing what it is that the design/designer is actually trying to accomplish. This concept of the innocent eye was introduced to us in maybe the 3rd (?) session we had of DSDN 111, and it's something I now have to/have the ability to call upon when viewing designed things.

I've also learned a whole host of technical skills, including (but not limited to);
-Adobe Illustrator,
-Adobe Flash,
-Adobe Premiere,
-Adobe After Effects,
-Autodesk 3dsMax,
-Processing and the coding that comes with it,
-A brief(ish) history of design,
-Photographical skills,
-Time management,
-Workshop skills.

All of these things will be simply invaluable for the year that's very rapidly bearing down on me. Hopefully I get to re-use all of these skills and keep them up, and not lose them in one of the small insignificant recesses of my cortex.

So, to make sure that I keep a sharp design mind all through the year, and also on through the following summer, I've decided to set myself three projects over the course of the year. Three projects that I'll do outside of my coursework. Three projects that will hopefully test my boundaries, and get me to push my skills and knowledge to the limits and beyond.

I want to devote these projects to my two elective courses (in a way) and also the elective I took last year. That way, I get a broad range of bonus projects, which all pull me in slightly different directions.

The first project I want to do is one to do with Photography, my elective from last year. I decided to not take it as a course this year because I was told the structure and focus of the course in second year moved away from what I really enjoyed about the course in first year. However, it is still a passion of mine, and I do have a very trusty DSLR that I want to make sure serves me well.
Last year I came up with some very interesting ideas for projects, and for the most part, the ideas were well liked by the tutors and lecturers.

Image 7 from "Suicide" [DSDN 144 - Project 1]

The second project I plan to set myself is a project to do with a relatively new discovery on my part; the power of creative coding. Taking coding in first year was a bit of a gamble on my part, as having never done it before, it was uncharted water for me. However, the mathematical side of me, which had gone through the first trimester so unchallenged, finally awoke again, and I realised how much fun it was to learn the logic and mathematics of coding. I want to do a project which refreshes and revitalises my learned skills, while maybe touching on new aspects I have yet to learn about.

Final Submission for "Structure & Noise" [DSDN 142 - Project 2]

The third (but maybe not final) project I want to do is a form of more physical design work to do with the human body in some degree, since my second elective for this year is Design Physiology, which is a design course with an inherent focus on the human body. This is a new area of design for me, and I'm very excited to learn more about it. Since I'm taking this elective in the first trimester, I probably want to hold off on this project until the second trimester, when my understanding will be better. I'm very excited for this area of design in the near, because to me it represents a highly customised, personal area of design, where the field is all about the client.

Screen Capture from Final Submission for "The Clip" [DSDN 101 - Project 3]

I can't wait for this year to really begin. It's a year of change, and looking back, I'd actually say this year began when I sold two pieces of my design. Actually getting money for a piece of design work really solidified this whole gig as a career for me. Being told that you have original ideas that people actually will buy is a huge boost to one's view of the future.

Maybe I should start selling some of my work?