Tuesday, 13 May 2008

End of year Evaluation (May 13)

On my first Blog entry almost a year ago I did not realise how fast things would go. I have felt mixed emotions so far about my work, from being unhappy to being happy.
The first assignment we did based on a fictional website was a whole new learning curve for me, I did not actually realise how hard it would be as I wasn’t really thought the correct way before I found it quiet difficult to adjust.

Back when we first did the assignment I thought my initial designs were very pleasing however looking back now I can see how wrong I was. I struggled to grasp the concept of colour in the beginning, which I think made my work slightly poorer than what it could have been.

As you can see from the picture I used the wrong colour scheme, which made the design look bad. Also I did make a lot of design errors which looking back now makes me laugh at the easy mistakes I made.

I also had trouble with how things was marked here compared to the last college I was at however I am now starting to realise how and why things are marked in a certain way. This has helped me correct a lot of errors, which I was frequently getting at the beginning of the course.

The second stage of the course was building a real plan for a website which I would actually be building. For this I did take a lot more care however I was still making naive mistakes these mistakes did come to bite me later on when actually creating the website.

Although I did make lots of mistakes in the plan this did not discourage me from fixing them when actually coming around to building the web site. I was a little unhappy with my first choice of design so I changed it slightly to make it easier on the eye this also made it more user friendly.

As you can see the ne thing I started to learn was complimentary colours and how they affect websites. I got all the information from a colour lecture presented by Steve; this made me very happy, as that’s what I had been struggling with from the beginning.

The first thing I did was change the website image and the general overlay to make it look more pleasing. After I had done I was very pleased with my work and exited that I was learning more about my self and the things I could do.

As you can see from the image there was a big change in the style of the website. Also what impressed me was the dramatic difference between the look. One of the major factors, which made me change the style, were rereading the “Park” lecture which was in my sketchbook, this very clearly said that the best designers always use repetition. So I decided to give it a go on the website and it worked! The website was looking great and had to be my best achievement at that time.

The most fun I’ve had on the course to-date is when I started “A7 Wailing Whales” This gave me more of a chance to explore my design talents when I had to listen to music and think of a perfect design that would fit as a Digipak cover and also a CD cover.

The reason why I found this assignment to be a little more fun is that I got to explore with more creativity than the previous assignment. It was all trial and error and I soon learned which would be the best possible design for the job.

Although it was very fun and probably the most hands on assignment to date I was worried through pretty much the entire thing. The main problem was not being able to pick a final design I struggled on this for both the Digipak and logo designs. I had a lot of problems mainly because I made too much work for my self and I could not choose one of my own designs, as I liked all of them equally.

A have learned a lot in this past year so much more than I ever thought possible when I joined the coarse. The most valuable information I have learned is all the design issues such as PARC and colour coordination. Because they haven’t just improved my design skill the combines two have improved my entire work enabling me to work at a better more comfortable rate.

The most inspiration moment was when Dave Panel came in to see people in the HND course I got to learn a lot about the industry and how things work once you get a job working for Dave or any other company. I suppose I was a little surprised at how some clients always want something out of this world.

Where I’m going

At the end of the coarse I hope to be going into the industry, however at this moment in time I do not feel confident enough to go out into the industry and get a job. I think the major factor behind this is because I still make some bad decisions when designing. But my overall thought is that I am not yet confident enough to work for a client.

Although I am happy with my progress I am a little sad that the time has flown by so rapidly. I can see a major difference in the way I work since when I first started. One of the main things, which have helped me on the coarse so far, is the sketchbook. The reason being that it allowed me to jot all my ideas and all my mistakes down in the same book this is what has helped me reflect back on the beginning. This has helped me learn from many of mistakes, the best way I have found learning my mistakes was via making a checklist. This however can get confusing if you make simultaneous checklists I got lost several times when checking off my work. I have recently got a lot better at doing work as I seam to be concentrating a bit more I think that may be to do with me finally getting how the course is laid out and how I should be doing things.

At the moment we are getting ready for the second year to be honest I suppose I was a little worried / scared of CSS and how I would cope with a new language. On my previous course I did VB, which I thought, was ok and fairly easy but CSS seams to be a completely new language. Although once I spoke to Steve I was soon at ease after learning that it is actually easier than VB.

I am slightly worried about the second year mainly because of the huge amount of work involved. However I am also really exited, I have done a lot of work recently and I feel ready for the second year.

How I’m going to get there

I think what would be best for me personally would be to get a couple of books to keep me in front over the holidays so when I come back ill be in the frame of mind to work. Also as Steve and John have told me reading will help me with my spelling, so it will work two times as good for that reason.

I also feel as if more tutorials are in order. Some of the work I did at the beginning of the year and even through A7 was only achievable through learning the work from tutorials, which I had found online. Although they can be quiet stressful at times I think I did get a lot of help from online tutorials as they helped me with certain advanced features with the programs we were using.

I did struggle a bit last year though when it came to understanding the criteria, which came with every assignment. I think it may be best if I talk about my understandings of the criteria opening with Steve or on the blog so that if I have got it wrong I can be corrected before I hand in an assignment.

I couldn’t have actually come this far without my sketchbook and thus I would not be able to carry on without it. I think that it is still very important for me to record my work in the sketchbook as it helped me understand a great deal more. The sketchbook was also a recorder for me as when I forget things all I have to do is read certain parts of it back to remember.

To get there fully I also need to know when to ask for help. All this year I have been too shy enough to ask for help on my work. However this has also caused some of my work to slack in details stopping me from getting higher marks. I suppose more than anything it was just stubbornness I believed that I was right, however for the second year I will always ask for help if I need it to make sure that my work is done fully and correctly, I think this will help me reach my full potential.

Goals for next year

Sketchbook, even though a sketchbook is not art of the syllabus next year, I would like to continue using one. However I would also like to get a lot better at using the sketchbook and maybe record my time in the sketchbook also as I think it would help me more than it being a separate sheet.

Time, I know for a fact that I need to improve my time keeping next year. One thing I have been thinking abut is keeping a record of time in a sketchbook as I think I would remember to do everything if I was seeing it everyday like the sketchbook.
Tutorials, I would like to learn one new skill from a tutorial every 2 month starting from the second year. I think learning advanced options in applications can only help me in the future.

More reading, this one is a definite; as I struggle with spelling reading more books would help me greatly. However it is not just about my spelling. I think getting books such as CSS and Illustrator for beginners will help me a lot when trying to complete my work.

Help, I need to learn when to ask for help, instead of waiting until the last minute. This should help me get the first few passes with no problems.
Grades: In the second year I am aiming for 2 passes and 3 merits. This should be very doable but I will have to work my hardest to ensure I stick to this as I want to get the best grades possible.

Word Count 1844

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Check Check Check

This week is mainly one for checking and making sure that all my work is up to scratch. I have been so proud of my self over the last week as I have finished everything a week in advance just like it should be.

However this does not mean I can slack off, I am very aware that even though on the outside it looks as if I have done all the work however simple mistakes can be easily made, so to make sure everything is done this week will be mainly testing and checking to make sure that all my work is complete.

To carry on being happy with my self I will make sure I keep up this high standard of work, I am getting more confident in the way the course is marked which means I should be improving, however there are still some parts of my work which I'm not totally happy with.

One of these is not checking my work properly, this can lead to me missing out on marks in the most easiest way. However this time round I have developed a check-list which will hopefully allow me to fulfil my job correctly and get all the work complete.

The first error I found this week through the check list we did last week and my own is that I did not make my images CMYK, this made me realise that I have not finished my work but rather done a rough sketch of my work.

The hardest thing of last week was which logo to use. However what made me happy is that when I posted this problem on the forum I was quickly given feedback and helped into choosing which logo I should use for the job. This took a lot of pressure off my self and allowed me to carry on work.

The happiest moment of this week was finally getting everything uploaded into Indesign, I had very few problems doing this however I did struggle to make the writing go around the inside of the CD, this of cause meant I had to go on a research mission to find the answer.

Now that most of the work is complete I feel a lot happier with my self however I am constantly checking to make sure that I have done everything correctly.

The next thing on my mind is the evaluation, I am actually finding it very pleasing this time round, mainly because I have placed all my feelings on the blog so I can just look back and find out what I was struggling with and what I was happy with.