Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Midsummer Projects for the Aspiring Designer

As the summer is fast approaching its end, I'm found myself searching making a list for last minute projects/activities I'd like to do so I compiled a list. The following list is just a general list for those aspiring to be designers and improve on their skills, though I understand if each person has their own way of cultivating their design and don't necessarily agree with all elements on this list. This, however, has been working for me.

Fill up an entire sketchbook
Whether it's just with random doodles or anatomy (like me), it's important to carry one with you all the time. It gets tiring to hear people stressing this fact over and over but it's true; you never know what unexpected thing you're going to see, hear or feel and you might want to jot it down. Plus, it gives you something to do on your downtime.

Take a day trip...

... To the art museum or local gallery. Make sure to fill up a sketchbook with as much notes and inspiration bits as you can. Even if it involves writing notes and metaphors to the piece. Many designs can have certain metaphors in its creation and make it all the more meaningful at upon its completion. So don't always rule out writing.

Take an art class
Color theory and composition should be major ones on the list and can definitely help you in the long run. Two classes I have taken that both related to these concepts have definitely done wonders when it comes to assessing what's important in a piece. If you have already taken several or don't have the money for one, there's books and the internet to make up for it. Classic painters are wonderful to start.

Read a book or magazine
Preferably over design or art-related subject. Though not quite as active as the others projects, reading and actually taking in what you read can be a very active endeavor. Ways to be a more active reader is to whip out a notebook (or your sketchbook), and start taking notes. It's slower but you'll absorb a lot more in the long run Plus, you can always refer to those notes later.

Learn to take a break
Sit out in the patio and just relax. Meditate. Listen to music. Just learn to walk away from a project that is absolutely absorbing you and then go back and see the big picture. Picking out mistakes and appreciating the good decisions in a project will be taken into account more than if you didn't.

See the world in which you live in
Yes, this is an age-old saying but it's so true. We're all guilty of "zoning out" habit. But sometimes, letting down that habit can open your eyes to new things. And changing up your routine a little might help the "zoning out" habit; go adventure out into the city or drive a different way to work. Take walks in the evening and such.

Take what you learn and do it
Most people end up stuck in a cycle of learning and not actively practicing what they learn. In design, something has to come out of it: whether it be a redesigned bedroom, a flyer, a website, artwork -something. A designer could be anyone- graphic, web, interior, etc. but the message is the same: Take everyday as a learning experience and do it.

Right now I've been working on filling up my sketchbook before the summer is out and so far, I'm doing great. The biggest challenge is actually filling it up with useful content that I could possibly use later on in the future. As far as the other items on the list, it's always going to be a work in progress.

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Blogger chris said...

Real great, Pam! Of course, since I am unfamiliar with anything concerning the process of making visual art, the list you had was highly interesting.Even if I do not aspire to be an artist, the list was nonetheless helpful in suggesting different avenues for investing my time.
In other words, Real great, Pam!

July 16, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

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