April 13, 2011 § Leave a Comment
January 22, 2011 § 2 Comments
What’s the single most important thing you accomplished in 2010? And how do you plan to top it in 2011 (perhaps by completing your blogging challenge!)
I would say it’s difficult to trump visiting 26 cities in 10 different European countries over 6 months, plus coming back and going to Sri Lanka less than 2 weeks after. That was definitely the biggest thing I did in 2010.
What was the most important thing I accomplished, however.. Europe taught me to be a better designer, more relaxed, and a better person overall.
As a very bad workaholic (as all my friends would know) and an unforgiving perfectionist (on both myself and others), I have been very harsh on people for being what I deemed to be incompetent. I was almost always stressed out, OCD and a control nut over many things, which made me more enemies than friends, and Europe taught me to let go of this.
The first couple of months I was almost always edgy and restless, with it being winter, the shops all closing at 4pm and not even supermarkets being open on Sunday. I would wonder with great bewilderment to myself what on earth these Swiss people did with all the hours in a day they spent doing absolutely NOTHING. There was pretty much nothing to do but watch Korean dramas (yes this is where it started). But slowly as the months progressed, I learned to appreciate the fact that unlike most of us running this rat race in a country that sells itself as a country that will crumble if it ever lets a single muscle relax, Swiss people, and most Europeans in general, are quite chill about life.
Grades, university degrees and high rolling jobs were not much on the priority list. Instead they enjoyed the slow pace of life and the change in seasons with an attitude that was almost foreign to my Singapore-programmed mind. In winter everyone went home early and snuggled, in spring everyone went out to the park to enjoy the return of the flowers, and in summer they swam and paddled on the lake, ate gelato, drank beer and watched outdoor concerts every other weekend in the company of friends and family (and dogs, many, many dogs).
All these I took some time to comprehend, and to finally, appreciate and learn to enjoy for myself. And all these taught me the most important lessons I’ve learned in a long time, and the lessons are these:
1. Happiness is not defined by goals
2. Attaining happiness is not synonymous with attaining said goals, dreams or ambitions
3. Perfectionism is not excellence, and being excellent is not about being a perfectionist
4. People and relationships are the most important thing to value in life, not competence or genius
How am I going to top it in 2011?
I don’t know. But it’s okay.
In the meantime here by some random office doodles of my fellow interns… goodnight!
January 4, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Okay folks, as promised earlier on Twitter, I will be giving away an A4 copy of the 2011 Bible Verses Calendar! This is my first time doing a blog giveaway so let’s see how it goes!
There are 3 ways to enter this giveaway. Each person may have up to 3 chances to win the calendar based on the methods below. You may only use each method once. Duplicate entries of each type from the same person will be rendered void.
How to win a 2011 Bible Verses Calendar:
1. Direct Comment
Leave a comment below with your favourite Bible verse and why. (Remember to include your name/email to qualify!)
Tweet (or retweet from friends) the link to this entry and include my Twitter handle (@lizzaeh)
Follow up by leaving a comment on this post with the permalink to your tweet on this entry.
Remember to include your name/email.
All steps must be completed to qualify.
How to: (from Squidoo.com)
Share the link to the giveaway on Facebook. Follow up by leaving a comment on this post with the permalink to your Facebook post. Remember to include your name/email.
All steps must be completed to qualify.
How to: (from Squidoo.com)
Terms and regulations:
1. This giveaway will run until Wednesday, 5 January 2011, 2359h and is only open to those living in Singapore.
2. All incomplete entries (without name/email) will be rendered void.
3. If the randomly selected winner is found to be living outside Singapore, the entry will be considered void and a new winner will be selected.
4. The winner of the giveaway will be notified via email and is to reply within 24hours. If not, the entry will be considered void and a new winner will be selected.
As a reminder, you can find out here how to purchase these calendars here.
The deadline to ORDER the calendars is Friday, 7 January, 2359h, GMT +8:00 (Singapore time).
The deadline for the above giveaway competition is Wednesday, 5 January, 2359h, GMT +8:00 (Singapore time).
Okay, that’s it for now, looking forward to your support on my virgin blog giveaway!
We just collected him this evening and he’s still figuring out where we want him to pee and stuff, but he is the cutest thing ever and such a handsome little, short leggy, white pawed boy.
January 3, 2011 § 11 Comments
2011 Bible verse calendar.
Designed this originally for a friend.
Second photo is the actual print copy. Colors reflected on the print are not accurate because of the bad lighting in my room and my bad white balancing. The actual colors are very close to the first graphic.
This calendar is for sale and I will be taking orders over the next week if anyone is interested in having one.
Printed a few as gifts for friends and printing is actually pretty expensive (there are cheaper options but they always get my colors wrong somehow). I want to get them out as prettily as possible so I don’t print these cheaply.
These calendars are laser-printed on 250gsm matt paper and will come with a clip and wall hook. (Ribbon not included.)
(Again, colors are not accurate. Refer to first photo for actual tone.)
The calendar will be available in A4 and A3 (the above pictured are A3):
A4: SGD$30 each ($25 each if you purchase 3 or more) + $1 for ribbon
A3: SGD$45 each ($40 each if you purchase 3 or more) + $1 for ribbon
These calendars are for self-collection in Singapore only (they are heavy and postage will be insanely expensive).
If you are interested in purchasing these calendars, please email me at faramir[@]gmail.com by 7 January 2011 with your name, the size/quantity you want and your contact information and we will work something out. Planning to have them ready for collection by 10 January (Monday).
I have NO idea what the response to this will be, but if you want to get one (or two, or more), let me know.
November 21, 2010 § 1 Comment
So earlier this week we handed in a report. Now i’m normally not one to bother talking about reports because reports are boring. You print them on flat white A4 paper in Times New Roman font size 12, double spaced, with APA referencing and a polite, academic style of writing that your professor also politely grades in respond.
So for this particular report, our group decided to get a little more creative. In part because the topic allowed us to do so, and also because it was a good excuse for me to design something… though we ended up not having very much time so ‘designing’ was relegated to a rushed few hour cheong job.
The brief given was as follows:
The project is a report on the current state of the industry, looking at ONE of five topics. Students should write a 3,000-word report addressing the question, which should cover but not confine itself to the questions below:
Specialisation is the key to success. Talk to 5 individuals and 2 companies who have specialised in one niche area, and explore how specialisation has helped differentiate them from their competitors, or has made it harder to find work. Consider the following topics from the lecture series: Agency work; personnel; budgeting; planning and decision making; leadership and motivation – and any other topics you feel are relevant.
Multi-task or die. Talk to 5 individuals and 2 companies who have found they must break out of their niche or specialisation and learn news skills in order to survive. Explore how multi-tasking (or being skilled in many different things) has helped or hindered them. Consider the following topics from the lecture series: Agency work; personnel, planning and decision making; change management; leadership and motivation – and any other topics you feel are relevant.
These were two of the five topics offered. We started out meaning to angle ours to the former. But our research led us to places where we could not honestly provide such a single-sided perspective. Eventually, our final product became a marriage of the two and I would like to share it with all of you today.
I guess we (the 5 of us) wrote it intending for it to be easily digestible, something like a magazine, more of an opinion or article substantiated by supporting evidence based on current trends we observed in the advertising industry.
This piece is not meant to be an exhaustive or comprehensive coverage of the subject, we do not claim to be experts AT ALL in this field, but we hope you enjoy reading our exposition anyway.
The 21st Century Adman: Surviving the volatile jungle of advertising in the digital age
Authored by: Walter Sim, Poh Wee Koon, Hendric Tay, Audrey Tsen & Elizabeth Lee
Summary: Where is advertising going as an industry in the 21st century? Gary Leih, Chairman of Ogilvy Group UK, once said, “Ever since I joined the industry almost 30 years ago, I’ve been hearing predictions that agencies are going out of business. First it was the dotcom revolution … then it was the rise of the Internet. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now.” (Tylee, 2009). So who will survive in this industry where the only constant is a constant state of flux? We discuss who, how, and what you need in order to stay abreast for the times ahead.
June 23, 2010 § 1 Comment
Hey guys (or whoever actually reads my blog), sorry for the lack of updates. Still adjusting to the very visible absence of a 15 inch macbookpro. The 10 inch glory of my asus eee pc is still driving me crazy. I’m squinting at font size 4 text as I type now. And my main form of entertainment, believe it or not and laugh if you must, is Spider Solitaire. You have no idea how much of it I’ve played in the past week. Schadenfreude for you.
And now the biggest blow to my Apple ego… I have downloaded GIMP. This little guy is never going to run Photoshop (it can’t even stream videos without lagging, and I can’t play flash games because it lags too. Hence Spider Solitaire). So… a laggy GIMP is still better than nothing. >_<
I have Lightroom installed but I was never that much of a fan since I normally use Aperture for photo editing. And the interface becomes a lot less user friendly when its on 10 inches. In general, to sum up using a small netbook for regular daily use = I have never had to use so many scrollbars (horizontal and vertical) in my life.
And with that I shall stop whining about not having my macbookpro at my disposal. I miss you Greenie.
Instead, I shall talk about happier things! Like the fact that I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S ALREADY THE END OF JUNE! WHICH MEANS THE 1ST OF JULY IS COMING (NEXT THURSDAY)!!! WHICH MEANS, *DRUMROLLLLLLLL* JASON IS COMING!!!!!
I’m so excited. I’m through trying to study for Thursday’s and Friday’s exams. Berlin, then I’ll get to see boyfriend (1/7), sister (6/7) and momma (9/7). Joy joy joy.
This is a (very kiddy, I know, I’m no artist) doodle I shoved into Jason’s bag just before we left for the airport in a rush on 5 Feb 10. I intended to give it to him properly but there wasn’t time so I folded it and threw it in for him to find when he got home. I know it looks like it was drawn by a 5 year old but he like can already okay? Lol.
Time flies. I can’t believe I can finally say I’m seeing him in a week.
Starting to firm up plans with my Mom and Sis for when they’re here in Swiss. They’ll both be here at different times and we’re doing different activities. (E.g. paragliding with sis and no we haven’t told mom, and sightseeing and taking cablecar and staying in nice hotels with mommy…).
The USIfriends are all starting to leave one by one. Jesus (one of the Spanish, for anyone who may suddenly be very confused) leaves tomorrow morning, and we’re waking up to say goodbye. I’m bad with farewells these days, but I definitely have had some amazing times with these people. By the time I get back on 1 July most of them will be gone… And I’d be saying bye to Becky and Maxi at Milan MXP itself as I wait out many hours for Jason to arrive. (Camping out in Berlin Schoenefeld overnight, reaching Milan MXP at 9am, Maxi’s flight is at noon, Becky’s at 1pm, and Jason arrives around 2.) I’m so definitely taking StarStation back to Lugano this time. Goodness.
StarStation is a private shuttle operator that costs 35CHF/23EUROS and goes from Milan MXP straight to Lugano. The other alternative to getting here is taking the shuttle to Milan Centrale (7.5EUROS), then taking the regional train to Chiasso (first stop on the Swiss border, 4.2EUROS), and then changing to the far nicer, brighter and more comfortable Swiss trains to return to Lugano (free for us after 7pm as we have the Track 7 Swiss Rail card).
According to our well thought out calculations, being stingy students abroad who try to save every dollar we can, this means that we save about 10EUROS going the long way. However, in the case of our return from Barcelona last week, saving 10EUROS also meant wasting 5 hours of my life as compared to the 1 hour bus ride proffered by StarStation.
Junhua and I landed in MXP around 8pm, got to Centrale before 9.30pm, missed our 9.38pm connection, ended up having to take the metro to another station to catch the last train at 10.38pm, got to Chiasso past midnight, and finally trudged back to our accommodation past 1.00am in the morning. Srsly? I’m just going to take StarStation. :]
Gonna go crash now so I can wake up by 7 to see Jesus off. But here’s some shots of my mini-Moo cards and card holder that came ages ago but I haven’t posted pictures of.
Moo’s pretty fun to use and it’s not exorbitantly expensive (yes yes I know we can get cheaper printing in Singapore), but I’m a victim of good marketing, services and user interfaces and Moo really makes it very easy for you to make namecards even if you aren’t a designer. Go check out their site (moo.co.uk). If anyone wants to get them done and wants to save on shipping you can send them to my Swiss address and I’ll bring them back for you. 100 minicards costs €13.79, with up to 100 designs if you so chose. I printed 5 designs, so its 20 cards per design. Shipping to Swiss is another €4.25 and I paid €3.74 for the sleek orange minicard holder. Total: €21.78
Go play around with the interface a bit and you’ll see how easy it is to use. They also offer a lot of gorgeous premade designs for people who want cards quick and ready to print, and you can easily add and tweak how you want your contact information to look.
Okay end of commercial. No they’re not paying me (I wish) to advertise, but I do acknowledge and admire a well-thought out online business.
Mmkay, bed time. I will do my best to keep to the resolution of updating more frequently. Goodnight, and good morning to everyone in Singapore.
June 6, 2010 § Leave a Comment
This entry is (mostly) about the 2010 European Design Conference which was held in Rotterdam from 28 to 30 May. But also a little bit about these
pyjama genie pants that’s all the rage here during summer.
They generally look like this:
I used to think they were funny whenever I saw anyone wearing them in Singapore, because they kinda remind me of pyjamas and were therefore such silly things to be wearing out of the house. But now that the temperature in Lugano is on par with Singapore, everyone everywhere in Europe seems to be donning these flappy pantaloons. (It’s way too hot for jeans and anything with sleeves now.) I bought myself a pair from H&M some weeks back and let me tell you, these things are AMAZINGLY COMFORTABLE. Why don’t people wear them more in Singapore??? (Because they look like pyjama pants, stupid.)
I love wearing them and am so definitely getting a few more pairs for home. They are a nice alternative to berms and shorts (which is all I wear in Singapore, anyway). And also since I never wear jeans in Singapore (unless I’ve been told to). Too hot too hot!
Okay I digress. Back to the conference.
There were 15 speakers in total, so I won’t go through each individually but I’ll talk about the ones that inspired me the most. Then I’ll give my overall thoughts on the conference at the end.
Reza Abedini (Iran/Netherlands)
One of my two favourites from the conference. His work with the study of arabic typography is groundbreaking stuff.
The most memorable quote for me from the conference also came from him. During the Q&A when someone asked him why he didn’t really work with roman typography and whether he would like to work with roman type, his reply was something like this:
‘You Dutch (or Western, something to that effect) people already do it so well, why would I want to compete with you doing something you have already perfected?’
As one of the very few Chinese Asians (I think the grand total was 3) there, this was a line that struck me deeply and will definitely influence my future work. I never stop asking myself the question why the Southeast Asian design scene is still so unestablished and what we can do to help strengthen and mature design culture in our region. It’s a cumulation of factors, definitely, but part of it could be accrued to the fact that we spend so much time trying to copy what the West has already perfected, and the results are often lackluster and pale imitations of work that already exists. Even a really good copy is still, at the end of the day, a copy. I really hope to see a unique brand of Singaporean design emerge in the next couple of decades as we mature and develop our own sense of style and culture and not always have to imitate the work of others. Integrate and assimilate into something we can call our own, yes. But not copy.
Because I really liked their presentation, vibes and sense of humour.
Because they’re good-looking and Swiss.
Okay. More than that. Because I really like their series of posters for Schauspielhaus Zürich and their awesome cardboard boxes installation at the 2000-Watt-Gesellschaft. Better graphics on their site.
Philippe Apeloig (France)
My other favourite and most admired designer from the conference. His work is just so conceptually strong, tight, clean and poignantly brilliant. And his designed typefaces to suit the personality of each piece he’s executing… admirably awesome work. *kowtows* Snapshots below, but a lot of his work is clearer and well presented on his site, so go look at it…
And there was also the grand-daddy of Dutch design, Gert Dumbar of Studio Dumbar. His work was also really amazing… especially the infographic system for disaster/epidemic relief that he’s working on now that he kindly requested we not publish online.
Most of the speakers were good, but I didn’t manage to catch photos of everything so these are just some of the ones I did.
It’s hard for me to describe all that I’ve learned from my 168 euro investment just to attend this conference.
Of the conference itself, I must say as a first experience I was slightly disappointed by the turn-out. I guess in my mind I had expected more, especially after attending the Design Society’s Forum in Singapore in January.
However, it was a great, GREAT learning experience for me, just sitting there taking it all in, listening to the speakers and to the types of questions being thrown about during Q&A. Just from the questions alone the difference between the design scene back home and here is clearly evident. It enlightened me to just how mature and established the Dutch design scene is. I am envious of how fortunate they are to have a very supportive government and private sector, who trust and often give their designers great autonomy in their work. Many crazy and exciting ideas can be done, the government supports experimental work, and the study of graphic design there is seen more as respectable profession than I have ever known it to be back home.
There, graphic design is not diluted by advertising. The two professions are clearly defined and well separated. Back home we tend to equate one to another, which was a great cause of my growing disillusion with my craft. (I already don’t believe in advertising, but I was starting to despair about design.)
However, after this entire trip, wandering Amsterdam and Rotterdam and laying my eyes upon beautiful works of design, my strength is renewed. I again begin to believe that good design can and will, change the world. It’s difficult to expound on, but some of my closer friends have heard me try to explain, and I hope they see at least a little of how I’ve seen it. Everything I have learned is firmly in my head, the vision burning behind my eyes, and the cause firmly planted in my heart.
I have learned so much about myself and my craft this trip, and not just this trip, but this entire experience in Europe for the past few months. Coming to Europe has definitely been the greatest turning-point in my life yet. It has built the foundations for my future, directions for where I want to go as a person, as a designer and as a believer in how the role of design is to communicate.
Initially I really felt as though I was wasting my time here. I like Lugano, and USI, but doing PR and marketing courses are really not my life’s passion. Here I was in Switzerland, the land of grids and Helvetica with so many good design universities to it’s name, and I was doing PR and marketing courses.
But God always causes all things to work out for my good, and it turned out that the way the courses were structured gave me oodles of free time to pursue personal projects, to work on my own craft and to have time to reflect and grow not just in technical skills, but learn more about what it takes to be a professional designer and not merely someone who can use Adobe software. I’m still growing, ever growing. My motto remains that: the day I think I’m good is the day I stop learning, and is therefore the day I fail.
This is why I often seem to be very harsh on myself, but I want to continue to learn and grow, keep learning, and learning, and keep getting better and better at what I do. I will never be the best. And I will never be ‘good enough’, because the race will never end. But I will be the best Lizzy that I can be, the best designer that Lizzy at whatever point in time of her life can be, and once that moment passes, the next ‘best’ awaits.
Things are moving for me at the moment, I’ll talk more about it if and when it actually happens.
Doors are opening, and God will lead me to the right ones. Now the next pressing task is to find an internship for next year. Self-sourcing will not be easy, but the same way God made all things work out for my good by causing circumstances to allow me to come to Switzerland, the same way God will provide the needed time and chance for me to do an overseas, graphic design internship for Spring 2011. Amen, amen and amen.
June 4, 2010 § 2 Comments
So I’m back from my biggest trip of this semester. I hadn’t realized it was so long till I was there. Two days in Amsterdam, three in Rotterdam and another two in Amsterdam to round it off. Plus half a day in Geneva on my way back to Lugano. Boy did it feel long, especially towards the end. I thought I would never get back after camping 12 hours in Schiphol airport, taking a plane and 2 train rides (approx. 5 hours) across the Swiss landscape lugging more than 20kilos on my shoulders.
Exhausted, but feel like I’ve grown and learned so much on this pilgrimage of sorts. Right now it’s still difficult to put into words everything that is imprinted firmly in my head, I’m not sure if I will actually succeed in verbalizing what I’ve experienced, but I will try.
This is the first in a series of self-reflective entries about the trip. Each part of it was a different sort of learning journey for me as an individual and as a creative, so they deserve the attention.
Walter was with me for about 4 days, the 3 in Rotterdam and 1 in Amsterdam. I think he thinks I’m a very sad person, I don’t know why. Contemplative, reflective, more so than usual, but I’m now ready to reconcile with myself and push forward with walking down this path.
I return with a renewed sense of strength to pursue my craft, with an understanding of the maturity of Europe’s design culture that is so gapingly absent back home. Now my thoughts are, how do I bring these things that I have learned and apply them back home? The Dutch are really fortunate in how supportive the private and public sectors are of good design.
I used to think that Swiss design was good, then I went to Holland, and now that I’m back in Swiss things are starting to feel ugly. I know I’m going to encounter even more grief once I return to Singapore. But truly I was hard-pressed to find bad graphic design in Amsterdam and Rotterdam. The government really supports the design community, and in turn the design community is allowed to experiment and grow so much as designers that they have reached a comfortable sort of pinnacle in terms of their work.
Of course with some entrenched ‘schools of thought’ in that circle, designs sometime become stifling and predictable, but still very strong and largely, admirably brilliant. I must not despair. (Though I did, in the immediate aftermath of the conference.)
I will bring my work to a higher level, and I will bring it back home with me. I will live to see the day that the Southeast Asian design community is strengthened through collaborations and unique work that is excellent but definitively ours, one that will be distinct from the European schools of thought but still equally brilliant.
Okay! Design stuff later, but since I like chronology, we’ll start with my first evening as an introduction to Amsterdam.
Okay, yes Amsterdam has lots of canals and pretty houses. But those pictures above were more of my general first impression of the place (after the copious presence of bikes, read on to find out. City-wise I felt very comfortable there. Maybe because I was finally somewhere I could speak English and be understood. It took me a while to readjust to saying ‘Hi’ and ‘Thank you’ instead of ‘Bonjourno’ and ‘Grazie’.
And maybe also because Amsterdam has very diverse ethnicity, sort of like Singapore. But whatever it was, it didn’t take me long to feel pretty comfortable there. The whole place is actually pretty small and walkable. By my last day there I didn’t really need a map to navigate around.
On my first evening (was past 7pm by the time I got to my hostel) I went for Art Amsterdam. Now, I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting, but what I did encounter was a little bit of a surprise. It was essentially an exhibit of exhibits, of various galleries exhibiting and trying to sell their 4-digit priced pieces to rich people sipping champagne. It felt somewhat like a display of modern day bourgeoisie. Eager artists and sellers trying to pawn their goods and sidle up into the good books of people with lots of time and money to throw around. (But hey in the context of it I’m just a lowly uneducated peasant, so what do I know. )
On the way to the exhibition hall my bus passed this van, which I just managed to get a snapshot of.
I realize you can’t really read the words but it says ‘Art doesn’t give answers, only questions’. Little did I realize what a premonition this was for my experience at Art Amsterdam (I paid 10 euros to walk around for little over an hour. And that’s student price mind you, it’s 20 euros a pop).
If art asks the questions, then I suppose design hold the answers. I have heard, been told and totally agree with the statement that design isn’t art. Design has a function. Art, well, it’s subjective there. But I guess after going for this exhibition I must say that the converse holds true. Art is definitely NOT design. I’ve always had an issue with post-modern art. Most of the stuff in London’s Tate Museum flies over my head. And most of the stuff at Art Amsterdam I likewise, could not appreciate.
But I did catch some photographs of the things that I did like better, even if I didn’t understand it.
So that was Art Amsterdam for you. No other opinion apart from how out of place I felt at that rather ‘chi-chi’ event.
More about Day 2 later when I get up, where I nearly die every 10 seconds attempting to ride a bike on the streets of Amsterdam (which can also be referred to as the day I got sworn at the most in the life).
Amsterdam is a bike friendly city, which is a nice way of saying that almost everyone here bikes, cars and bikes travel at almost the same speed: fast, and everyone has to share that same little bit of road and you have to look both ways all the time because bikes/pedestrians/tourists come from EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE. It is shit scary. I have no better way to describe it.
But just to whet your appetite and give you a small sense of how it is, here’s the bike parking space outside the central train station. It was the very, very first thing I saw of Amsterdam and I literally LOL-ed as I walked out of the station and gazed upon this amazing spectacle.
Get ready to be blown away, though the pictures really do it no justice.
And you know what’s the best part? The bike park ain’t enough, seriously. The bikes overflow and spill all over the outside as well.
Truly one heck of an amazing sight!!! (Yes I think it deserves 3 exclamation marks.)
So I’ll update more in a bit. Right now though I realize I have two exams to study for before my next trip to Spain on the 14th. One on Tues and the other on Friday. Let me attempt to remember what this ‘studying’ thing is. It has been so long and under normal circumstances I would be panicking just about now that I haven’t, at all, started studying.
But circumstances here are different.
So catch you guys in a few hours.
May 25, 2010 § 1 Comment
I received another green envelop today!
It’s so preeeeeeetty! And it’s kind of uncanny because I know I’ve definitely seen that pendant somewhere online before (tumblr possibly), and I remembered thinking it was such a nice pretty thing to have and now I have it! LOVES!!
I’m off to Amsterdam tomorrow. SUPER excited about it! I’ll be in Amsterdam tomorrow and Thursday, Rotterdam Friday to Sunday for the European Design Conference, and Monday and Tuesday in Amsterdam again. Pulling an overnighter in Schiphol airport on Tuesday and will be coming back from Geneva on Wednesday (visit the Red Cross Museum and do the UN tour).
AND I found out that there’s Art Amsterdam going on while I’m there so it’s pretty awesome, I’m going to get to go to TWO big design events! Will probably be heading there for opening night tomorrow since it’s going to be open till 10pm and I only touch down in Amsterdam around 5pm.
I’m so ridiculously excited about going to Amsterdam and just spending my time browsing vintage shops and kooky indie designer products that I can’t afford but love looking at anyway. AND there’s all the kind of museums that I LIKE. Dutch Resistance Museum, Jewish Historical Museum, Anne Frank House…
I’ll be alone for quite a bit, Walter will pretty much only be meeting me for the conference in Rotterdam and a day in Amsterdam.
I’ll see if I can blog on the road, will bring my little EEE PC which has been largely neglected of late.
Okay, inspiration time. Here’s some really cool stuff my Google Reader picked up in the past couple of days.
Riveli Shelving. It’s a fold-downshelving unit for small spaces! Real cool.
Installation by Alex McLeod.
Really like this corporate identity!
Design by Bruneau Rossow. WKW should brand the research department like this. Way coolness.
Great looking graphic work by Rishi Sodha! Really do check this one out, it’s awesome.
Freelancer notepad. Wants. And oh, definitely do browse the Supermarket site, it’s an online shop that sells directly from designers! Really unique, kooky and interesting design goods at prices I’m still unwilling to fork out money for. Lol. But it’s all good stuff.
And on another note, time to plug the Boston Big Picture again.
I have my cynicisms about the sanctity of journalistic traditions and how it’s being upheld by the media conglomerates of the world. But looking through the amazing photos on this site always brings back the pride and belief I have in the role of journalism and photojournalists. Many a photo there has made my heart skip beats, the recent Bangkok ones especially, along with the Vietnam War and current Afghan War ones being juxtaposed so closely after the other in a slightly ironic way. Seeing pictures of fallen photojournalists (Bangkok entries) always makes my heart sick. Seeing the damage to the ecosystem the oil spill is having makes my blood simmer.
These pictures evoke emotions and the desire for a call to action. They stay with you, echoed imprints in your mind that bridge the geographical gap between these seemingly distant events and yourself. This to me is why journalism need exist. Why photographers continue to die in the line of duty to tell a story that isn’t even theirs. These pictures tell me that journalism is still very much alive, that the economic monster of the 21st century hasn’t completely killed it yet. Long live the honour of men and women who continue to tell the stories that the world may not want to, but needs to hear. God bless their souls.
Well, I’ll end on this slightly solemn note. Go look at the pictures. Think. Reflect. Be thankful for the small things and live each day to the fullest. These are turbulent times we live in. Life is too unpredictable to postpone your dreams.
Peace out and I’ll blog again from Amsterdam!
May 21, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Okay. Here goes something I’ve been intending to do for a while.
I’ve been browsing so many awesome things every day that I think it’s time I share them with everyone.
Let me try to keep this up regularly.
8 designs that inspired me today:
1. Columbia U Film Festival
What I hope WKW will be able to have some day in the not so distant future.
5 articles I read that were useful/inspiring:
1.Women In Web Design: Group Interview
Is it difficult for female designers to find their place in the design community?
I personally don’t believe it is difficult. Talent speaks much louder than gender. Good work is good work. I’ve never had any issues with being a woman in the industry, and I feel I’ve had the same opportunities as my male counterparts. Although, it is still disappointing to go to conferences and rarely see many female speakers. Is this because gender is still a factor in the industry, or is it simply because there are fewer of us?
However, I think part of the problem lies in the lack of willingness among many female designers to get involved in self-promotion. I believe as a whole that we don’t tend to bang the drum about our work as hard or market ourselves as strongly. In Jeffrey Zeldman’s article “Women in Web Design: Just the Stats,” he writes in the comments something that reinforces my thoughts on this:
More men brag than women; it seems to be a culturally learned behaviour. Several absolutely brilliant women I know cannot be persuaded to write or lecture or otherwise promote themselves… There’s a concensus that women, however smart or talented, are less likely than men to put themselves forward. We all miss out by not hearing their voices.
Without a doubt, the industry is male-dominated. For example, just in the UK, women make up only around 39% of those in the design industry (Design Council). I think this is mainly because Web design is still confused with IT in general. Many females feel you have to be a math, science or programming whiz to pursue it as a career and simply don’t believe they have the ability.
What should students and new designers focus on outside of their course work to advance in their careers?
It’s important to expand your knowledge to any areas that are related to design. Most design courses concentrate on the basics or on how to use the various pieces of software that are available. These are just basic tools for new designers, but they won’t make you a great designer.
Learn about art, layout and composition, and try to read at least one new book on design every month, or even one per week. Subscribe to design blogs such as Smashing Magazine and Webdesigner Depot, and never stop learning. Keep updating your knowledge whenever possible by attending conferences, reading books and magazines and becoming involved in the local artistic community. Try to become a well-rounded designer, not just an operator of Photoshop or another design software tool.
George Lois, the real-life inspiration for Don Draper in Mad Men, said it best:
“The computer has played a role in destroying creativity with Photoshop. Everybody thinks they’re a designer.”
While he may be generalizing a bit, I believe what is meant is that you can’t be a proper designer without understanding the fundamentals of art and design.
Know Your Stuff
One of the biggest challenges of forgoing a traditional education is to actually get an education at all.
Self-taught designers must be extremely well disciplined. In addition, they must have the resources to be able to study graphic design and learn any skills they will need. The Internet is both a blessing and a curse. We’re so used to finding everything instantly that we forget the importance of internalizing information.
Attention to detail is of utmost importance. People will judge you harshly because you don’t have a degree, so you have to show them why they are wrong. Know your design principles and practice them well, and the critics will shut up pretty quickly. In addition to tutorials and online information, read books on graphic design. Some recent research-based design books introduce new principles that are here to stay.
Like it or not, people have a bias for academia. You need to prove why being self-taught gives you an edge to better engage your audience. Don’t forget the importance of the portfolio as a tool to earn people’s trust in your skills. In addition to conventional projects, make sure to showcase work that is somewhat academic in nature and that shows off your knowledge of sound design principles.
College provides a unique bubble of responsibility-free time. Seriously. Think about it, at what other point in your life are you able to dedicate 100% of your focus towards becoming whatever you want to be? In college, self-improvement is your full time job.
College teaches you social skills, time management, and responsibility. Alright, so that sounds like something off a promotional brochure, but honestly, are you really mature enough (financially and socially) at 18 to hurdle into the professional world of web design/life in general?
Limit the number
If you can, try and keep it to about 6-10 good size projects. People don’t want to go through everything you have done and will probably make up their minds about you during the first 3 you show. Obviously if you don’t have much to show for any of them (e.g an individual logo) you could consider showing more projects.
Select your best
I can’t stress this one enough and you will hear the same thing from other people in the industry: Only select your best work and work you want to talk about. If you don’t love it or can’t talk about it endlessly, over and over, it will show and they won’t be interested. I know myself it’s tempting to fill out your portfolio with work that isn’t your best but shows other skills or types of client. But it won’t be long before you struggle to talk about them engagingly, and you will come across as not enjoying your work.
PHEW! Wow. Never knew putting together a post like this was so much work! Shall find a way to be able to do a daily inspiration entry more efficiently. But hopefully I’ll keep it up so expect more to come.