At the end of the road it is always easier to reflect on the journey you have behind you and think about how each turn of the road has made you stronger and has helped you grow. For me this unit has certainly been the fullest 2 months, squeezing so much experiences and knowledge.
I can see that as a creative, I have changed my views and my processes as to how I work. I have also become a better person, too. As I am quite self-centered (but let’s face it, all artists are), and like to work alone and want to do things my way, so I was never very much into working in a group, or working with friends even. I am usually bossy and it is hard for me to take a step back and appreciate that someone might have valuable input in a project that involves me. And that was for me the biggest challenge. Still taking the role of the leader and organiser but doing it in a way that it voices the opinions of all the members of the team.
This was definitely the quickest I’ve ever had to work like in my life, which was a blessing for me as I usually tend to over-think concepts and then stay lost in the research for too long. But this time the limited time-frame has almost forced me into taking quicker decisions and stick to my ideas trying to make them work and quickly overcome whatever problems may rise (i.e. the printing issues).
Once again I have worked with mediums that I know well and love, that being writing, film, photography and digital layouts on inDesign. But within them I certainly discovered new parts of myself and I have definitely developed my skills in all of the different areas that I explored.
Writing the 2,000 word report about Volt Magazine was an interesting new subject for me, as I haven’t tried gathering information about a marketing report before. But it was a good thing for me as I learnt how to analyse information that I get from magazines better. It was good for me that I worked on writing about a publication that I have known for a while and understand their branding. It definitely helped me seeing their artistic direction but also the practical aspect of how they gather their funding or what makes the magazine successful. I even find the story about how it was created very inspiring as it was made by simple people that had a strong creative vision and started at the back of their photo studio. And I don’t see how this couldn’t be me in a few years’ time.
Filming the ad for Elg magazine for the zine project was also quite interesting as it was the first time that I really had to take into consideration the filming part of a film and not just the editing after. I used my own camera and had to deal with the settings and then the creative direction, which was fun in an unexpected way as I expected it to be much more stressful than it really was.
For the interviews for the zine, but even after that I have had the chance to meet some amazing people and go to some lovely events during the course of this project, which has also helped me in picturing myself fitting in within the vast industry of fashion and especially the London fashion scene. This confidence is definitely a characteristic that will stay with me forever as it definitely helps me in taking what I want and achieving my goals.
Before this unit I was still ambivalent about what I want to do with my future and whether I intend to return back home to work or stay in London or even move to New York, which has always been my dream. But as sometimes being a foreigner it is difficult to picture yourself really setting station in another country even if you’d lived there for a while I still had my doubts. Most of them have now been wiped after I’ve seen how much I have to gain from staying in England and trying to work there and what I could give back to the industry as well.
Going to London Fashion Week and getting to meet some amazing designers like Jane Carr and Mawi was the greatest motivation I could ever receive. Receiving feedback from friends that I have actually made an impression on those people was actually the greatest confirmation I could ever get and also getting internship offers that I might take in the future was a plus.
Now more than ever I have time to recollect my thoughts, work hard to make even more contacts both here in the short time that I will be spending with Viva and back in Cyprus where I will get to work for the biggest national publication. I see this time as an opportunity to multitask and try to get a step ahead focusing my creative energy to preparing myself for Level 6 and figuring out how to reinforce my brand and the strong idea that I have with the niche style publication about my foot fetish.
What concerns me the most is how I always have to remain true to myself and my aesthetics, I want my work to be me and represent me. It is important to tie the thread together in the end and there is great satisfaction coming from the fact that at the end you can see how it is all linked, how your personality shines through and foremost you see how you’ve grown. As within Design Identity I learnt to dig deep and understand the fact that I am a quiet storyteller, and then through the zine once again I stirred my group towards observing this distinct social group of Scandinavian immigrants addressing my need for observing people and understanding them deeply. I even continued that same theme in Design Identity as I wrote a review about the Scandinavian exhibition in London Fashion Week. And I hope that Level 6 will also link to what has become a mature creative journey.
Writing my report on Volt Magazine, as it is one of the main influences for me for this part of the project, but also a publication that I looked up to for years and would be very happy to work for one day, I think this was a great opportunity for me to gain a greater understanding of them as a brand and that way if I decide to go there for interview it would definitely be a big plus for me to show that I have studied them in depth.
This is the first time that a written piece of work is proving to be so challenging for me. I am generally a person that likes creative writing, but since this has indeed been quite the journey and it is all about pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones, I thought this was the right thing to do. Of course it is a challenge as much as this whole unit has been.
Researching and looking at figures and facts has been unexpectedly fun and it is interesting to see that the “dry” and boring part of the work is actually not that bad, which makes me consider that a master’s degree in marketing may be an option.
There is certainly a unity of principal in this zine and the last, as my minimalist aesthetic shines through.
I did try to contradict the fact that we included almost too much information in the last zine, so I wanted this one to be a compilation of a photographical journey above all, as photography is a creative platform that always excited me and admittedly this year I didn’t have the chance to practise in improving my skills.
Through photography and the simple and “real” styling of the shoot, I access once again what I support in my design philosophy about myself being somewhat of a silent observer and a storyteller. I see my work as a medium for highlighting the things that stand out in life for me, which are usually small details, things that others ignore. Hence I wanted this first issue of a publication that I certainly would consider developing as an idea in the future, to be a very simple theme.
Fashion for me is never loud, never flashy and it is part of everyday life and very much connected to lifestyle. That is the reason I wanted to photograph my model - in this case Ingvild, in her personal space. Not only was the location ideal for a shoot anyway, but I also believe that it helped her feel more comfortable.
Styling the shoot was really simple for me, as I wanted the idea of home and comfort to come through the work immediately, I found myself looking for all of my clothes that make me feel comfortable. Cosy knits, and ethereal chiffon blouses that I wear when I am at home. Styling the feet was also a very playful element for me, as I got to play around with all my different socks and stockings trying to find the ones that worked better.
Also, the idea of finding and displaying the work of young talent is very much appealing for me and I recognise the fact that in the last project it had been rushed and the presentation wasn’t thought through, so this time I personally paid particular attention in finding just one artist whose work absolutely connect to the theme of this first current issue and even compliments the idea. So I focused on showcasing her work in a much more though-out way. Interviewing her myself and picking the bits of her work that I thought worked better within the publication.
While I finished off with the magazine and sent it to the printers at the university since last Thursday, 7 March, I got a call from them today saying that their plotter is broken and they cannot print out the publication in the A3 size, so given the fact that time is limited we agreed in having a smaller, A4 version, that I can have tomorrow, and still hope that the problem will at least be fixed until Wednesday, so that I can have the final outcome that I planned for.
I want to explore the option of creating another publication, since this will be my area of practise when I go on to the placements. I want to focus on doing my own photography since I didn’t have the chance to do that this year. I am thinking about some kind of style publication with a focus on feet, which is something that has always fascinated me but I have yet to touch upon. Now I want to take a moment to take a look at my favourite publications and see how I channel different elements from each and also put my own spin on it.