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Archive for January, 2011

Keep It Simple Stupid

31 Jan

“Simplicity is difficult.”Lisa M. Nichols

Whether it is writing a paper, creating a design, or following directions, just because something is simple does not mean it is easy.  I have sat in front of a computer for hours just trying to come up with a concept before even starting the “hard part” of designing something.

The difficulty is often created by our pride and our egos that have been trained to believe figuring things out on our own and creating something brilliant makes you stand out above the rest.  In reality it tends to be the simplistic pieces that are deemed “brilliant”, but to create these pieces we first have to eliminate all the extras and just go with the bare essentials.

The piece that has stood out most in my portfolio has the simplest concept and design out of all my work.  I took the poem that was given to me, which was very repetitive, got down to the bare bones of the writing and created a piece that expressed what was being said.  The simplicity of it all is what makes it.

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Dad Says.. Clean Your Room!

31 Jan

“The answer is to clear our heads of clutter.”William Zinsser

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The author of this quote went on to state that “Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other”.  In my previous post “What’s This All About?” I mentioned  I find writing clears my head, almost a reverse of what Zinsser was stating, it is the process of writing, and reading through afterwards, that helps to clear my thinking.

More Than Meets the Eye

Now Zinsser was obviously discussing ways to improve your writing, but it is interesting how this simple quote applies to life in so many other ways.  Last week I read a classmates Blog post titled “Stop, Drop, and Roll” that got you ready for a great start to the new year by ridding yourself of the people around you who cause this “clutter”.  When Facebook first added the “News Feed” I was extremely annoyed because it was just more unnecessary clutter.  I wouldn’t normally go searching friend after friend to see exactly who is doing or thinking what, but with one peek at my screen I suddenly find out what ten different friends are up to without doing anything. The problem with society today is all the unnecessary clutter filling our brains does not need to be there, but is just harder to ignore.

The struggle that we often times do not realize and have to figure out in our lives in order to write clear, think clear, or just move on with a happier new year is what exactly in your life is causing your “clutter”.  Once you are able to figure this out everything will become a lot clearer.

 
 

What’s This All About?

31 Jan

“Experience is a great teacher.”John Legend

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Who better to write about your experiences in life than yourself? That is why I created My Interesting Opinion on Things, a Blog that collects my experiences and shares them all in one place. In many cases my posts take a look into graphic design, my path towards a job in this field and the bumps in the road, or the work of another that I have found inspiring.  Many of the posts have been made for classes, which would be included in the ‘path towards a job’ description, or possibly the ‘bumps in the road’, depending on the class.

Who Thinks About These Things?

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I am a thinker.  Something that may seem simple and straightforward to others may lead to a whole other world of thought for me.  I try to use My Interesting Opinion on Things to organize and emphasize points ofinterest from the maze of thoughts that are in my brain.  Design is an ever-evolving field and as a designer I need to stay up to date on not only my skills, but also different styes that are becoming popular.  The web allows me to instantly view the work of other designers, and many times the opinions of others in response to this work.  When I have the chance to reflect on what I have discovered, I am then able to analyze what I felt worked that could inspire my work in the future and elements that I felt hurt the piece and I should steer clear of.

This Blog has been my way of charting my process throughout my college career as well as my search for a full-time position in the field of graphic design. I know I learn best from experience, so I hope that what I have learned from my past experience will be found useful to those in similar situations or just provoke thought in others.

 
 

Bio with a Twist

30 Jan

“I trust that everything happens for a reason, even when we’re not wise enough to see it.”Oprah Winfrey

All my life I have been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason.  Although I may not understand why at the time, when the pieces fall into place and the reasons behind the successes and struggles in life are revealed, you become a stronger person with greater understanding of life as a result.  This belief has reaffirmed itself this year.  To get the full story we need to start from the beginning.

The Beginning

About two years ago one of my best friends had a Grand Mal seizure 15 minutes before her 45 minute drive home, while sitting next to a classmate who had experience dealing with seizures.  Eventually her doctors came to the conclusion that it was most likely a one-time event that happened as a result of lack of sleep and took her off all medications. Since then she has been fine with no other issues.

Around that time, I told my doctor about these weird wave feelings that were hard for me to describe, only lasted about a minute, and happen once every few months or so but had been increasing to a few times a month since college.  My doctor suspected that these ‘feelings’ were most likely anxiety or food allergies so she had me keep track of everything around when I had them.  I can normally do everything fine while having these ‘feelings’ but in this case I tried to type what I was feeling in my iCal where I had been keeping track of my feelings while it was happening and I realized it was not making sense.  After erasing what I had typed I started again and figured I would just let whatever came out come out.  Turns out that was …

“reset you’ll support my shake that I need to win.  Switching real dark skin load is making me sweat realll old hard video of scart couldt press my han to touch the scheet and play for it.  Design calendar came to me and then brought the file and help.”

Yeah. So I graduated, moved back home, and brought this new information back to my doctor who suddenly became a little more curious and sent me to a neurologist.  The neurologist she sent me to suspected seizures.  He said my EEG was abnormal but MRI was normal and I could drive no problem.  So I drove ten hours to visit Camo2my brother and came back with a new puppy. After just ending up more confused with the first neurologist, I decided to get a second opinion with the neurologist my friend highly recommended from her experience with seizures. He has been a blessing. He looked more closely at my MRI and my past history and found that it was actually abnormal and my ‘feelings’ were complex partial seizures that were happening in my left temporal lobe.  Although I usually function normally during these seizures, he informed me that according to state law I couldn’t drive for a year.  After making the 5 hour round trip drive numerous times back and forth to school having one of my ‘feelings’ almost every time without any problems, this came as quite a shock.  Those of you who have moved back home after graduating college already know how much freedom it feels like you lose.  Now add on top of it the sudden inability to drive and along with everything else that was going on I went from age 23 back to age 12.

“High School Intern”

The first medication that my doctor tried me on was a disaster so I called the doctor, still not believing what I felt were seizures and assuming there was a wrong diagnosis.  The doctor listened to me completely, understood my fears, and set me up to stay in the hospital for the week hooked up to the EEG machine to try and catch one of my ‘seizures’ in action.  On the third day of my hospital stay I got an e-mail from the manager at a company I had interned at over a year ago, asking if I could come in tomorrow to train to fill in for him the week after.  Initially he said that this could be done no other day, but after I explained the situation plans were made to train me the next week, while he was gone, to fill in for him a few weeks later.  My fifth sleep deprived day I finally had one of my ‘feelings’ a little stronger than usual, and the EEG confirmed it was a seizure.  The doctors started me on new medication that has since been working very well with no other issues.

I started freelancing at the company the next week and have been there for almost three months now.  They are about to hire someone in my department and with my foot in the door I have a good shot at getting it.  Luckily, I have loving parents that completely rearranged their schedules so they could drive me to and from work whenever I need it.  Everything seems to be on track.

Umm What?

truth,words,fotografia,frases,paisagens,life-80a8e10969342b8c172e209aab5511f0_hSo how exactly did everything happen for a reason?  Well, I started the ICM program as an undergrad, but was not sure if I was going to continue it or not.  After learning that I could take the entire program online I re-enrolled in the program.  Allowing me to get a Masters degree without the commute and keep my insurance under my parents, something that would come to be very necessary.  The first doctor said I could drive allowing me to visit my brother and unexpectedly come home with a puppy who would be one of the very few things making me truly happy in the next few months.  My good friend was able to recommend a great secondary doctor, allowing me to understand exactly what was going on with me, how to fix it, and how it will effect my future.  I was able to obtain a job that may very well lead to a full-time position, with benefits, doing exactly what I want to do.  And I have only been made stronger by this whole experience, the love of my friends and family, and the understanding that even when things seem to be going awful, there is always a reason whether we will come to understand it or not, that will make a difference to someone in the future.

 

Work? What Work?

23 Jan

“Do personal work, but do it for personal reasons” -Adrian Shaughnessy

For years I have had plans in my head for a few particular projects on my own that have just never had the chance Rubik_cubeto be put into action.  Since these plans started I have always regretted not having the chance to create them, thinking that these designs could be the sole project that puts me on the map in the design world.  And being easily found on the map is a good thing, particularly when you are struggling to find a job.  However, the discovery that I have come to find is that it is not the work that I have conceptualized and created on my own that interests clients, but the projects that show a clients brief and then the way I handled their plans and designed a unique answer to their problem.  The work that I create on my own may show my personal style and be fun to create, but I should not rush to create something and rest all of my future successes on the possibility of being acknowledged for one project that I create entirely on my own.

The Golden Ticket(s)

Although you probably will not become a world renowned designer from the acknowledgment of one design project it does not hurt to try!  By submitting work to design competitions you create the possibility of golden_ticketgetting noticed by someone that you may not have before and then by building a trustworthy relationship with other design professionals this possibility increases with the possibility of your work being viewed more frequently.  Design jobs are not looking at the grades you received  or the diploma you were given.  They are looking at the work you have produced, but the only way to get that work in front of the eyes that it needs to be in front of is by getting your work out there and making connections with the people that can get it there.

But I can do that too!

One of the struggles that I have come across in my search for a career and the creation of my portfolio site, which I did not realize was a struggle until recently, is the idea of keeping my specialized skills separate.  Creativity and design have been with me since a child and through college courses I have developed skills and work in a wide variety of areas.  In my mind, my initial thought is send bits and pieces of it all over and show them how versatile I am!  Right?  Wrong.  Everyone has a specialty and that is what should be focused on.  For me that focus is Motion Graphics and Video Editing.  That does not mean that I do not have skills in animation, print, web, photography, typography, and the works.  I do, but those skills need to remain separate, and in the shadows compared to the skills that I shine at and enjoy the most.

Conclusion

In the end you want to be able to get your name and your work out there as much as possible.  If a company is not hiring see if they will still interview with you and review your work.  Even if they are not hiring the professional critique and interview experience will be helpful.  Not to mention they may have a friend who is hiring and will like you so much they pass your name along, or a spot may open up in the future and they will remember your work. When you interview be sure you are showing the interviewer the work not yourself, and also be sure that you are able to first explain your work and talk confidently about it before presenting it.  In design your work represents you, so be sure you are being represented the way that you want.

 
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