Professional Development – My Identity.

After researching some other design agencies, I have gotten a feel for how the industry likes to market things… and sadly, what I had in mind is a little different.
Whilst the majority of these companies have very clean, white websites that leave plenty of room to showcase their work, I think that the website in itself can be a work of art, not simply a place to “paste” the portfolio. And don’t get me wrong, there are some beautiful websites out there that use this method, as well as ones that have taken the “my website is a piece of art” very well also.

On to the process. To begin with, I sifted through almost every photograph I’ve ever taken since 2012, and every piece of design work since I started almost 3 years ago. Believe me this was no easy feat – considering there are 44,500 files on my hard drive. What I found though, was interesting. Some things I had forgotten about, and some old images that I wondered why on earth I never used these in my portfolio beforehand. Next was the even more tedious part – reediting every image to a standard parallel to mine today, and then watermarking them all. To protect my identity and work, I have found that it is very important to mark all of my work, no matter how insignificant it may seem to me in comparison to other pieces. Below is a screenshot of the small mark I have used on all of my photography, and as you can see in the full sized comparison, it is rather small but does it’s job very well:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.30.24Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.30.27

The first step of building my site was building the portfolio, or “work” section.
I went through many different styles that my theme offered, but in the end I decided to go with the whole ‘more is less’ vibe, with a masonry look – and of course I had to spice it up a little by going back into each individual portfolio item and choosing a custom size (tall, wide, regular or tall&wide) to avoid the ’tiled look’. I also chose the meta to appear on hover with a slightly faded background seems though I have named all of the images:
Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.46.11Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.46.26

I was originally going to have just my work on the front page, though I guess my love for elaborate things and the need to fill empty space arose. And thus resulted the ‘site intro’ – which I decided to have just above the portfolio because having a separate page for all of this just looked like clutter.
Speaking of headers:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.53.28.png

I went for a central location for the actual pages, this is because I think the balance of my logo and the ‘side menu’ (which is actually a search, see below) looks really nice. Also, the black and red colour scheme kind of came on a whim after I created the main image of the website. I decided also that I should keep my original logo because it suits my personality very well and balances out the ‘hard’/’dark’ appearance of my brand:

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 23.49.50.png

The header image is something that took me a lot of time to think about. I was so very close to going back to my old video background that I hold dear to my heart, though I stuck to my guns because it’s time for a change!
After much deliberation and photo-changing, I realised something… that my favourite ever project (Rebel/Corporate ID) reflected myself very much… I also have an inexplicable love for mountains which I am not even going to try to go into depth with, because it will quite literally turn into an essay that I’m sure you’d rather not read.
Anyhow!
I decided to go with a double exposure style image in Rebel’s signature colour – Red! Not only does this make my site intro eye-catching, but I think it stands out from the usual. Some of the images I considered (but discarded) layering are below:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.36Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.31Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.04.14

In the end I decided to go with the following images:
Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 00.17.30.png
(This one is actually what I opted for for my maintenance page, as I felt it got the point across)
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.15.34.png

Both of these mirrored and layered for the double exposed effect resulted in the following:

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 18.19.15.png

Despite this being rather ‘different’ for a design website website, I think it makes a small statement, it certainly appeals to me more than simply having work with nothing else. All be it a little narcissistic, I like the appearance.
After finally…. FINALLY making the decision on which image I was going to use (and after playing with parallax and hating it), I made it a full width background with some pretty bold text in the centre. It is full screen, but there is a small meta menu underneath for easy navigation of my portfolio, like so:

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.20.37

Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.20.46

I went for “I Am Georgia” instead of something like “I am a Designer” because I configured the SEO to say that I am a designer based in sheffield – also the site tagline says the same thing, so there are enough pointers. Back to the ‘statement’ thing… I like stating who I am and what I do, rather than just what I do.
First impressions aside, the next thing I did was the rest of the site:

Blog:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.27.53

Services:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.07

Contact:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.19

Team:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.28.26

And that is that! I made my site live, and started on Mardy Bums, which I showed you in the previous post, but here is it finished:

Homepage (Row 1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.10
Homepage (Row2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.17
Homepage (Row3):Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.23
Blog (Unfinished Content):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.33
Portfolio (Unfinished Content):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.04.47
Meet the Models:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.50.17
Contact (row1):Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.50.56
Contact (Row2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 00.51.01

Third and finally, there is my first ever client. Literally the second I got my site up and running, I began asking every small business I came into contact with if they needed design, a website, photography, or knew anyone who did.
And then it happened! I found someone.
So!

First off, we spoke in person and via messages, going into detail about what she wanted, prices, etc. Then we went through a few mock-ups, did a photo and video shoot (whilst somehow ending up in the pictures, because a model didn’t turn up LOL that was interesting), and finally I got to work on her website.
Here are some screenshots of the whole editing process:


And finally, the finished thing:
Home(1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.26
Home (2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.35Services(1):
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.31.56
Services(2):
Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 14.24.21
Book:
Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 14.24.42
About:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 01.32.37

All in all, my client was very happy with the outcome of both the photography and the website.
I feel that after just this one job, I have developed a lot as a designer – catering to someone else’s needs other than your own or the criteria is an odd feeling… though one I can get used to.
Hopefully this will continue.

Next up was researching Teacher Training Courses, and I won’t write a whole list of what I found out, but long story short there are 3 options I might take:
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.46.59.png
Option 1: School based course with a PGCE included – this option is for secondary teaching.
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.48.01.png
Option 2: TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) – this option is good because it’s a 120 hour home based course which means you can teach anywhere in the world as long as you have a degree… Yes please.
Screen Shot 2017-04-06 at 02.50.30.png
Option 3 I am considering is the Uni-based 1 year, full time course where you get taught how to teach (?) by University peers. This is probably my least favourite but I may still choose this option.

Last but not least is my technical skills – mainly in Photography. I ended up not doing as much as I’d hoped for this section, the main reason being me getting some freelance work, but I did look at one thing: Indoor photography.
This is something I have never done before in detail (apart from the odd portrait), so it was a little bit of a challenge. The results are below, and if you’d like to know more about how this was carried out/more of the images, you can see my Creative Practice:


After everything, I feel I have definitely developed both creatively and professionally in this module. It was fun to work with my first client, and also to see how my style of web design has changed since 2 years ago when the site was first made.

As always, Thank You for reading, and I’ll see you in the next (and final) module.

Lots of Love,

G

Professional Development & The Mardy Bums

To begin I am going to start looking at my Professional identity.

This consists of the list below:
. Adjust website
. Sell myself
. Pinpoint what I’m selling
. Personal Branding
. Update Content
. CV
. Make Separate blog for all my off topic/creative material

To begin this endeavour I have decided that first thing is first – research. Before I decide to reconstruct my site and sell myself as a designer, I need to know what I’m up against and what is trending currently in this market.
I have chosen to use the website www.awwwards.com to search for other creatives like myself, and how their marketing techniques work:
lookbook.slam.com
hassyadai.com
davehillphoto.com
www.caitlinworthington.com
x.prvrt.me
authenticff.com
www.doubleeight.it
thed4d.com
christopherireland.net
www.heg-jp.com
unimedia.co.jp
jetlag.photos

Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 17.40.35.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-18 at 17.40.30.pngscreen-shot-2017-02-18-at-17-40-24

The next sites are specific to Graphic Designers – I have had a gander around Google to see who came up, then selecting which ones I like:

www.bighorrorathens.com
www.wokine.com
mitchellbarton.com
weareangstrom.com
www.cappen.com
www.strv.com
www.valaire.mu
www.mrjmk.com
www.toyfight.co
www.jasminestar.com

Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 16.00.34.png
Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 17.49.37.png
Screen Shot 2017-02-19 at 16.00.20.png
I have also explored some designers that are in Sheffield (where I live) – my two favourite are Side by Side and Peter & Paul.

screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-16-03-48screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-16-05-38screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-16-05-58

THE DESIGN:
The first step of redesigning my website for me is to create another one – one for me and my sister. Remember how I said I’d like to keep the design of my current site and use it for something else? This is the perfect opportunity – and seems though my sister also likes the layout and videos etc, it can be used and tweaked as needed.
The domain I’m going to edit first will be a travel blog/lifestyle/gaming website, purely for hobby. mardybums.com is the name.

Shots of my old website (georgiamay.co.uk):
screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-14-40-17screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-14-40-36screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-14-40-46screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-14-41-00screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-14-41-12

Shot of Mardybums template – unfinished of course:
Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 14.47.31.png

The first thing I did here was activate a ‘maintenance mode’ page so that when people click on both of my websites, they won’t see the mess of me experimenting:
Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 15.29.00.png

Now that this is over, it’s time to start work on Mardybums.
As I mentioned before, it will look very similar to my old site – I am not against this at all as I love my old website, I just need something more current and that will sell myself.
The video below shows how I began the building process… it’s not full length or it would go on for hours:

As the video shows, I built the site piece by piece, swapping and changing things until I was happy with the look:


I am going to stop this post for now. Reason being, is that I need time to take extra photographs for certain sections of the site (some of the sections you see above are simply filler images), to talk to my sister about what we can change and improve within the layout and finally there are some issues on the mobile display and a few other errors that I need time to go over, so for now the maintenance page is back.

I will be continuing this post some time in the near future.
Until then,

G

Goals for Professional Development

How am I going to get there?

Professional identity
. Adjust website
. Sell myself
. Pinpoint what I’m selling
. Personal Branding
. Update Content
. CV
. Make Separate blog for all my off topic/creative material

Technical skills
. Studio Photography skills
. Technical Camera skills
. Software skills

Education route (teaching)
.TEFL (for teaching English abroad)
.PGCE (Teaching in general)
.PTLLS (college students)

Freelance  Designer – options available 
Look at other freelance Designer’s websites
Network – talk about their freelance experience
Look for clients/ build a client base

I have broken my goals for this module down into the bullet points above so they are easier to understand.
All in all, I want to give myself a secure and enjoyable future.
The deadline for this project is W/C 3rd April, so until then, you can see this module unfold.

Thankyou. And until the next post,

G 🙂

How am I going to get there?

Hello ^.^

From my indescribably HUGE mess of a rant about life last post, I have managed to (after some intense, personal thinking) get an idea of what I want in life and best of all, how I’m going to get there.

For my career I feel there are a few paths I can go that would really satisfy my needs for the future, alongside my creativity. The following list is a narrowed down version of the career list:
. Teach English Abroad
. Teach design/art/photography in college or uni
. Author
. Freelance designer
. Travel/lifestyle Blogger
. Web designer
. Work in a design studio

I feel the above is a very suitably sized list considering the size of my other one… lol. But it is still a little big. Here is my thinking on each of these:

Teach English Abroad:
This is something that accommodates my Wanderlust aswell as my desire for a stable job. I do like English as a subject and teaching is very high on the list of my desired careers. All in all, this is a good option except for the fact that I don’t feel quite ready to leave Sheffield yet. While I still have all of the comforts of Home at my disposal, I feel like I want to work in England (more specifically Sheffield) for at least a couple of years before I break ties here and wander elsewhere. For this reason alone, I am not going to focus on this option, I shall leave it for later life.

Teach Design/Art/Photography:
Teaching in a College, Sixth Form or University is something I feel I would want to do… teaching young people, not so much because they do not specialise in a certain area – I prefer the idea of tutoring people who actually chose to take my class and want to be there as a consequence.
For the debate of whether I should teach Art, Design or Photography is pretty simple – go with the demand and what is easiest for me. Sure to say Design is the best way forward, firstly because after speaking with a tutor at my college, I discovered there is a demand for Design tutors at least in my institution, which means there may be this same demand elsewhere too. Secondly because it is what I have spent the past two (soon to be three) years studying intently and I’d love to pass on what I know – you see Design is technical, whereas Art and Photography are more about having ‘the eye for it’, and in my experience, you can’t teach a person to have an eye for a particular subject as easily as you can teach them the software to get them where they need to be.
As for the whole ‘part time job that can be turned into a full time, reliable career’, this fits the bill perfectly. Hence why this is very high on my list of possibilities right now.

Author:
Considering I already have half a book written as well as a passion for writing, I could well take this up as a career. However, it isn’t stable enough for me and I feel that having it as a pass time (pick bits up every now and then) is enough for me.
The reasoning behind this is simple – if a book I publish out of my spare time does well… Great! I can pack up my already stable job and continue writing. But if a book I publish as my full time job does badly – that leaves me with nothing to fall back on.
That’s why I am disregarding this idea for this module because having this in my spare time is more than enough for me.

Work in a Design Studio:
I’m still “umming and ahing” about this one, the reason is because I have worked in a Design studio before… and I hated it with a passion. However, I know all designers are not the same and I feel I need to get myself out there and experience different places as this would be a great pt.2 to run alongside my teaching job, it’d keep my creative side flowing while I work as a teacher.

Freelance Designer:
Now this is an interesting one… It has always sparked my interest, however I don’t know much about it – so that is going to be my job! Find out more about this, and if it is what I’m looking for, maybe it can replace Working in a Design Studio as pt.2 to my teaching job.

Travel/Lifestyle Blogger:
Again, like the auther option, I feel this is perfect for my free time. The only reason I have written this on here is because I would like to have an outlet for my creativity, a purpose for my photography which is oh so dear to my heart. The thing is, I know there is not that many jobs for photographers out there, so I want to do something with my photographs that isn’t a job. Hence this blog idea that also combines my love for travel.

Web Designer:
Now halt… a Web Designer goes hand in hand with a freelance designer, so I’m going to class these two jobs as one from now – A Freelance Designer & Web Artist… maybe 🙂 Theres always a demand for both out there, which is a very good thing.

So from this I have the idea of either:
. Part time teacher, freelance web/designer
. Part time teacher, work in a Design company
Both with a bit of free time blogging on the side.

I’m pretty happy with this conclusion, now I have to answer the question:
How am I going to get there?

Find out next post!

Thankyou for reading,

G

 

Where am I now, where do I want to be?

Good Morning! (Afternoon/Night/Evening depending where you live)

I’ve decided to start my Professional Development by looking at the first question I proposed:

Where am I now?

You see, right now I am a full time Uni student, studying Creative Practice (Design, Photography or Media), I work part time at a sushi restaurant in a busy shopping centre a 30 minuet drive from my home on a good day. I am 19, have a sister and a loving mom and dad, no grandparents and a huge family. I love anything creative – I seem to have a knack for creativity and somehow things I try for the first time turn out “okay”.
But… that is just scratching the surface.

What you just read is about me as a person – where I am in terms of my career and education… which is obviously not where I really want to stay. I found a quote online saying: “where you are now is not your end destination” and I completely agree. This isn’t my end destination, there is so much I want to improve on, so much I want to experiment with and so much I want to do with myself that it sometimes makes my head want to explode. I have so many paths open to me at the moment that I feel like I am diluted as a person, and as a brand. This is translated in my work and online presence too, everything I do isn’t focused on one area… I have a tendency to combine photography with my design, creative writing in my art and so on.

I think one of the main goals I want to achieve to get me away from where I am now, is to define myself as a brand and get myself out into the world. This is something I have been considering for a long time, though this module has opened the perfect door for me to do so without losing time on my uni work – because it will be part of my uni work!

So! What I first of all need to define is the second question:
Where do I want to be?

This is in terms (for me personally) of both my career and my personal knowledge of the creative arts. I feel that I am too spread out, so it’s time to pinpoint all the things that are going to be useful getting me to my goal, as well as what my goal actually is.

Career Path:
Ok, so when it comes to a career there are SO many options available to young graduates like myself, and this is where things get sticky for me – deciding. To get me started I’m going to write a list of things I want to do/wouldn’t mind doing as a career or a part time job (alongside a real career part time or otherwise).
. Teach English Abroad
. Teach design/art/photography in college or uni
. Author
. Freelance designer
. Freelance Photographer
. Freelance artist
. Illustrate books
. Graphic novelist
. Travel/lifestyle Blogger
. Online content creator
. Web designer
. Work in a design studio
. Work in a photography studio
. Fashion photographer
. Magazine editor

These are all of the jobs I can think of (that I’d like to do) off the top of my head, and yes some of them seem unrealistic, but it’s my job to narrow down what I think is obtainable over the course of this post.

My Identity:
As a designer?
A Photographer?
An Artist?
An Author?
A Teacher?
Maybe this helps you to see where I’m at – and why I feel this dilution. What am I selling myself as? If people click on my website what will they see? Certainly not someone who is up for freelance work, that’s for sure… as one of my tutors has said to me before… “your website looks almost like a piece of art, but if I was looking for someone to hire, I wouldn’t know what it is exactly your selling”. These words are SO true, and I agree entirely. To see what we mean, feel free to click the link to my website:
www.georgiamay.co.uk

A stable, reputable job:
Okay, so let’s be honest… no one person can do the amount of jobs I listed under Career Path… so what is it I want from my future job?
. I want flexibility, the ability to work full time, part time, have reasonable holidays and also get maternity leave, a pension etc.
. I want creativity
. As mentioned in the title, I want stability and a good reputation
. To be able to be free and travel sometimes
. I want to enjoy the job I’m in
. Not too repetitive, something different everyday

In an ideal world, all of these things would be great, but sometimes it doesn’t work out as great, though I’m confident I’ll find a way to get what I want without making too many sacrifices.

Finishing my education?
This is scary, and the worst part about it is that most graduates don’t think about it until after they’ve left University… what now?
The last thing I want is to leave Uni and have nothing left to do but continue working part time in a restaurant until I find a better job. No. I want a set up, something in place that will help me get started in the big wide world.
The answer to finishing my education is that I do not know. Yes, I will be finishing this course in July, but whether or not the career path I choose requires further qualifications (Teaching in particular) is to be foreseen, though the point of this module is Professional Development… so it’s my job to find out.

Freelance… is it sustainable?
This is a question I have had for quite some time now, because if I decide to delve into the world of freelance, I need to know the ins and outs before I begin.
The problem I have always had with freelance work is that some months you do great, plenty of clients and therefore money – but some months, there is next to nothing. This instability is scary to me, if I have a family I want to have piece of mind that I can feed them for the years to come.
The pros of freelance that got me interested in the first place is the freedom, you work when you want to work, take which jobs you want to do and go on holiday whenever you like. I’m not silly enough to think it’s all easy like that though, I have known people be constricted in their personal life by deadlines and client hunting all because they simply need the money.
So, freelance is still a grey area for me, one that I am very interested in nonetheless. What I need to know is how it works from the inside, this can be something I will research throughout this project.

Career VS side-job:
As I have mentioned before, I want stability and freedom. However, these are not things that commonly come hand in hand when it comes to searching for a job. That is why I’ve always has this idea that I should maybe have a part time job that can easily be turned into a stable, full time career if need be – almost like a failsafe, whilst I do something else, something more adventurous on the side.
A good example of this would be teaching part time and working in a photography studio the rest of the week. It seems a little silly, but the pros of doing something like this outweigh the cons for me. It’s a possibility I can’t ignore.

What the market needs:
The thing I have to think about before jumping into anything is what the world (city more like) needs. Does it need Photographers? Designers? Teachers? Bloggers?
This is something I feel I need to research more in depth because I do not want to endeavour in something if there is no demand for it in the market.

Improving my skills:
This is where the personal side comes into things. I know that even when I choose what I want for my future, I will most likely be doing something on the side, whether it is as a hobby or freelance, and because of this I really want to improve my skills while I still can. Being in education as of now gives me this opportunity, so I need to work on the things I feel I still have margin to improve.
Below I have written a list of my skills:
image10
From this list I have created a list of areas I would like to improve, as well as areas I enjoy the most to give me an idea of what I would enjoy continuing as a hobby:

image11
I think these lists have given me a good starting point and grasp on what I feel I’d like to do. More on that later.

Blogging… really?
When it comes to blogging, it isn’t really considered a career and I completely understand that. When you look at some individuals who have started a blog which got super popular, you can see that it is now their career. They get enough money from doing what they love that they were able to ditch their old job and take up blogging which often leads to platforms like YouTube.
The issue I have with going with blogging as a career is that it takes time, dedication and hard work to get to the point where I can call it my career, the other thing is that nothing is guaranteed. It could be a complete failure and that’s no good if I don’t have another job or a backup plan.
The reason I have chosen to look into this is because I’ve always enjoyed all sides of creativity and documenting things online – maybe this could be the ‘hobby’ I want to keep – the skills I have and enjoy that don’t have a place in the workplace. Just maybe. I will hold this thought and maybe it will prove useful.

And finally… Who am I?
I can be anything if I really put my mind to it. That’s what I’ve always been told by those I love around me, the problem is – what do I want to become? That’s what I intend to find out throughout the course of this module 🙂 Stay tuned to discover what I’ll become:

A Designer?
Business-card-red-edges

A Traveller?
img_5479-copy

A Photographer?
img_6234

A blogger?
Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 17.52.20

A Web Designer?
Screen Shot 2015-11-09 at 13.49.10

An Artist?
IMG_4122Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.41.21Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.41.40Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.41.11Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.41.30Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.42.02Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.41.51Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 19.42.09

By listening I of course mean reading… but it’s almost like listening to me rant far too much 😉

Keep updated for my full journey! Lots of love,

G