I have always been captivated by the idea of Graphic Design and how you can create visual pieces of work that can influence views of the general public. Being a designer means that you have to have some kind of working methodology or principles that you stick to and can help you.
This is my manifesto and it outlines the aspects I feel are important to be aware of as a designer. These are points that I stick to and refer back to when I’m ‘stuck in a rut’ or need some kind of inspiration or a push to keep me motivated.
Be aware of everything around you; the smallest everyday thing could inspire you in ways you’d never imagined.
I know people may say it a lot, and my teachers have frequently raised this point in the past – but it is true! The things that surround you every day may seem mundane at first, but if you really look at everything around you, the most every day surroundings and environments can lead to the greatest of ideas!
For an A Level Art project, we were asked to walk around the industrial estate outside of college that we would walk past every day, and we were to take a sketch book round with us, stop every few meters, and sketch something that caught our eye. One of the things I looked at was a brick wall, and although it was just a standard red brick wall, I saw a flower coming out of one of the crevasses and it was actually really beautiful and that inspired me in my following project. So it just goes to show – being aware of your surroundings can be extremely beneficial.
Be proud of your own personal style – everyone is unique.
Whether it be the clothes you wear, the way you talk, the books you read, your hobbies and interests – everyone has their own individual style!
Before I came to university, admittedly I thought I had no kind of style with my work and nothing interesting and unique about myself that people could find interesting. Even though I still sometimes doubt myself now, I am starting to learn that everyone has his or her own individual style – including myself! It takes sketching and doodling and researching (my next point!) to find what kind of a designer you are. This isn’t to say you should have one style of work and stick with it – be open-minded as it can help you in developing your unique style into something possibly even better!
Always be open-minded “If you only do what you know you can do – you never do very much.”
Research! Know the in’s and out’s of what you’re working on and be excited to find out more about current projects.
To be a successful graphic designer I feel it is essential to be an explorative person. Researching and delving into projects you are working on will help you to understand your briefs, and will also help you to gain interest to current projects.
I used to think I could ‘blag’ projects by lazily finding out the basics in my research and working from that, but I have learnt that being a good researcher can give you a much more open mind! How can you expect to create an excellent piece of work surrounding a subject you know hardly anything about?
Engage with others; share your ideas and you could inspire one another.
It is a common thing to be protective over your work. The worry of someone taking your ideas and making them their own can be very daunting, but by keeping these ideas closed away, you are in some ways holding them back from growing into something more interesting. Showing people your ideas can really help; by showing your work to someone with a fresh eye, they can notice certain problems with your work that you have become immune to by working on it for so long.
Don’t be shy – tell people about yourself and show your works! People may find you a lot more interesting than you could have ever imagined!
Before my ‘Bite The Web’ project in university, I had never really thought too much about blogging. I have my own Tumblr account but I never really thought to update it as I thought no one would ever see it anyway. But by making this WordPress blog, I have become very engaged in blogging – and although sometimes I think I ramble on and upload things that other people may find pointless, I actually don’t really care! Blogging, I feel, is a great way of unleashing pent up ideas in your head, and if I’m feeling creative I can do an illustration or doodle and upload it to my blog and you never know who could stumble across it! Blogging is an amazing and easy way to get a web presence, and you could also create friendships and gain contacts by doing so which is always a bonus!
Always have a positive attitude!
“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”
Although it is hard to stay positive 24/7 – especially when you have deadlines coming up – it can always help to take a step back, breathe, and think things through. Having an angry mind when working on a project is never helpful and will leave you feeling stressed and worn out, and you might even end up resenting your project and losing interest on it.
Having a good balance between ‘work and play’ can help you to feel more positive when working on a project – you don’t want to feel consumed by your work or somewhat trapped by it.
Write a dream diary (it helps you realise what kind of a person you are)
This, among the rest of the points I have just made, seems extremely random! However, this point in my manifesto has only crept up ever so recently, due to the fact I have been studying ‘Dreams’ in my Magawebzine project for university.
One of the things that helped me along significantly in my project was writing my own dream diary. It is a scary and daunting thought to have to relive your dreams, and god forbid, in some cases have somebody else read your own personal thoughts! But although dreams are frequently seen as a random succession of images and ideas in your mind, they all have underlying connotations within them. Dreams can be a great form of inspiration! You could dream up something really wacky but when reading it back it could lead you to the greatest of ideas!
Every idea you have is useful. Nothing is stupid – nothing is pointless.