Tuesday, November 13, 2012

On creativity, disappointments and staying true to yourself

No, that heading is not a title for a self-help book. I just wanted to write about my experience as a first year design student and all the wonderful things I learnt this year. As you may have noticed I've basically abandoned this blog because I have had no spare time during semesters. 

Studying design is surprisingly demanding and time consuming and asks so much of you emotionally (meltdowns, being on the verge of crying during a panel criticism), mentally (continuous, rigorous thinking), physically (lack of sleep) and creatively.

I just finished my final assessment for this year and my work which I've obsessed over for weeks was ceremoniously ripped apart by a panel of architects, designers and artists. They exposed everything that was wrong with the project. They were all correct. I couldn't argue against anything they said.

There was also so much exquisite work produced by other students I was just embarrassed to present even in the same room with them.

Coming home I got to thinking about why my work failed miserably and then looking at all my models and drawings it eventually hit me. The work had absolutely no reflection of who I was a designer. It didn't encapsulate my beliefs or had any of my metaphorical fingerprints on it. It was so devoid of personality I can just yawn from its banality.

My best work was the very first project and comparing the two it was obvious how I went from designing for myself to designing for someone who I thought was myself. I think I looked over my shoulders a bit too much during this semester and subconsciously absorbed too much of other people's work to the point that it diluted my own and I lost my own personality and beliefs as a designer. In short, I wanted to be something I was not and consequently, I went through a design process that did not work for my skill sets.

People always tell you to stay true to yourself and that's the way to produce incredible work but I never realised how easy it was to lose yourself along the way.

So everybody say it with me. STCIK TO YOUR GUNS.


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