Paula Bailey

May 21, 2010

When it’s all over

Interview Day

Not miserable, just concentrating on getting the sign in the shot

Just over three years ago I went to the University of Portsmouth for an interview for a place on the Communication Design BA Hons (now Graphic Design) degree course.   I was delighted to be accepted on the day of my interview.  I don’t look very happy in the photograph, which I took just afterwards, but this was my third or fourth attempt at getting the sign and myself in the shot.

Three years later and I have just handed in my final project work and done my viva presentation.  That’s it.  It’s all over apart from our summer show which we will start working on in June.

I have had a brilliant time at university.  In some respects I wish I had done it years ago, but I know that I would not have had the same experience as I have done if I’d done a degree when I left school (in nineteen … I’m not telling you!).  I didn’t know what I wanted to do then and I would have ended up taking a subject because I was good at it or choosing a university because of the city it was in.  Nothing wrong with that, but I know I wouldn’t have got the best out of the experience.

As a mature student I have loved every minute – now that I have a vague idea that I might know what I want to be when I grow up.  I had always felt that making images was meant to be a ‘hobby’ and not something I could have as a career.  It’s a shame that people are sometimes made to feel that the creative path is not worthwhile.  It is.  And I’m so glad that I made the decision to take it, even though I waited a long time to do so.

Steep Climb

It's been a steep climb at times but I've not been on my own

That’s not to say it has all been plain sailing.  Not at all.  It’s been hard work and at times very stressful, but most definitely worth it.  And I’ve been lucky enough to make some great friends along the way.  In most cases I am old enough to be their mother but that doesn’t make any difference.  We’ve all been on the same journey together and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye when our summer show is all over and everyone goes back to wherever home is.  Hopefully we will keep in touch.  There is always Facebook these days and at least we will get to hear some news from time to time that way.  Some I imagine will go on to work together, and some of us will be back for more!

I’m not ready to give up being a student.  I have decided that I want to continue and do the Masters degree.  I have some ideas about what I would like to do after that but I am very aware that plans too far ahead are not always a good thing.  So they’ll stay as rough ideas for now.  I have some definite outside interest in some of my degree work so I’m hoping to develop that further, which is very exciting, and I have some personal projects on the go which I can now spend a bit more time on over the summer.

So it’s mixed feelings at the moment.  I’m glad all the end of year stress is out of the way and my work is in, but also I know I am going to miss being there.  I’m still trying to switch off, but find that I’m still on the lookout for anything related to my projects.  One minor annoyance was that after three weeks of almost daily visits to supermarkets on the lookout for early cherries to photograph, I drew a blank, only to find they arrived in the shop three days after hand-in.  They weren’t essential but I had hoped to include a real cherry with the variations that I had created for my logo cherry.  Such is life.



April 29, 2010

Getting it all done

Filed under: Stress,Students — Paula Bailey @ 4:57 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

photo by Amy Mud Pie, via Flickr

Graphics students – stressing?

Here’s my cunning plan:

Make a list of little jobs you have to do before hand-in day.  Just the little ones.  When you are tired and utterly fed up with what you are doing and need to run away, do one of the little jobs as a distraction. Preferably on a project you’re not currently battling with – just swap to a small task on another project.  No more than half an hour.

  • Lay out a grid so you can design your business cards later
  • Do that little tweak to an image
  • Annotate a few pages on a different project than the one you’re currently working on
  • Cut out a pile of images ready to stick into your sketchbook later
  • Stick pre-cut images into your sketchbook
  • Tidy your work into piles again (if you’ve splatted it all over the place)
  • Google for half an hour – on one of your subjects – just free-surf
  • Write one section of your viva presentation

I’m sure you can think of plenty of your own – you must have lots of little things that need doing, or  bigger things that can be broken down into smaller jobs.

Just half an hour’s ‘break’ from the heavy stuff – you get to tick something off your ‘to do’ list (and that’s always satisfying and will make you feel better) – then you can go back to it a little refreshed.

OK not refreshed maybe, but it really does give you a breather and you’re still working.

Or you could stare at the pretty picture until all the nasty goes away.

Good luck.

Cumulus humilis. and relax ...

"Cumulus humilis. and relax ..." © Jason Swain (with kind permission). Please click the image for more amazing photos from Jason.

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