Proffesional Experience – Presentation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FZoRY03YxM

 

For my professional experience I decided to do a mixture of self-initiated projects as well as the traditional placement. I did this because I wanted to get variety out of my experience. I did not want to make continuous videos and not learn anything new, this is why I involved myself in opportunities that I either have not done before or that involve skills I have not fully developed so that I can improve and gain more skills to go towards my CV.

I am unsure of the career path I want to take, so whilst professional experience would benefit those who do know what they want to do, the way I have made it work for myself is using this time to explore my options and even discover ones I never knew I had.

I began my first task for the professional experience module in November when I and Sarah Wildash were presented with the opportunity to film and distribute to DVD a Live charity performance in Wrexham. Also, since being introduced to the camera In mid-march, I have been experimenting photography with the Canon 550D, a camera that before this time I had never used. Presently I am doing a work placement for a graphic design company.

It was a risky move taking on this placement as I had no real experience in the graphic design field however I have learnt how to use In design and Illustrator both of which I had no experience using, also while I was there I was able to brush up on my photo shop skills. The skills I have gained will be very helpful to me when applying for other jobs but it is the experience itself that I have learnt the most from. Seeing how an independent company functions and working collectively as a team on set briefs for real clients, has given me a comparison to myself initiated practical work like filming the show. By doing a placement outside of my comfort zone, I have opened a new career path option, one that I didn’t even know I would be interested in doing. The project that was currently being worked on when I arrived was a catalog for a branch that this small company of 2 had re branded. Although at this point we are still far from having it finished, I am happy with how the layouts have gone considering a week ago I didn’t even know what In design was.

Whilst on the subject of working with clients I feel that the show developed my understanding of deadlines. With personal projects there is no set time for completion, so it was difficult to be given a date that client wanted the DVD’s by. Unfortunately it is something that we are going to face a lot in our careers.

Photography is yet another field that I needed to improve on, I have attempted different kinds of photography whether it be scenic or model but I think although I was pleased with my photos, I have far to go to develop my own style, I have been inspired by outrageous photography, with body paint and themes, Once I have willing participants, which is always a big issue, I would like to attempt something more daring. The problem that I have found these days is everyone seems to be a media practitioner. There are people half my age doing the same things that I am, so how am I supposed to distinguish myself as serious? In my opinion, especially in the media industry, although it is good to specialize in something, you need to have a wide range of abilities and skills that can be applied to different jobs. We need to be fluid and flexible but hard working. Gaining that range is what I aim to achieve. Although of course I am not able to say I have achieved this aim, Since doing this Professional experience module I feel that I have certainly improved dramatically.

I have to admit that after we had finished the DVD’s for the charity show, Professional Experience had been pushed to the back of my mind. I went out to Spain at the end of January to study at a European university in Madrid, but also with the intention of making some beautiful personal projects to make the most of the location whilst I was out there, unfortunately it seemed as though we were always so busy doing work for other modules, we never seemed to find the time or the inspiration to do our own work. I was hoping that there may have been options like placements for myself and the girl I went with to get some experience abroad as this would have been really interesting, but we were advised by our Spanish universities careers team that there would be nothing for us here as we don’t speak the language. Having learnt this, we came back. This is something that was done with a heavy heart but again it has made me understand that sacrificing things that you enjoy is just one of the many things you have to do to succeed. Within a week of being back I managed to get the placement at Wildfire graphic designs, so I know we made the right decision to come back.

I am aware that I could apply everything I have learnt over the module to my final project in my final year. I feel more confident in my work now, and feel like I have less limitations having learnt new software’s, but also with the knowledge that if I wanted to learn any other software, such as after effects which I have always been put off getting to learn properly, I could do so with more ease than before.

I feel that although I had not completed the full 20 days yet as my placement is still going on for another week or more. I have accomplished what I set out to achieve when starting this module. I have gained skills technically, developed a style within my work, learnt to understand the inner workings of a company, made connections, self-initiated work and begun a line of clients that could create work for myself in the future. Although part of me wishes that I had done a placement in something to do with TV or radio so that I may gain connections in those fields, I am happy with how my experience turned out, and with new found confidence I feel that I will be more willing to go out and find these experiences even after this module is over.

 

Professional Experience Day 11 – Day 5 at work placement

So Today was my final day of placement, before the deadline at least. This does not mean that it is my last day in total though. When I came into work today I already knew what I was doing, and after only a few days I have developed a routine and I feel very much at home there. I noticed a big difference in my confidence with Photoshop. I remember when I had to first make a cutting path I would half chop the man’s arm off and leave white lines around the outside, when I watched Ruth make a cutting path she did it so quickly and with such ease, I noticed similar speed and ease in the way I was working today. I am getting along with the people fantastically. they like me so are interested in keeping me on longer than even this week. I was only supposed to be doing a few days but it was suggested that I would work there again for a third week. This makes me really happy,  I feel as though my work is being appreciated. I do however feel as though I am neglecting the kind of media I am used to, such a short films, because im spending so much time on this, but the aim of my professional experience is to find different pathways, search some options for careers when it finally becomes time to decide. Which coming to think of is, it actually a lot sooner than I am allowing myself to believe.

Anyway so today was just like other days really, I did a lot of photo shop work but its all starting to look worth it. It is surprising how much gets done without even realising. I can really see the catalogue start to take shape, and although it sounds very weird, I would actually like to work until it is finished. It doesn’t feel right leaving half way through a job, but from what has been suggested, I have at least a couple more days. We also had a call in today about a flash job needing doing, and as I had said that I did well in my flash animation Add+vantage in my first year, it was suggested that I would get to take a look for this client. I feel very involved. I will be very sad when it is time to leave, but I doubt that I will stay away for long.

 

This by no means should suggest that I have found my ‘true calling’, I must admit I am liking the job more than I had anticipated but I would still like to explore more options before I decide. I like the freedom this module is giving me. I feel that I am able to think for myself more. I think that although I want to continue working here, I would also like to try working at other places in different types of media. I think my next step will be radio. Or photography. Who knows.

Below is how the catalogue looks now! So many pages!

 

 

 

 

AND…. THATS OT INCLUDING THE PAGES I DIDNT GET PICTURES OF WITH WETSUITS, COATS AND ALL THE FISHING STUFF!

 

Professional Experience Day 10 – Day 4 at work placement

Okay so today, same as the other days, when I went in, it was pretty straight forward, I know where I am now, I know what I’m doing, so when I come in, in the morning now is sit down at the mac and get on with my work. I have to admit I quite like the routine. I have noticed that time goes much faster, I barely pay attention to the clock (like I do in my real retail job) Once I get started on my task I just get through it. I really like the accomplished feeling I get when I am able to say ‘Okay ive done that, what else needs doing?’. One thing that I am learning and I can’t say for sure in bigger company s but in little independent ones like the one I am with, clients are not as reliable I feel. Originally we estimated the company’s catalogue to be around 48 pages. Based on the images that were sent to us, but just when I thought that I wouldn’t have to do a clipping path again, they sent another 2 folders worth of clothes. As I continued to clip, paste and place I realised that I had way over the estimated number of pages for clothes which was 6… Whilst I was sat there with maybe 10 pages with another folder left to go. It all seems very unorganised to me. It is not the fault of Wildfire in the slightest, it’s just interesting to see that wildfire are so laid back about it. I have also overheard a few times that someone hasn’t paid for Wildfires services. This makes me wonder whether company’s and clients are taking the lovely ladies at wildfire for granted. Both ladies have hearts of gold, and although I have seen my boss trying to be stern with someone who hadn’t paid, I couldn’t help but wonder whether if you are so nice, can you really make money? Or are people just going to walk over you? Or is there a fine line, because there is a risk you could lose business, and of course being a small business you need all the clients we can get. Luckily for me I didn’t have to cut out clothes for the 8 hours. They said that I could design some front covers as there hadn’t been one designed yet. It was pretty simple to do actually, I was worried about using copyright images but there was already a folder with images that we could use. I would say that today was a fairly relaxed day, but to be honest I feel like every day is, I think that I would be very happy to have this as my job when I leave university. What is good though, is Louise, my boss has already said that they like me, so that there could be chances of me working there again during the summer. Overall I’m still really happy, apart from having to now take cod liver oil tablet for my poor bony fingers, I have nothing to complain about.

Below was the design I did that I liked the best

 

Professional Experience Day 9 – Day 3 at work placement

Today I began the same way I have the past 2 days. I was beginning to think that this really wasn’t the kind of job for me, for a little while it was starting to feel repetitive. I did some more layouts for clothes but for a change of pace and to give me something fun to do, they asked me to design some of the logos to represent each section. They showed me examples of the ones they had already done that I needed to follow that design of but then let me get on with it. For this I had to use illustrator, yet another programme that I have no experience using. Seeing as I learnt how to use in design so quickly I was fairly confident that it wouldn’t take me long to get the hang on this. I was wrong. Illustrator was a lot like photo shop but my hand is not the steadiest of hands, and I wasn’t sure on what tools I should use, how to use the anchor points and what the short cut keys were. Something that when I watched Ruth doing the same job as me, she did it with such ease that it encouraged me to try harder. I got an image off the internet that I wanted, For this logo I needed sunglasses. I used the pen tool to make an outline over the original imagine but I found it so difficult to do. With no experience in the software and having been given no instruction on how to use it, it was a bit of a struggle for me. Eventually when I decided to admit defeat and ask for help, I was taught the keys I needed to use and learnt what anchor points do and how to use them. There was a dramatic improvement from my first logo to my last. I am pleased that I am learning so much. I can imagine that for me this is fun, because I am learning things that I wouldn’t have otherwise learnt, but as a daily job I wonder whether this would be to repetitive. Regardless I am really enjoying myself. I had never really considered going into graphic design but the longer I am here the more I am enjoying myself.

Professional Experience Day 8 – Day 2 at work placement

 

On my second day I was invited to sit in on a meeting with a client. This was interesting for me to see the marketing and negotiating side of the creative arts. This also gave me insight into whether I would be interested in going into marketing media. I continued with my designs and received compliments from the client on them saying they were professional looking. I was pleased with this comment. One thing that I have noticed which didn’t seem to be as much of a problem is, I am not comfortable being sat down for long periods of time, and because of what job I am doing, it involves using a mouse and keyboard a lot during the 7-8 hours I am there each day. I can already feel it taking a toll on my hands, this is something I will have to watch out for but it may be a health factor I will need to think about in regards to a job later on in life. Being here, I feel a little out of my depth. It is very different to anything I have been taught but I am benefiting from it greatly. By the end of the day I feel more than comfortable with in design, it feels as though I’ve always known how to use it. One thing that is not how I thought it would be is, that although we are all in the same room, and working on the same project there isn’t a lot of working together. Occasionally we collaborate and mix ideas but not as much as I had imagined was needed in a creative business. I imagine that this is purely down to timing as they have told me about other event and things that they have done. I guess that this is something all students have to learn. It’s not always fun and creative; sometimes you just have to get on with it. Another successful day at the office.

Professional Experience Day 7 – Day 1 at work placement

So today was the first day at my placement. I returned from studying in Madrid so that I might find a placement where I would actually gain some professional experience, as I didn’t just want all my experience to be free-lance. I started the ring around, and phoned as many companies within my area to begin with, and with luck I found a graphic design company that were happy to give me some experience. I had never really thought about going into graphic design as it’s not really part of our course, but I decided that as I am so undecided of my future career that it is import for me to try out different options. I was very lucky that I found a placement where they are so patient and willing to help me understand the business. The company that I chose to work with is very small and independent. There are only 2 employees which I really enjoyed as I found it less daunting. I was happily greeted by Ruth when I first arrived; she made me a cup of tea and explained that Louise, the lady in charge would be there shortly. When Louise arrived they explained that at the moment they are making a catalogue. I did not see this coming but it gave me a chance to learn new software.  I was extremely nervous before I even arrived as on the phone Louise had asked whether I knew how to use in design, which was software I had never even heard of. Even though I had no knowledge of it, Louise said that it would be good for me to learn it and that if I’m a fast learner there should be no problem. I have always thought that learning things quickly is something that I possess, but this was really confirmed today. I was barely shown how to use it, but I used my initiative, I watched Ruth for a little while and when I wanted to know something I asked them, I think that they appreciated my enthusiasm to learn the software. I was given some folders on the computer and was then told that I should try to design layout for the accessories, I had a slow start not knowing how to use it at all but by the end I had created some pretty impressive pages for a beginner. First day in and I’m already learning. I have a good feeling about this placement.

Organising the folders!

 

My Layouts

My other layouts