Finally over!

Posted on: March 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm | Work | No comment made yet

I signed up to do a graphic design course two years ago, paid for by my old workplace with the view that I would be able to use what I learned to further the aims of the organisation.  I left the organisation last year, with my course unfinished.  The course was through the web-based London Art College and I was unsure at first how useful the qualification would be – I’ve never done any distance learning before.  I found it extremely helpful in the end – my tutor was very supportive and I was glad to have some constructive criticism of my work from a professional graphic designer.  The briefs for the course were interesting and varied and my confidence has increased greatly as I tried new techniques instead of relying on my PC to do most of the work for me!

I never studied art at school.  I always blamed my sciencey-type parents for that.  Mum was a physics teacher and Dad was a chemistry teacher.  Art, although appreciated in our house, wasn’t considered a plausible career option – in common with many families.  It was all I was interested in – I was good at other things, but all I wanted to do was some kind of design – architecture, fashion or art.  Then I ended up studying medical biochemistry.  The reality of course is that, although I was encouraged to do science by my folks, one of the reasons I didn’t end up doing art was because I didn’t demand to do it.  This was perhaps because I didn’t really like the art teacher I’d had in first and second year.  I really hope that when my daughter is older, she feels free to have an opinion or a preference that is different to mine, without thinking that it will affect our relationship.

Lost in Translation poster

Anyway, I completed the course (with a ‘Distinction’) and have refound my motivation to do more with my time and abilities.  Sadly lacking for the past few months.

I even managed to complete a poster for a brief on the IdeasTap website to produce a poster for one of a selection of films directed by women for the Birds Eye View Film Festival.

Next I’m looking to learn how to take decent photos.  I can make a bad photo look okay, but I can’t take good photos for shit!  Also figure out why my blog looks like crap on Internet Explorer.


I don’t do New Year’s resolutions

Posted on: January 9, 2014 at 12:14 am | Stuff, Work | No comment made yet

I don’t really believe in making them.  I don’t.  I don’t believe in telling people some way in which you are going to revolutionise your life and then putting a deadline on it.  It makes you somehow accountable to them.  So that when you fail, you have to repeat it over and over again, to everyone you let in on your plan.  It rehearses your failure and reinforces it.

Or maybe it’s just me.


The simple answer of course, is to simply not tell anyone what your resolution is.

That being said, I am FINALLY back on track for the graphic design course I started nearly two years ago.  I started my new job at Glasgow Uni in October and have done next to nothing creative since then.  This week, I made the time to finish a unit on logo design and started a unit on packaging, which I had been putting off because it didn’t inspire me at all.

I really need to manage my time better.  At last count, I have FOUR paintings which need to be started.  I have the paint and the brushes, but space and time are at a premium in our wee flat.  Space, I can’t really do much about.  Time, on the other hand…  Over the Christmas holidays, I bought a total of about ten PC games on Steam.  I bought a similar number of books for my Kindle.  I mean, is The Complete D.R. and Quinch really essential to my life?  No.  But it’s so freaking funny.

So, I am not resolving to blog more often.  Or to lose weight.  Or to move house. Or finish my course.  Or do the paintings.  Or anything else.  Here’s a drawing of Poor Drummer Boy, who I resolved to turn into a comic strip about two years ago.  Ha!

Encouraging week!

Posted on: September 17, 2013 at 6:14 pm | Work | No comment made yet

Balloons!So chuffed to have a piece included in Coffee Rings and Beautiful Things, which is a themed online creative blog, every month exploring a different topic. This month’s theme was Time.  The painting is in acrylic and is one I’d started months ago and then just kind of ran out of steam… Find it here along with some lovely pieces of work – particularly Andy Glascott’s long-exposure photographs.  Gorgeous.

A couple of years ago, I started a distance-learning Graphic Design Art course at the online-based London Art College, which has been a very encouraging experience all round.  I’m nearly finished at last – a benefit of being unemployed!  My most recent work for the course was highlighted on their blog this week, too.

It has been a really good week, all round!

Logo for Streetwork

Posted on: September 2, 2013 at 1:58 pm | Work | No comment made yet

I’m designing a logo for a streetwork project for young people in Govan. Looking for some inspiration, I naturally do a Google search of other youth project logos.

I’m just going to say it. If I see another logo with a bunch of silhouettes of young people jumping in the air, I think I’ll weep. Go, search. You’ll see what I mean.

youth club silhouettesPlease don’t think I’m running down anyone else’s hard work.  I’m really not.  Charities don’t normally have the funds to pay a professional graphic designer.  It is tricky to find an image that appeals to people and I think some of the logos I saw were excellent. It just seems that it is so difficult to find something that is inclusive of such a mixed group (I mean, in general they are just being categorised by their age) so a very generic idea is normally what is picked.  What is more generic than a person?  I mean, all young people are people, right?  At least they have that in common.

Thankfully, the person who has asked me to design the logo is pretty clued up and already has a very clear idea about what she wants.  And there’s not a silhouette in sight!

See also: grafitti fonts.


Posted on: August 26, 2013 at 11:04 pm | Work | 3 comments made

Very pleased to have finished the tree painting I’ve been working on.  I photographed every stage of the process with the not so brilliant camera on my phone.  Recipient of painting is happy.  Next task: submission for graphic design course.

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