I remember back in junior school when I was about 10 or 11, me and one of my mates would make our own Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon cards on his dad’s Photoshop and give them ridiculously high stats. We would then print them off and trade them with kids at school. Not really a testament to our creativity, but we managed to swindle some pretty decent cards out of it, from what I can remember.
My tutors always encouraged me to go read, watch, listen to and experience as much as I could. Doing all these things are just as important to the creative process as the actual making. Inspiration can come from anywhere and it’s good to give yourself a break from work sometimes. Going for a walk in the park or watching a film can often help spark some ideas. And I also feel like having a good understanding of what’s going on around you or going on in the world is important as a creative.
One of my final projects for university was a generative type project which I’m really proud of. The project was informed by my research into AI and genetic engineering, and the moral panic which surrounds both these topics. I looked at the story of Frankenstein and found that in many ways the questions raised by the novel resonate with the current debate of whether science is being pushed too far. I liked the idea of using typography to represent this, and making something which is autonomous where the creator no longer has control over its appearance.
Using a program called Processing, I made a text editor which will randomly generate a letter-form as the user types, combining chunks of 4 different modular based fonts. The idea being that the letter is reminiscent of Frankenstein’s monster, having different body parts sewn together. I’d like to re-visit this project in some capacity one day.
I feel as though my style as a designer is very much still developing. Although where I’m at now style-wise came from trying out lots of different things, especially while I was at university, and seeing what I liked and didn’t like. So I’d suggest to others, particularly those in education, to use this time to experiment and try new things.
Instagram also helped a lot. I like being able to use it to showcase the work that is a bit more experimental. It’s also how I found many of my favourite designers. I felt as though I had an idea in my head of the type of design I really liked. and it wasn’t until I found other designers doing what I was looking for that I started to develop my own style in line with what I liked.
At the same time though, I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media, I wouldn’t suggest people spend too much time on it. Many times throughout university, it made me feel inadequate as a designer as I scrolled through looking at other people’s work. Or it just distracted me from what I was doing. Everything in moderation!
I keep seeing people doing really amazing work with code based design, which I think is really cool. It definitely has a lot of potential and I am excited to see where it goes. I like the idea of algorithms being used for some good by creating something beautiful. It’s something I’m interested in so I hope to learn more.