[BLOG #0] I don’t really consider myself a designer… yet

As a first year student, the change between high school and university has been pretty radical. No bells, no pesky teachers, just you and your responsibilities as a student. My design subjects (DXB101 and DXB102) are probably my favourites considering the amount of freedom we get as “designers” to do as we please in classes. My IT classes are more straight forward and by the book — fact after fact and so on.

In my first studio lesson and tutorial I found it strange when we were referred to as being “designers” and what we think about ourselves as “designers.” I liken it to primary school and early high school science, where we carried out all of these predetermined procedures and were called “scientists” by our teachers. To me, a scientist is someone in a lab somewhere with a white coat doing tests and writing it down, and I think similarly about designers. A designer to me is someone often commissioned to do work for a company, and well, design. I’m not a designer, but I do hope to be, and that’s why I’m taking this course.

I really enjoyed my first studio lesson last Friday. I interacted with new people, had some laughs and had the opportunity to consider what I think of myself as a “designer.” As I went around the speed-dating circle (a somewhat awkward experience, but a decent way to chuck us all into the deep end and interact with almost everyone), I was asked what my strengths, weaknesses and aspirations are as a designer. I ended up sounding like a broken record to myself as I went around and said, “Hi, I’m Ed, I’m good at having tons of creative ideas and bad at putting them on a page.” That pretty much sums up me as a designer so far. I’m terrible at drawing, my handwriting and sketching abilities probably stopped improving at about grade 5. It makes sense now that I think about it as to how I managed to fail two years of art in high school.

We were left with the task of designing both a tattoo and a sandwich. I went straight into designing a tattoo as I would at some point in the future like to have a tattoo or two done. I immediately had a thought of what I wanted. For a while now, I’ve used the “impossible triangle” design as an avatar for game profiles and sites like twitter, and for some reason I’ve always liked it. It’s clean, minimal and provokes thought — after all, it is a physically impossible shape. I did a couple of rough sketches of the idea and had a rough go at it in photoshop to try and place it on the inside of my wrist. First I knew it needed to have something other than the shape itself — perhaps a portal to another galaxy, one of those cool space-like pictures that seem to be in fashion at the moment. I’m pretty impressed with how it came out, take a look for yourself.

Just a quick mockup in Photoshop of what the tattoo design could look like.

Next up, was the sandwich. I haven’t exactly gotten around to doing that. I’m kind of stumped to be honest of how I would picture myself… as a sandwich. I can’t really take the same approach as the tattoo, as a clean and minimal sandwich would probably be pretty disappointing. I guess I’ll see how I go, and I’ll be sure to post my progress with it as soon as I get around to it.

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