21 days and 3 projects to finish, blog about, touch up research and development documents for. Photos to take, pages to print, laser cutting and screen printing to do, feedback to take on board, changes to make. The feedback I received this week wasn’t how I expected it would be and I am disappointed in myself. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in making plans for the future on the rocky foundations of the present, and it’s difficult being knocked down to discover the groundwork isn’t sturdy enough to land on.
Enough with the metaphors. I thought Matt had faith in what I was doing. My project seemed solid and well-thought through, I suppose it didn’t come across that way and I was given an average ‘satisfactory’; slap bang in the middle of the spectrum. To me this is a failure. I have so many people expressing their admiration for “how hard I work”, “how brave I am for making such daring plans”, and “how much I throw myself into”, I guess I’ve been taking myself for granted, assuming my capability based on the throw-away comments of others. I never meant to become arrogant, I think it’s just difficult to regain total modesty once I let myself believe I was doing well.
There is no point in simply recognising my faults, although that is the first step, what is important is where I go from here. And I think the answer is to embrace my target audience, like Matt mentioned in my feedback, and do more research on a more specific market, before properly planning out my exhibition space and powering through the designs for the touch-points I have chosen. All through this project I have had a rough idea of how I wanted my exhibition piece to look, but this week I have put together a better idea of the layout.
The main touch-points of my exhibition will be the merchandise (t-shirts, hats etc.) as well as branded decks and the website on a mac, acting as the ’till. I might even find a card reader, at the risk of making it seem like too much of a shop environment. I will also throw in stickers, thank you notes and broken skateboards as shelves. I have also sought advice from other members of the course; Carwyn mentioned a clothes rail held up by halves skateboards, using the trucks to hold up a metal pole to hang the t-shirts from. Jasmine suggested providing branded boards for guests to navigate the whole exhibition on, however I am sure Ian would have a problem with the health and safety risks of actually doing this! I also need to produce better illustrations for the merchandise designs, and keep on working on the individual pages of the Stalefish website and take my own photos. Now, to get on with it…
Here’s a preview of the website I’ve put together so far: https://amydunstall.wixsite.com/stalefishstudio
It’s the Easter break and I have yet again escaped to the countryside town of Ammanford for some well needed time off. When I say time off I do mean spending every hour taking photos, uploading photos, setting up eBay, listing 100(!?!) items to eBay, setting up a Kickstarter account, sorting my GoFundMe, making, rearranging and deleting social media accounts, sharing all of the above and trying, desperately, to maintain a healthy social life and not be distant or absent to expectant friends, family, other(?). I am sorry to everyone I’ve seemingly ignored, I promise I am trying my best to stay on the ball.
As a reward to myself for getting all these very time consuming and brain numbing tasks done, I indulged in a little Final Major Project work. Yeah, my reward for work is more work… So, I made stickers! And while I was checking them out on the printing site, I figured for the postage price I may as well redesign and print the Thank You Notes too.
The next step is to do some more illustrations and crack on with the website! After a quick bike ride along a canal in the countryside because it’s a nice day yet again and I’d quite like to drag my face away from this laptop screen for a few hours before my brain implodes on itself.
This post contradicts the title entirely but I have just walked all around town in search of something to eat, and I am not very happy with Cardiff, or the general attitude to vegetarianism here. All I wanted, in life, my absolute main focus, was something veggie friendly (preferably vegan) in a crusty bread roll, potentially warmed up or toasted, preferably avoiding burning a hole in my wallet. That is all, and apparently such a thing simply does not exist. And then to make it worse, each time I turn a corner I see this (or variants of):
And I’m just stood there like “I would! If it was possible to find something (anything!) to eat then I absolutely would!” And I feel guilty for the chocolate croissant I just ate because after half an hour of trying every supermarket and coffee shop on the high street I couldn’t find anything else. It is NOT the general public these pleas need to be aimed at, I am sure many people would cut down on animal products if an alternative was readily available to them, it is the shops, coffee shops, organisations which are providing the food and drink to the public. Walking into Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s this morning, all you can see are shelves and shelves of Chicken, bacon, cheese! Ads for local restaurants displaying “extra ice cream, fresh cream…” There is no way to escape it, three Greggs outlets later I think I have to resolve myself to the fact that their tiny vegan range failed its first few weeks; a shame.
It doesn’t have to be a big statement (I am very glad the Pret are opening up veggie stores but it doesn’t always have to be this grand), just having a few more vegetarian options, and the occasional vegan one too is all we need. To be honest, one of the best things about going vegetarian/vegan is that it’s easy to choose in restaurants because there’s usually just one or two suitable meals; we don’t need much.
So, my tiny little solution to this is applied to my final major project (I have a bit of an obsessive relationship with my work at the moment so why not direct this frustration towards uni?). Stalefish will provide AS MANY vegetarian options for food as meat options, and also a selection of vegan ones. It will not make a show and dance of it, it will simply exist. Obviously this is a few years down the line when the essentials have been covered and we can move on to serving food (I’m still considering the coffee shop idea to draw people in, but it isn’t the main focus). One aim of Stalefish is to encourage a healthy and positive lifestyle so all food and drink available will be healthy and of a good standard. “You are what you eat” so we want our customers to be eating well.
And as a side note, much like the site Bumble does in London, it will circulate positive messages such as these:
Another minor frustration from today is that there is so much pressure to network within the creative community here in Cardiff, and that’s all well and good when you’re in a sociable outgoing mood, but this morning I was feeling hazed and just wanted to sit quietly by myself without feeling anxious or ignorant, and listen to the talk. This was difficult to do with a whole room of people actively engaging in conversation and in all honesty by sitting out of the way I felt like a bit of an outsider. From the information I have gathered since starting this project, it appears that many of the target audience are introverted and much less confident in their skills and accomplishments than the older existing community, and networking is one of the reasons they are so intimidated by co-working spaces and events. To tackle this is and open the idea of working in a studio up to younger people, the events will always begin within a few minutes of the advertised start times, possibly stating that there will be a half an hour socialising time before the workshops/events begin so that more introverted people can avoid this. It is important that the studio is a comfortable space and that guests don’t feel awkward or out of place.