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
I don’t know how to make a website without opening up the terrifying site that is Wix.com, so I’ve done it in InDesign so you can rollover the buttons and make cool interactive .pdf files (you’ll notice how sad my life is right now by my use of the word ‘cool’).
My presentation/deadline is on Thursday and I am very stressed. Here’s what I’ve done so far:
(The merchandise looks better on my imaginary presentation slides, I will post those up soon.)
Learn how to use Adobe Muse or brave Wix/Squarespace and make the pages for the individual elements.
(This is just the landing page, and it took so so long. Send help!)
For my final major project I have decided to create a supportive space for young people coming out of school looking for work. The first step of this project is to do as much research as I can, so that I can become aware of what already exists and how I can add to this to provide something that doesn’t currently exist or isn’t aimed at my chosen audience.
I have spent today researching what creative co-working spaces already exist in Cardiff and what they provide. These include:
- Tech marina
- Rabble Studio
- Tramshed Tech
- xibo hub
- Cardiff Hackspace
- The Sustainable Studio
I did the majority of my research on Tech Marina and Indycube before moving on to see what schools in the area offer. These are some of the resources and support that they collectively provide:
(I was going to list them according to each establishment but I don’t want to end up accidentally doing free advertisement for them)
- A “5 star” gym
- 24 hour access
- Break/games rooms
- On-site security
- Unlimited hot drinks
- Desk hire
- Fast internet
- Atrium/Meeting rooms
- Photography studio for hire
- Welsh and English speakers
- Business support/financial investment
- Woodwork and engineering workshops
- Help with registering a business address
- Touchscreen brainstorming software
Prices at these spaces range from £12 a day/£60 a month for limited access to small businesses, freelancers and start-ups to £195 a month for full access and £250 for a business address deal aimed more towards thriving businesses. Neither sound suitable for young people coming out of school.
I then went on to look into school policies, viewing every comprehensive school website in the area. I decided against contacting all the careers advisers/head teachers for primary research as I am sure they have better things to be doing with their time, and decided instead to scavenge for whatever information I could find online. Firstly can I just point out that school websites are absolutely awful. There were only a couple out of the fifteen websites I looked at which were easily legible and that I could somewhat easily navigate. It is beyond me why anyone would give the rest the go-ahead. I assume parents do extensive research when looking for a school for their children (at least I hope they do). Surely the website, often their first point of contact, should be considered a little more than “yeah it looks great, through some WordArt in there and we’re done!” – Apologies for the informality, but it genuinely irritates me how these extremely important establishments display such terrible consideration for web design.
Moving on… Here is what I found out about the careers processes and the services schools in the area provide to their students:
- Web links to useful sites such as UCAS, CareersWales and Gov.uk
- WRE (Work Related Study) is a statutory requirement on the curriculum
- Industry days
- Oxbridge applicant support
- Fortnightly pastoral sessions (?)
- College and university brochures in the library
- Group talks with careers officers
- Parents evenings
- Booklets, DVDs and role play with staff
The most impressive school by far is The Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School, which provides most of the above with the addition of:
- Mock interview evenings with local businesses
- Videos and case studies
- Gap year and university advice
- One-to-one appointments
- University visits and ‘Aim Higher’ events
As well as schools, colleges and co-working spaces, which are all very reliant on self-motivation, there is also the job centre; Arguably the place people fall back on when the above seem too inaccessible or have failed in providing any successful work opportunities. The main services of the job centre include:
- Financial support
- Work coaches
- Online job search
- School visits
- Connexions – Careers advice for young people
- Youth Tube
- Advice online
- Online links to useful articles
My next step is to use this information to guide my project towards an outcome which will provide something new to Cardiff, or that could work alongside these other options to improve the services already in place. For now I think it’s time to go home and catch up on some bad American TV.