Cameron Scotland's Internship Blog

#12 Ethics: Part 2

A lot of the time when I am looking to start a new creative project I generally browse different sites and sources for inspiration to try and get ideas running. In the past I have seen work that I have wanted to do something similar to but I would always think if I did that it’d be copying, and that would be something I thought hard about. I feel like context can play a big role in the ethics of creativity and graphic design, but in all cases any work used in your own,  whether it be blatant or just the source of inspiration generally should be credited. A project I had done about a year ago was heavily inspired by someone else’s work, my idea was basically to do exactly what they did but using a different subject in the piece. Knowing that I gathered all my inspiration and incentive to create from the piece of work, I made sure to credit the artist when posting my work. After going through the ‘Fairey Obama’ case study, one big thing that sticks out to me is that both sides agreed to disagree on whether copyright law was infringed. This to me shows that copyright, infringement, and fair use isn’t just clear cut or simple and straightforward. Again context has a lot to do with everything; How much of a work was referenced or used, why was it used, how it was used and exactly how much was an idea/work/reference was transformed and the result of all these things. Aside from this case, I am reminded of Richard Prince and his use of the Marlboro Cigarettes. All Prince did was crop, blow up, and rephotograph another photographers work, and then claimed it as his own. He profited tremendously off of this project and I don’t believe it was in fair use and in my opinion is unethical. Fairey lying about sourcing and tampering with evidence only made his case worse and all the more unethical. Had he not lied, maybe the case could have went differently. All in all though, I agree with the result in the Fairey case and him having to split rights with A.P. as well as having to collaborate on future projects utilizing the images.

#11 Ethics: Part 1

During my time at my internship all of the work I’ve created and worked with only utilized royalty free images, graphics and icons. Otherwise, any photography we used was taken by the photography team, mostly of our clients different products. The only logos I’ve ever found myself using were the client’s logos themselves, which of course we have permission to use in the work we’re creating for them. This wasn’t a problem for me as there were a couple of websites I would regularly use to gather content, such as Unsplash and Flaticon; My company supplied these resources to me and I was made aware of the fact that we should use royalty free images in projects. Before starting my Internship I had to sign an ‘Internship Agreement Form’ which addressed several things such as: I am not entitled to any wages, nor am I guaranteed employment in the future, or that the company isn’t liable for any injury or health conditions that may arise from the internship, and other agreements such as obeying policies and demonstrating appropriate behavior and health. I did not have to sign an NDA or Confidentiality Agreement form so in terms of my journal, anything I have done at the company I am free to speak of.

#10 Mentorship

As my internship is coming to an end, I reflect on everything I’ve learned, all the work I’ve completed, and just the whole experience itself. I feel like I was lucky to get put into a position where I worked closely with the art director. Communication did begin to decline as he transitioned to a part time position, but all in all I have learned a lot and am thankful for the feedback and advice I have received through mentorship. I received feedback on almost all of my work, and was given direction if needed and I know this isn’t something I should always expect in future positions. Working closely with my advisor taught me a lot about creating content for clients, keeping it consistent and on brand, and also general conventions and design direction when it comes to the social media platforms I’ve been working with. All of the advice I’ve received and knowledge I’ve gained will be put to use in the very near future, and I believe I’ll be ending my internship as a stronger designer. I now have a better sense of my goals, and the steps I need to take to get to the next level, and ultimately into an ideal job position.

#9 Performance

Honestly, lately I have been questioning my performance as an intern and whether I’m doing well or not. I feel like I am confusing the lack of work that I’m receiving with the level of my performance though. When I have many tasks, I do my best to complete them all in a timely manner and also make sure they are of high quality as well. Lately though, I have not been getting as much work and it feels like my days working for the internship become less productive. Is that my fault though, and should I beat myself up over not having a lot of work and it feeling like I’m not performing? It has been hard for me to distinguish between the two but all in all I now understand and believe that I have been performing well. I push out and create quality work when it’s needed, and understand the lack of work being assigned to me doesn’t directly reflect my overall performance as an intern.

#8 Feedback

Over the course of working my internship I have learned that feedback is one of the most valuable things I could receive. When working from scratch to complete a task, with little direction as well, feedback is really important moving forward. A lot of my work drastically changes from first draft to final because of the feedback I receive from my supervisor. It helps me to understand better what is needed in the future for clients as well, without feedback I’d probably be lost at times and would potentially be creating work that doesn’t best reflect exactly what our clients want. Sometimes my first draft is great and is what our clients end up using, but it’s the work that goes through multiple drafts that really shines and is clearly a reflection of thought and effort.

#7 Communication

Communication is so key when working with a team, and I realized this after my advisor decided to step down to a part time position. His transition and change in work hours has made it harder for us to communicate, and instead I have to check in with different people when he’s not available. My advisor doesn’t sign on to work for Fridays and instead I had to check in with a different coworker, but they had never responded to me until the next day. This left me without work for a whole day because my advisor left me no tasks and my check in wasn’t acknowledged. All in all it was fine because I ended up catching up on school work. Still though, I would appreciate having tasks left for me ahead of time as that’s more productive of course.

#6 Templates

Working efficiently is very important to me, especially right now when my internship isn’t the only priority in my life. I still have three other classes to attend during the week, all with their own projects and essays to do so work can get overwhelming at times. I found creating templates whenever I could speeds up the work process for me. They really help me to be more efficient and complete tasks as quick as I could. The first template I created which I mentioned earlier has been a hit with our client. Every time they need a new testimonial I go straight to it. All I have to do is change a picture, swap in text, and I’m done already with the task. These specific tasks now take me just 5 – 10 minutes to do, and it is so helpful in allowing me to focus brainpower and energy to the other tasks/work I have to do. I look to create templates whenever I can and I know this is something I’ll continue to do even in future job positions.

#5 Highlight Covers

So far I’m learning that a big part of a brand’s social media is their highlight covers for Instagram. I’ve recently been designing a lot of covers for different clients even when they already have preexisting ones; It seems everyone wants to stay on top and keep them updated consistently. My advisor told me I should keep these simple. I feel like I’m getting better at creating them after working on different covers for multiple clients, but I still feel like I end up overthinking certain ones. Sometimes I get stuck and wonder what I should do, but then there’s times where it felt like I didn’t do much and then they’re exactly what was needed. I just have to try harder to remember that simple can be more and I don’t always have to overthink.

#4 A Typical Day

After rolling out of bed and getting ready for the day, I head over to the train and make my way to Grand Central to start the morning. Sometimes I stop and pick up breakfast before heading into the building my company is stationed in. After that I head up to the  and go to my desk in the office. I settle in, take my laptop out, and get ready for a day of work. I sit right next to my advisor as he assigns me various tasks throughout the day. If I have any questions or need help, he’s right there. My first task was to create a new layout for a client’s testimonial template and my advisor really liked the idea I had. I spent time using the original template just to complete the task, but afterwards worked on what I had proposed and finished it the next time I worked remote. After finishing a task or two I would take my lunch break, finding something from outside to eat. The area has a lot, being I’m near Grand Central there’s no issue finding good food. Once I’m done, I head back to eat and then continue working on any tasks I’ve had left or am recently assigned. I don’t do any clerical work so essentially all the tasks I get are the only work I have to do. Once I finish all my tasks for the day, I either stay and source content for inspiration, or head out if it’s close to the end of my day. It all goes by so quick when I’m focused on my different tasks.

« Older posts