But the best thing I’ve come to take away from my first experience in a work environment. Is that having nothing to do is absolutely painful. I used to tease my friend for complaining about those days at work when she’d have nothing to do, especially with how well she gets paid. But now that I’ve come to experience it myself, I finally understand her. When I have something to do not only am I having fun, but the time just vanishes. But when I have nothing to do, my days feel like they go from 6 hours of work, to 12 hours of sitting around. Neither Jamal nor Davinine have ever placed a complaint with how I spend my off time, as I often tend to ask if there is anything I can work on, and when they say no they just tell me I can relax or chill around until something comes up. There have been times where I’ve actually gotten to help with things completely unrelated to graphic design. Such as carrying around some stuff, taking care of calls when they have a meeting going on. I even attended a workshop once under Davinine’s request, in which I spent the majority of the day alongside some other work-study students.
I’ve worked on several flyers by now, and I’ve come to improve tremendously in several aspects of design. The first one being my speed. I’m able to just get a rough look of a desired design very quickly now. Another thing being colors, I’m much more knowledgeable on how to use not only color, but Photoshop layers and effects to achieve better designs. But one of the main things I realized, is that one of the primary reasons for which my very first flyer took me so long was that I spent so long testing fonts. I’ve come to realize that very basic fonts can do the job just fine so long as used properly, as well as save a ton of time.
Some of the most notable projects that I worked on on the weeks to come after those longer projects, were two different invitations for some events. The reason for this was, that one of the events was mainly supervised by Jamal and the other by Davinine. Here I got to learn what their personal preferences when it comes to design was. Jamal loved my direction of black and gold for the invitation, less color, more accents, more formal and elegant. Whilst Davinine liked colorful designs. Understanding this had helped me greatly on knowing what direction to take for each project that came afterwards.
Another similar project to the brochure I was tasked with soon after, was the Graduation Newsletter. I had to re-make the design, and update images, and information as well as edit all the information. There is one thing that I learned from this project and even from the brochure project. And that is that when working in a production pipeline where someone’s responsibilities can hinder the progress of another one down the line, the whole project can be halted for a very long time. Though I had technically finished both projects, it wasn’t until week afters that it was able to be finalized and sent for printing, as the people in charge of doing so had not provided us with specific information that had to go in both the brochure and newsletter. This is the closest thing to a “collaborative project” I’ve done so far. As all the flyers are done by me, and the input of my supervisors. Whom I just ask for input whenever I want to make sure they understand where I’m taking the design.
For the next couple of weeks, I had worked primarily updating the design and information of the student clubs brochure. This project took more than one work week due to how much of it it was. With this, I got to explain to Jamal how a PDF file can’t be edited as simply as opening it in indesign and get to work on it unless you purchased a specific third party software. For this project I was tasked with re-creating the design of the brochure, and updating the fonts and colors and even the layout as I saw fit. As well as with replacing and adding the information provided. Through the duration of this project I didn’t really work on other flyers.
For the first couple of weeks and especially on the first day, I had come to realize my biggest weaknesses when it came to design and that I had to overcome them and quick. On the very first day of work, they had already tasked me with working on a flyer for an event that involved a group of comedians coming to make some presentations. I had spent almost the entirety of the day working on the flyer, and when I had submitted the final another person from the office came in to sit with me and guided me through some changes that not only completely changed the final result without altering the layout I had created, but extremely enhanced it. And all it was, was add color, an image, and a pattern for the white space. At this point I realized a couple of things. The most important being that i had to be much, much quicker with my work. Another, being that I had to begin to learn how to use color, as up until this moment all my work (including this flyer) was primarily in black and white, or in very very basic colors.
At the SLD office everyone is actually extremely chill. Jamal was the only one I was kind of cautious around at first, but that’s probably only because he feels intimidating with his nice clothes and super defined jaw. Everyone dresses considerably formally, especially the supervisors. But interns and work-study students seem to dress as they feel. From day one they made it clear that they understand that graphic designers are a lot more easy-going by nature especially in the work environment. So there was never any dress code specified, I personally like to dress considerably casual whenever I can so it wasn’t an issue to begin with. But even when I show up with casual clothes there has never been any form of issue or complaint. The SLD has an office room and a conference room, where Jamal is stationed. I’m always sitting in the conference room table whether it be working on my stuff or waiting to receive some sort of work. The only times when I’m not in there, is when they have actual meetings, in which case I stay in the office. They are extremely easy going as far as my work goes, I always make sure to show examples of the direction in which I’m taking a design to make sure they like it, and also make sure to finish things in a couple of hours unless it’s a bigger project. there have been times where I wouldn’t really have work for several days, in which case I’d just kill time by watching you tube videos or browsing the web. Lunch time is basically whenever I want to take a break. The first couple of weeks I would focus only on work and Davinine would get worried and make sure to remind me that I’m free to grab food whenever I please.
As the graphic designer, whenever there is a new event, I’m given the basic information that is to be included in the flyer such as date time and place. I technically have two supervisors. One is Davinine Boodhu who was the lady in charge of contacting me and interviewing me. My other instructor is Jamal Charles who seems to be generally in charge of most things. I started applying to internships rather late, and finding one with my lack of experience in any sort of working environment made it really hard to get a position even if I landed an interview. When the previous graphic designer for the SLD office left, she made a post in the school’s Facebook so I emailed them. My somewhat experience with ‘freelancing’ attracted them and Davinine basically gave me the position on the spot after our interview, so I was ready to begin working with them the next week. There were less “questions” than there were “this is what you’re going to do”.
After a couple of interviews with a couple of other places, I landed a position at an in-school internship at the Student Life & Development office. They have an office in the fifth floor in G-516. They take care of all events that are done for the students in the school. Whether it is bring in speakers, hold fairs, etc. They also take care of things like making sure students vote, and the graduation ceremony. Students are often receiving updates from them through the citytech email, and everyone is free to go over and ask any questions. All of this is run by only a handful of people, and a couple of work-study students who take care of running certain errands. As the graphic design intern, I’m in charge of doing any flyers, invitations or brochures for any event that the office is doing.
The fourth assignment, The Spots Project was the first assignment where not thinking was the first step. The professor continuously repeated that we were to “create spots, and not think about it, let our pencil do the work”. After acquiring the approved spots, learning how to recreate them was not a very easy task to say the least. For the last step, we were to use all of the elements of design we had learned up to this point, and in distinct ways for every piece.
Through this assignment I realized how difficult it can be to refrain from repeating attributes in different pieces. This was yet another piece of work in which randomness played a major part. Personally I liked how the first one turned out the most, the one with the triangular overall shape. I couldn’t put my finger on why until the professor pointed out how the piece used the whole paper proportionately.