Spring and Thaw

Hi, I've been pretty quiet lately. No updates to either of the galleries. That changed today when I finally updated the self directed works gallery. In it are the big and small artworks I pushed myself to make over numerous hours or in some cases doodled over the course of a brief hour or two. Click the image below to see what I've added, otherwise I also upload a lot of this stuff to facebook.

Due to personal reasons I've been quite quiet in terms of paid work since returning from Korea last year. Mostly I'm taking things slowly, continuing to try to build my confidence. A few months ago I participated in my first exhibition, it was with the Octopus Ink guys and the three pieces I submitted are the three circus themed pieces over in my self directed work gallery. I really enjoyed working on this and hopefully I will get to do so again in the future. I've also been engaging with a lot more social networking events and attended the local MakeitMadeit conference run by Brett Piva. I think I will take a closer look at that conference on here in a future update as it's a cool new event being grown in Newcastle that easily competes with Semi Permanent on multiple fronts. Generally I've been trying to engage with my design community a lot better and get over my personal hang ups about my own worthiness. It's a process but I'm making headway.

For now I will say that I am looking forward to Spring and the thaw that will come with it. I hope next update I have a lot more to show.

-Kerri

 

 

This year was interesting

This post is meant as a summary for my year and so events outside of my work which have never the less influenced it are also referenced. This means it gets a little personal, a little feely, maybe uncomfortably so? The blog has, since the first post always meant to be an honest account of where things stand for me and so this is mostly just a heavier lean towards the personal and away from the uber positive business development side of things. Ye be warned. So, with that out of the way, I'm going to talk.

This year has felt like a mixed bag.

On the professional development front t I feel like I have taken many steps forward:

  • I have pushed my skills further, from my grasp of colour and typography to my over all workflow I feel like I've learnt something in every area.
  • I have had new experiences this year too. I was allowed to gain work experience with the amazing duo at Made by Ronocco based in Newcastle and learnt something about the work flow and speed expected by long time professionals.
  • I also joined a baby collective just starting out earlier this year called Octopus Ink, comprised of a variety of artists that straddle the line between Natural History, Fine Arts and Design. Together the group is slowly finding its feet and investigating creative outlets to work on together. It's pretty exciting to be a part of.
  • I've worked on a couple of large longer projects that pushed my communication skills to grow and over all I learnt a lot about handling client communication. In particular learning to be comfortable with the idea of not always being able to tell people what they want to hear. I learnt that I can stand up for myself without it being a relationship breaker. I have a way to go yet before I can say that interacting with clients generates a useful amount of consideration and reflection on my part as opposed to the nuisance levels of neurotic analysis I frequently engage in. In short: I am making progress but there is more to come.

On the personal front it has seemed less positive at times:

  • A family member who's health had been shaky became severely ill and spent 2-3 months in hospital. They are still recovering now and hopefully they will continue to do so but immune system compromisation makes this a fragile prospect. As a result of it they were unable to go on several planned holidays, one huge one in Korea which had been planned for around two years now. They're getting stronger and I'm really hopeful they'll get to go on their latest attempt at a holiday coming up soon as they've definitely earned it.
  • Another family member continues to be 'difficult' to manage and hostile to engage with so that brought a certain tenseness to my primary work environment. (Though happily I now have a secondary one in Newcastle with the Octopus Ink crew so it's mediated somewhat) 
  • I went to Korea this year and it was amazing, I got to immerse myself in galleries and take thousands of photos, I walked through little neighbourhoods and handed out balloons. It was really wonderful. The trip feels like it was forever ago, like it was this intense bottled experience that at the time felt like it was stretching on forever and then once it was over it became this odd snow globe of memories that feel almost like a dream. While briefly in China I managed to get sick and injure myself badly enough that I had to hang back in China for a couple of extra days while the larger group travelled on to Korea and this was disappointing as it meant that I missed a segment of the trip in Korea that I was hugely looking forward to, that is, the visit to their beautiful parks and hiking area towards the beginning of Autumn. My experience in the hospital was a relatively neutral one, any of the health issues I had relating to China are long gone and so I have little to complain about other than a lingering sense of helplessness and of having to at times fight for full control of what happened to my person. The time in the hospital is buried inside of the rest of the trip, we laughed a lot and complained a great deal but the complaining was done because it was funny to complain and the food was good and the people were kind but the hospital part of the trip is like this little section of time that feels like a strange fever dream and also contains the most tangible memories I have of that trip.
  • Since early December I have felt the absence of whatever it was that would make me start a project one day and then work on it furiously for 2-3 days afterwards. I've created a couple of quite pleasing illustrations which pushed the quality of my work significantly further but for several weeks now it feels like my mood could be best summarised as a rather self absorbed 'sigh'. I don't know if it will sort itself out but for now it seems to be reasonably managed but it is still disappointing as this time of year has typically been a time of great activity and energy for me, I put plans together, I fail to accomplish many of those plans but I also do achieve some of them, I stop to refresh my language learning, I start art projects and finish some, I write lists and I just do a whole bunch of planning and personal development stuff. It is a period of time I enjoy greatly as it makes me feel like I have the capacity for great productivity if I could only stretch it out over the rest of the nine months of the year. So I am disappointed in my brain for steering itself into such becalmed and stagnant waters.

I think if I were to describe a goal for 2016 it would be to find a steady form of employment that would draw me out of my home and shell. I may need to look into volunteering again to build my confidence but I think some hard structure in my everyday life might be what I'm lacking. 

Until next time, I hope this year brings the change or continuity that you desire and that you find what calms and revitalises you.

Regards,

Kerri.

P.s. here is a picture of my dog being just the happiest floof in the world.

20141213_143613.jpg





Speak and Run

Hello!

Just a quick update with hopefully a more detailed one to come.

I've been keeping pretty busy with a couple of jobs, one relates to health and pregnancy and the other to family separation consultancy. They're both pretty serious business in their own way but I've still been able to work some illustration and hand drawn elements into both jobs which is always nice to work on in between battling orphans, widows and hyphens. (It always sounds so sinister when I find myself cursing orphans out loud.)

Here are some samples of some sweet vegetable decorations I've been working on:

 

Lastly I've been fortunate enough to be allowed onto the premises of a local Newcastle creative agency, I'm coming up to my last work experience day with them currently.
I'll be sad not to have an excuse to get out of my 'shoebox' and work next to other people (even if it is just hypothetical work). I'll post more on that next time plus hopefully the stuff I made with them. So far the main things I've learnt are:

1. I need to get faster

2. I already have the capacity to increase my speed but the massive number of distractions available to me at home is really killing that. I need to address this.

3. I need to stop avoiding typography and work through the teething stage of getting familiar with it just like I did with my drawing. It's going to take time but It's going to make me feel a lot more well rounded and engaged as a designer.

4. I need to work on my confidence, just because I'm a small fish doesn't mean I'm a bad fish. 

Alright, well I have yet another project to noodle through so I'm gonna finish up here.

Kerri out!

World of Words

Aaand I'm back!

Hi everybody! 

Here is the final flyer design that Invent The World went with. I love working with them because the colours and subject matter are so fun and it gave me an excuse to go and revisit the world of minecraft. I'm pretty excited about one particular project we've yet to tackle but will happen later this year too, so I guess look forward to hearing about that! :)

 

In other news K,GO Design has been given new hang-outs on Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Facebook. Keep an eye on those pages for more regular updates of the things I'm working on. To make sure I keep updating facebook at least once every three weeks I've set the condition that if I miss out a three week window then the first person to note it on my facebook page gets a doodle of their choice. :) So if you're already on any of those platforms I'd be chuffed if you'd wander over for a look, just click the link below. 

Oh yeah! Amazingly, I am now a fully graduated Visual Communication and Design Student from the University of Newcastle! Licensed to wield a mouse like a katana, slicing design problems in two like so many bamboo sticks, this baby designer has levelled up! I. AM. SO. EXCITED. And also worried. I'm going to miss the beautiful campus and laid back attitude that came with it. Now it's a matter of making sure that I'm still consistently creating things even without the motivating force of university behind me.

I've added to the gallery, go check out more Invent the World work and the resume redesigns I did for myself and a friend. Also I wanted to add some more specifically print orientated work to my portfolio so I put together a hypothetical project called 'life.Craft' combining a love of cute cartoons creatures, paper craft and all things hand-made. 

I've also added a link where you can download my super amazing print portfolio that I worked on late last year. I've never overhauled a piece of design so completely so many times, that baby started out as a double sided A4 poster that folded down into a little flyer about 1/6 the size, then it expanded into a double sided A2 poster and finally after realising the limitations of my resources into the neat little A4 saddle-stitched booklet it is today. From the beginning I wanted it to be small, portable, inexpensive to print but not 'cheap looking' and most of all I wanted it to boldly and joyously introduce the audience to my personality. But don't let me rabbit on about it, click Snippet to check out for yourself! :)

Lastly I'll just say that I'm currently working on another brand identity. It's one of my favourite things to be tasked with but probably the most onerous because of how carefully it needs to balance between being something the client thinks is cool and relevant to them while still conveying the intended message to their target audience. Sometimes it can be difficult to tease out a specific direction to head in from the client so I've been working on simple pdf form questionnaires that look at the obvious stuff like target audience, goals for the brand, 'feel' or 'vibe' as well as things like asking them to talk about an ideal day in their business, what their brand's pace is, what music genre would most fit their business and a bunch more. I'm hoping that in future this will really help me to create logo-marks and identities that resonate with clients and that more clearly communicate the businesses's intended identity.

This blog's designer:

I'm looking at the commercial illustrators and exhibiting artistic duo 'We Buy Your Kids', comprised of  Biddy Maroney and Sonny Day. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that these two are actually located in Newtown, Sydney Australia. I think living in Australia you become used to things being typically at least a thousand kilometres away from you so when they're not you think:

"Wow, that's only 150km away from me. That's practically next door." 

I came across We Buy Your Kids (WBYK) via an amazing magazine cover for HOORAY! magazine which celebrates...well celebrations, specifically celebrations with really strong and well executed decorating visions. The cover is this screen printed riot of bright fruity colours that made the little girl inside of me gasp in happy joy.
 

When I decided to check out their other work on their website I was initially bummed that my eyes wouldn't get to gorge themselves on more of the visual equivalent of a bag of skittles (Though that particular work does have a whole bunch more associated images that were created for HOORAY! so click the image to check them out and drool over their fantabulousness.) but once I got over that I was still amazed by their other work. There's something about them that reminded me of those posters from the Bauhaus school, art deco or the modernists? I'm not being very precise and maybe it's just the screen printed nature of their work that brings that to mind but either way their it is rich and crisp and delicious to behold.
To learn more about the work of Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney  head over to their website:
www.wbyk.com.au 
Also they have a shop where you can purchase their awesome amazing prints here.

Alright, and that covers it for today. I hope to update this again soon with the new things that I am doing.
I think that would be good, yes. :)

See you!

A sneak peak

I've been working with a really cool new business down in Melbourne recently, they offer kids a fun educational program during school holidays that teaches creativity and inventiveness and science. Here's a flyer I've been working on for them, all art work is still in flux but I think I'll be able to upload an official page for the work I've done with them soon! :D



New Year Makings

Hello! ^_^

Looks like this week's blog is arriving pretty late too. Oh well here's to trying to for deadlines but missing for want of inspiration. I have added to the little invitations project I was working on with a Pool Party and Seaside themed one (must be the time of year) to show today which brings the total up to 6/9, here's hoping next blog gets me over the line. I'd be pretty chuffed too since that would be the first of the six extra curricular tasks I promised I'd make myself do this year out of the way.  

*Edit*

So I wrote that around three-ish weeks ago?

I guess really there's been a bit more since then that's of interest, I got asked to create a flyer for a friend doing marketing for another business (every little job matters in case you're wondering why it warrants mentioning) and I have commenced designing another logo, my own logo continues to be held up by naming lag. I've been researching starting a small business, specifically with the goal of becoming a freelance graphic designer. I may do a separate post looking at the (from my perspective) quite large research task involved in establishing everything from whether your business name is registered already or trademarked, what personal service income is, what tax could or should I be paying, how much should I charge? Do I have a viable market? What is that market? How will I supplement my income if/when there is a dry period? How much money do I need to have available to start up (money that will be there when I inevitably stuff-up and have to absorb costs), how do I word my contract, how do you market yourself and on and on and on. 

I've heard researchers have found humans nearly always underestimate time requirements for tasks and under budget as a result. I bring this up because I feel a little like I've done that with this business thing, as fast as I read and research I find things I should already be doing or doing before the last thing I should already have done. *sighs*

I'm excited, pessimistic, anxious and hopeful all at the same time about this whole thing. It started with me experimentally trying to construct some kind of 'design portfolio' late last year partly out of real world necessity and partly because I'll be doing something similar for uni work this year, it was just a way to get a head start. But then I started thinking about the scarcity of design firms and branding positions and the likelihood of them hiring someone who was fresh out of university completely untested irl. It seemed incredibly unlikely I'd get a job in such a high competition environment so figured I'd get a head start on the next logical thing.

So yeah, that's what I've been up to, I have been doing things and I have also just been procrastinating on this update a little. Those are my motivations for trying to 'swim on my own' and so my thinking is that with each new blog update I'll look at a business question and discuss the answers and suggestions I found. I've already found a mountain of resources and if nothing else it'll help me remember some of it better by writing about it and who knows? Maybe someone will stumble across something useful in the ramblings of a baby graphic designer taking her first steps. :)

 

Alright on to the Summarised Designer!

In this post I'm looking at an older more widely recognised designer, I remembered the name Saul Bass being fairly high on the list of my tutors and lecturers whenever they brought up designers. Once I looked him up I recognised all those distinctive title sequences, in particular the ones for 'The Man with the Golden Arm' and 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World' stood out in my mind. So  this week we'll be looking at some of Saul Bass's work.

I've also continued to work on the logo design job for the friend, it has progressed further and I'm pleased with how it looks in the context of a business card. I can't wait to show off my work. :)

Name: Saul Bass

DOB/DOD: May 8 1920 - New York     April 26 1996 - Los Angeles

Geography: Worked primarily out of Los Angeles

Career/Education History: 
Saul Bass was reportedly creative from a young age, later he went on to study at the 'Art Students League' in New York and Brooklyn College where he was introduced to the Bauhaus style and Russian Constructivism (An art movement typified by bold stark designs that stem from a philosophy that is against autonomous art and leans towards one that emphasises art for society.) by a former colleague of Laszlo Maholy-Nagi.  

After graduation he went on to apprentice to a design firm in New York and then to work as a freelance graphic designer, eventually moving to Los Angeles where he felt he would be less creatively restricted. Bass opened his own studio in 1950 and worked mostly in advertising until he was offered the opportunity to design the movie poster for the 1954 movie 'Carmen Jones', this was positively received by the film's director Otto Preminger who then asked him to design the title sequence as well. Bass would go on to create the title sequences for a number of movies including West Side Story, Around the World in 80 Days (1956), Vertigo (1958) and Ocean's 11 (1960). This led to the creation of notable title sequences such as the opening to The Man with the Golden Arm (1955) and Alfred Hitchcock's 'Psycho' with Bass also contributing to the infamous Shower Scene.

Bass would later go onto fulfil a dream of directing a feature length film, 'Phase IV' (1974) though this was met with limited success. After this Saul returned to commercial graphic design which led to the creation of corporate logos for brands including United Airlines, Bell Telephone Stytems, AT&T, Girl Scouts and Quaker Oats as well as a number of Japanese brands. He was eventually persuaded to come back to title sequence design by creating one for Broadcast news and then went on to collaborate with Martin Scorsese in 1991 on the title sequence for 'Goodfellas' and later 'The Age of Innocence' and 'Casino' (1995).

Saul Bass died in 1996 of non Hodgkins lymphoma having radically changed not only title sequence design but the whole of graphic design with his distinctive 'jagged cut-out look' and bold colouring schemes. His influence can be seen in the closing sequence of a movie like 'The Incredibles' and the opening sequence of the T.V. Drama 'MadMen' which invoked the style and in the case of 'MadMen' specific imagery from Bass's iconic title sequences.

Examples of Work:

Logos:

Movie Posters:

Opening Sequences by Saul Bass, a compilation by Ian Albinson:


Design and Dixit

Hello again! :D

It's a new year and every time I think about my impending last year of uni I get butterflies in my stomach. It is my hope that keeping this up will start to sooth some of that. In other news this is late, oh well, next time I shall be on time. Definitely.

Recently I played a board game called Dixit with some friends, I won't go into the details of how the game is played but the important thing to note is the central deck of cards, each card has its own amazing illustration and the cool thing is that the artwork is a critical part of the game play. The artwork on these cards (I was playing Dixit - Journey) - led me to wonder who had created them. There is a really diverse range of imagery but a clear and consistent style (Tim Burton's name got thrown around a lot) that runs through the whole deck. Anyway it struck me that it might be interesting to look into the designer of the art for Dixit this week as an opportunity to look at a contemporary illustrator. So this week I'll be looking at the illustrator Xavier Collette.

In other news I have been working on some invitation ideas while listening to lots of jazz, some are themed around a particular interest while others are just kind of ideas I thought might look cool. I'm hoping to 'draft' nine ideas in total and then work them up to a more finished stage. These are what I created last week.

 So aside from this I've also been asked to work on something for a friend, hopefully I will be able to show the results of that on here eventually. With all of that out of the way, here is Xavier Collette. 

I'll see you all next week!

Name: Xavier Collette

DOB: 1981, Belgium

Situated: Rennes, France

Career/Education History: Currently a freelance artist, Xavier possibly (I am uncertain of the quality of google translate) - began to study for a degree in engineering but a love of drawing resurfaced from childhood and so he enrolled at the 'Saint-Luc Ecole Superieure Des Arts' in Liege where a few years later he gained a degree in Graphic Design. After this Collette worked in various fields of graphic design including making book coovers, game illustrations and then as a character designer for the company 10Tacle video games. Eventually Collette went on to found his own business which led to the creation of his first publication the cihldren's book 'Lord Puma' and then an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. 

Recent Works: Currently Collette is working on a number of projects aimed at young people , a comic strip as well as creating book covers for publishers that include L'Atalante, Pocket, Pocket Youth (Pocket Jeunesse), MiCMaC and for some board game publishers as well including Hazgaard and Libellud (Libellud published Dixit). 

Pictured Above: Card Designs from the Game Dixit Journey published by Asmodee.

 

Weekly Review

Hi again! 

I decided to make these blog posts weekly, hopefully this is the right amount. We shall soon see depending on whether I keep up with these or not.

I've added some more self directed work to my gallery, the final versions of some Christmas cards I created for friends. I really enjoyed making them, I'm able to push out a one shot simple lined drawing quite quickly and then colouring it with water colours is also fairly simple once you get your head around the slightly faster application of it you need in order to avoid too many splotchy water effects. (If that's not what you're going for that is.)

I have also decided to include a small research section underneath each blog-post about a designer or even just a cool design, my knowledge of designers and specific designs is currently sub-par so in some ways this is more for me than for you as I think really getting into a discipline, immersing yourself in it and also finding your own 'path' or 'style' is helped by knowing what is already on the stage that you're stepping onto.

So this week to begin I have chosen:

Name: Herb Lubalin

DOB/DOD: March 17 1918 - May 24 1981

Lived/Worked in: America

So according to this site Lubalin went through Highschool not showing any obvious outward signs of wanting to become a graphic designer let alone a world renowned typographic creator. Post High School he entered the Cooper Union, located in New York which is split into three schools; Art, Science and Engineering and was established in 1859. Wikipedia informs me that up until 2012 it was one of the few Higher Education Institutions that offered full tuition scholarships and is one of the most selective schools in the USA. But anyway back to Lubalin, Lubalin graduated in 1939 and it was a while before he made himself more widely known when he won an award as creative director of Sudler & Hennessy from the New York Art Directors Club. After which he went on to found his own design consultant firm 'Herb Lubalin Inc', as other notable designers joined the firm increased in size with additional subsidiaries such as, Delpire & Cie, Paris, Maxwell Ltd., London, Good Book Inc. and Lubalin, Burns & Co. 

He founded the Typographic Journal U&lc and The International Typographic Foundation.

Notable work of his includes:

Covers, Interior and Logotype Design for Eros Magazine, Fact Magazine and Avante Garde.

Notably Avante Garde led to the creation of the typeface Avante Garde for the magazine's logo which in the context of the original design was highly successful though later the typeface fell into overuse.

Something Different?

When asked about his favourite musician in an interview Lubalin responded that his favourites included Johann Sebastian Bach and the Baroque and Renaissance music periods as a whole which he said he appreciated as much as The Beatles and the Pop and Rock movement.

Sample Works:

 

 

To Market, To market.

Greetings! :)

I'll make this a short post, today I was gifted a year of website hosting on Squarespace. I'm pretty stoked and I intend to try and make the best possible use of it.

I have no idea about a domain name, BBQ Pony Designs (my place holder name) shall have to do for now as I am still trying to conceive of something more suitable for long term professional use.

I will hopefully in the near future upload some minor illustrative work I've been doing, Christmas cards are fun little canvases to work within and I've really liked getting to grips with a faster more fluid approach to water colours.

Speaking of Christmas, it is in three days and Western New Years is soon after that so to whoever reads this, whatever you're celebrating in the next two months or so I hope you have a good time catching up with friends and family.

Kerri Out!

A sample of some of the images I made up for the Christmas cards.

A sample of some of the images I made up for the Christmas cards.

Building BBQ Pony

Hi!

This is me pushing myself out the door, I feel like I'm only half ready, hair brush in hand, shoes still not laced and my bag's contents practically exploding out of it from haphazardly filling it with what I'll need for today.  

If I'd hung around fussing over whether my typographic skills were ready yet, whether my illustrative abilities would make the cut or even just seeking clarification on what exactly my 'personal style' was, I suspect I would have never stepped outside.

So with that ringing endorsement out of the way here is some clarification, this website is a home for my work and I will update it with new and hopefully progressively improving projects and pieces. My thinking being that at some point the quality and style of the work will eventually reach a level where it intersects with someone's idea of cool looking professional design.

So here's to hoping that this marks the beginning of something worth writing home about. 

Until next time,

Kerri