As I’m coming to the end of the first module in my final year of university, now is as good a time as any to reflect on my past, evaluate my present and look forward to the future. I have learned a lot of lessons in the past few months, and believe I’m growing into myself as an image-maker at a steady rate. However, there is still so much to be explored both in professional and practical terms, and many of these fall into the categories above.
I think that looking at what I’ve already taken from the course so far is a good way to look upon about my hopes, fears and opportunities, as I’m in the middle of a journey. I’m not going to say I’ve found my style yet, but since September I’ve began to develop a stronger visual language. With each project I’m becoming more confident with digital aspects of working, but I still have to find the balance between this and my hands-on approach. My strongest point of the year so far is most probably still the creative side; ideas generating is the part of the process where I’m most excited and motivated.
I have high hopes for the year ahead of me and beyond. People might assume that I’m lazy a lot of the time but I don’t think this is true; I do work quite hard when I get my head down. I’m hoping to show this in the future. This includes me “growing up” and proving to people that I’m not guy that likes to do the bare minimum in order to pass. I want to pass the course with higher than just a 3rd and come out feeling good about the body of work that I’ve produced.
This leads me to my next point. I am hoping to leave university with a portfolio that I can proudly take around with me. At the moment there are some elements I like but I know things can be improved, so as the weeks go by I’d like to make sure I can be more confident with what I’m showing.
Another hope of mine is to finally nail all of this developing I’ve been doing recently by the end of uni. I understand that as illustrators we are constantly growing and changing according to current trends etc. but if I can move all my work in the same direction, give it all a more distinctive edge to it, this would make me feel like I’ve achieved something by the end of it all. I’d love for people to be able to recognize anything I do as a “Kyle-esque” piece!
Finally, my hope for the coming year ad beyond is that people will enjoy my work, because, after all, it’s as much for them as it is for me. I do like to inject a little wit and humour into my more editorial pieces, as I think that it will help brighten up these dark, media-driven times. I’m hoping that by maybe inventing some crazy world (or rather inviting the real world into the more fun world that only I can see in my head) they can learn about me, have fun, and I can tie all my work up simultaneously!
Moving onto fears now. As much as I like to say that I laugh in the face of danger, I really don’t. I hide from it like a crying baby, and this is something I need to work on. In a way, my fears are pretty much the opposite of my hopes; I’m scared of not achieving them. I worry that my work isn’t good enough constantly, and as I look around my classroom to see all this beautiful work I am always left wondering where I am. This has a significant affect on the work itself, as I then put it off until I feel more confident about my ideas. It’s a hard thing to overcome but I’m beginning to face this fear already and am getting a little help in this department.
I guess there is an underlying fear of (and I bet everyone has this one) what to do after I finish the course? If I have a strong visual language and suddenly no way of putting all that I’ve learned to good use? What if no-one wants to commission me? I’m working part-time at the moment in a bar, and I’m a little worried that I might end up taking this on full time over the summer and then getting stuck there with no way of showing my work to potential clients because I’m too busy or tired. And then I’d have no new work cropping up and my portfolio will become dated. However, this is simple to resolve, it just takes guts to be poor for a while, not knowing if you can afford from one month to the next.
Looking to the future, I’m excited at the idea of all of these opportunities that the college has opened up for me. They’ve opened up the doors to get in contact with a lot of people and companies already in the field, and getting o know them will help my confidence greatly.
I’m also looking forward to having the opportunity to take on my own ideas a lot more in the final major project. Although I’m still unsure of what I want to do there are opportunities to learn so much in the last few months. I lean towards moving image a lot, and think it would be a great thing to learn, especially in this day and age where a lot of things that are designed are now online. The prospect of collaborating more is exciting as well, as I think I work better when bouncing work and ideas off other people. Finally, I’m eventually going to get the opportunity to have a real job in this field and see my work in the real world, and for people to enjoy mu illustration work, and what better reward can there be than that?