Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Guest Blog: What kind of designer do I want to be?

Today Crew Design is featuring guest blogger Sarah Cowen from sarahheartsdesign. Sarah is pursuing her MFA in graphic design and will be sharing with us her experience developing a thesis. For more information you can visit her blog, or email her at Thanks to Sarah for the guest blog— hope you enjoy!

I’m in my second year of graduate school studying graphic design, only 8 months to go! It’s been an adventure for sure. It’s also been an amazing opportunity to explore and experiment with my design to try and figure out what kind of a designer I’d like to be. All of this will culminate in a thesis show next spring.

So, how to approach a graphic design thesis show? It’s been an interesting process. Last year it consisted of my classmates and I bringing in all of our previous work, looking at the work of our favorite artists, making lists of things we like to do, taking graphic design “rules” and breaking them, then ending last semester with some practice thesis statements. My gosh, that sounds simple writing it now but it hasn’t been at all. In fact it’s been downright painful at times and, I can’t lie, I’ve shed a few tears! Apologizes to friends and family who have heard me “talk” about it. (Talk=complain.)

What was the point of all these exercises? To train myself to find patterns, to be able to verbalize and critique my own work, to ultimately be my own teacher, and to be able to find inspiration for my work from inside of me. It’s been an enlightening experience. Some of the work that I did nearly 15 years ago was more interesting to me than a few things I made two years ago. It’s been great to look at things with a fresh pair of eyes and to get the feedback from people I’ve only known for a short period of time.

There has always been a line between my professional and personal work and my challenge now is to bridge the two. I’ve consciously been asking myself how can each piece I create be professional, but at the same time have a sense of fun and playfulness in it somewhere?

In the end, the thesis shouldn’t be some grandiose one-time thing, it should be something that I do every time I create something. It all comes back to the question: what kind of designer do I want to be? I think it’s an ongoing process that should happen over a lifetime but what I’m feeling now is: I want to be a designer that is fun, classic, playful and bold. How am I going to do that? I don’t have all the answers at the moment but stay tuned for my thesis show in April!

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1 comment:

Sarah Martin said...

Sarah thank you for sharing!

Good luck on your sounds really interesting. Its making me wish I was back in school.