Learning to be in the Design World

Today’s world of design goes in many direction. It includes designing the products themselves with full research. The research needs to include what is the competition doing? What does the consumer want? What does your product offer that others do not? Is it an environmentally considerate product?

Designers include many fields on the team: electronics, engineering, manufacturing, business analysts, and more. Marketing designers are web designers and technicians, interactive web designers, interactive brochure designers, packaging and print designers, promotional planners and more. Project management at each of the stages requires leaders familiar with the design skills and talents of their team. It is important to create a talent budget that knows where the strengths of the team can intertwine best to use time and funds efficiently as well as produce the product that most benefits the world it is entering.

Learning to be in the design world makes the designer responsible for their own education. We can attend classes and gain a degree. Does that make us a designer? No, it does not. Gaining the most possible from each class depends on the student’s attitude and degree of investment in gaining from the course even when it may not seem to be relevant. Beyond that, it is recognizing that no amount of classes can prepare students to be the fullest talent of  their individual potential.

The student takes responsibility to practice what they have learned, to go beyond what is taught in the classroom to seek out the greatest talents in their field. Read everything they have to offer, participate in their blogs and tutorials. Know what the experts are NOW doing with great success. Listen and learn. Practice and fine tune. Attend user groups, workshops and events where there is fertile ground to learn and grow and meet others in the field that have the same desire to learn and grow.

Learning includes discerning where time is best managed for the advancement in skills. Learning includes tuning in to the gut and noticing the lurch, which sometimes happens in “must” courses for the degree. Complaining and resisting prolongs the discomfort and sets the student up for missing the gems. Turn it into a gem. How can the assignments be creatively turned to the talent you want to hone?

Learning includes tuning in to when the heart sings. That is when enrichment happens, balancing that with the open-minded lurch to search for the treasure and plunging your arms in deep. Plunge deeply into the chest and stir the contents, touching all the gems and choosing the ones that make the heart sing; polish and refine.

Vegas was Fantastic!

Photoshop World was such a wonderful opportunity. I felt fed the whole time I was there and unique satisfaction throughout my entire experience. Classes were short and with so many varied instructors and topics. I stuck to a several series in similar topics, but with different instructors and therefore slightly different approaches. There were 6 options at any one time and always something very interesting. Even the Expo workshops were wonderful. I was afraid they would be all about selling product, but they were informative and exciting with teachers who were animated and excited about their subject.

Personally, this was great timing. I have been learning Adobe products for many years and attended many workshops where it felt overwhelming to ever take it all in and learn everything, retain everything. This time I was pleased to recognize that I have a great deal of knowledge and  I could appreciate the value of the tips and tricks and new approaches.

Learning Adobe products is vital to my keeping up with my field of Graphic Design, but also is exciting and fun.

Photoshop World Vegas 2010

I am thrilled to be signed up to attend Photoshop World September 1-3. What a great way to meet people who enjoy what I enjoy. I plan on learning so much more than I do now and integrate that into my use of all Adobe products. Might have to leave the credit card behind. 🙂 So many tempting opportunities will be there. But the greatest opportunities will be in gaining new friends sharing their insights, and watching their eyes light up when they talk about their field with passion.

Hope to see you there.

Ways of Seeing Book Review

Ways of Seeing is a book that talks about attitudes and observations. Berger states “When an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions about art. Assumptions concerning: Beauty, Truth, Genius, Civilization, Form, Status, Taste, etc.” (pg 11) The observer’s experiences in life also color their view and interpretation of the art.

There were some explanations of attitudes that seemed assumptive and biased. There are several references to women enjoying being looked at, watched, therefore many nude painting have the woman looking out at her observer. Berger states “Thus she turns herself into an object…an object of vision: a sight.” (pg 47)There can be a natural beauty in paintings of nudes, and yet some of the attitudes described and shown by the paintings pictured seemed to discount that possibility.

It was interesting how much status figured into the paintings of much earlier times. Two paintings of people smiling are shown with the following paragraph.

“These people belong to the poor… Here the painted poor smile as they offer what they have for sale. (They smile showing their teeth, which the rich in pictures never do.) They smile at the better-off – to ingratiate themselves, but also at the prospect of a sale or a job. Such pictures assert two things: that the poor are happy, and that the better-off are a source of hope for the world.”(pg 104)

The last chapter of the book addresses publicity. The author speaks of it offering free choice for both purchaser and manufacturer, proposing that we transform ourselves. This is done with photographs and layouts of successfully transformed persons. Berger says “Publicity is always about the future buyer. It offers him an image of himself made glamorous by the product or opportunity it is trying to sell…Being envied is a solitary for of reassurance.” (p132-133)

This book was first published in 1972 in Great Britain. Some of the attitudes seem narrow and heavy-handed in our day. So the name of the book seems appropriate. Ways of Seeing is the opinion of the author and how he sees the world of art.