Module 1, Week 8

Week 8 – Side Hustles

This week looked at two questions: What would you like to be doing in your work that you’re not? What side projects are you working on and how important are they?

Regarding side projects, that’s a tough one for me because I’m not in a job that’s centered around design when I get a spare moment I’m usually having some down time to myself. Looking at the Ideas Wall this week was both inspiring and hugely intimidating. Working alongside designers who have been doing this for years and side projects are just a normal thing to do is quite scary. I started to look around at what I’m doing with my time and got sucked into a bit of a black hole.

After taking a day out and not focusing on university work, I realised I do have “hobbies” that I work on on the side which are actually art related. I have started practising and honing my paper cutting skills and have been trying my hand at Maya software (extremely tricky 3D software) – so far nothing to show because I have been starting with the basics.

It made me realise that although I don’t spend time creating specifically Graphic Design projects on the side, I am still developing my own artistic skills.

This led me on to analysing my skills – I realised I much prefer looking at the skill sets as “Skills I have” and “Skills I want” (rather than Skills I don’t have). I pride myself on being a bit of a sponge and taking in knowledge quite easily – I also have excellent memory so when it comes to learning new software etc I pick it up really quickly.

A lot of the designers interviewed felt the work they do on a regular basis IS the side project. As in they feel challenged enough with their everyday work because they’re in a job they love. This resonated with me – I’ve given up a job I hated to start this course and (especially this week with Coronavirus Isolations) this new, unimportant job is taking up too much of my time and I’m desperate to get a job in a creative environment. This is my focus for this year and I need to make sure it happens.

Sarah Boris was intriguing about how she likes trying new things and collaborating with product designers – this really showed how she takes a lot from working with others and how your side projects can say more about you than your portfolio itself. The general feeling was that the pressure is off when it’s your own project – you are in control, you own this.

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