I could start with the formalities, my name, my age, what I do, what I like to do – because if I’ve learnt anything over my years it’s that these last two aren’t necessarily the same. But why aren’t they?
I understand that we all make hard choices. I understand that more often than not, we don’t get what we want – as my parents told me when I was young ‘I wants, don’t get’ which at the time, I thought was unfair. Since then I thought I’d grown to understand. It was a politeness thing, right? That demanding isn’t the right way to get things, this is true.
But what if there’s more to this? What if it means that simply stating or thinking that you want something doesn’t get it, but instead of a ‘shut down’ statement – its meant to make you think ‘how do I get it?’ Perhaps the statement to retort to a screaming child (regardless of age – because we all know someone who hasn’t learned this lesson) is ‘I wants, don’t get. So what should we do about it?’
So here is what I’m doing about it.
My name is Adam, I’m a Graphic Designer and a mature student at the University of Derby. This is my blog about what I do, what I like and what I WANT, and it’d be great if you’d like to follow me on this journey.
Mature student, I’m 30. I don’t feel ‘mature'(I’ll explain this further, later.). What I do feel is the need to take control. I took my A levels under duress, I trained as a chef because I needed a job (I did enjoy myself, I still look back fondly, but to think I started that path for any other reason than it was the best option available to me at the time would be false) I moved into an expensive flat, in a town near London, because that’s what you do in your 20’s, I lost my love of cooking when I was made redundant and ended up in a generic high street eatery. Everything was measured and timed, nothing was fresh despite what the menu claimed and it nearly broke me. I moved back home because I couldn’t afford my flat, in my desperation I went into retail. Again, hardly a choice – more a necessity.
Then, I had a moment of clarity. (I know, one in ten years..)
Throughout all this time I had a wonderful woman standing by me and we finally had the chat. No, not THAT chat, but the ‘I wants, don’t get’ one. We wanted a house, we wanted a better quality of life, we wanted children – ‘So what should we do about it?’
We moved to Nottingham, It’s a big city with plenty going on, we have friends here and more importantly: step one on our list: house prices were affordable.
We had nothing but work and family keeping us where we were and family is always going to be family. So we looked for work. She scored a much welcomed pay rise and with me currently over performing and under waged in retail we figured I could at least get the same there. We moved in a little over a month. Fast forward a year, we bought a house and I enrolled into university and my view on life has changed, A LOT.
So, why I don’t feel mature. I hear people say ‘If I knew then what I know now, things would be different’ Why? By this I mean, HONESTLY – why not take what you know now, aim for an opportunity you could have had then and do something about it? WHY NOT NOW? I’m doing it, it’s not that hard. Maybe you need to take a step back, literally and metaphorically, but to take one step back so you can take two, three or even four forward – that’s a net gain, plus think of all the calories you’ll have burnt!
The idea to go to university was all down to me whining that my life would be different if I had and my lady, essentially telling me ‘I wants, don’t get’ so I did it.
I applied to the local Uni’s, now being tied to a house, and tentatively waited to hear from them. I’m not sure what they saw in me, but I had a pretty positive response which encouraged me to take the leap. I took a step backwards in so far as I stopped earning money but fully intend on sprinting as far as I can get on the other side.
I’m loving university and not because of the partying – in truth, I’ve partied with my peers twice in nearly two years. But I am being encouraged to take risks, I’m being encouraged to look forward and I’m genuinely seeing a positive outcome.
I feel like this ‘intro’ may have gotten away from me somewhat.
THIS IS A GRAPHIC DESIGN BLOG – can you tell?
Here’s my thing with Graphic Design – Its everywhere and in everything. That website? A graphic designer probably had some input into the layout, That carrier bag? Yup, That poster? Of course. What I’m saying is – I want to do something different as often as possible, I want to use my hands, I want to use my mind, I want to use my experience, I want to make a difference and graphic design, I believe, is the way for me to do this.
I remember, coming home from school desperate to plonk myself down in front of the TV for three very specific shows. SMart (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8XDhufCmlVc) Art Attack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0evlWSY8kTc) and It’s a Bitsa (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDiku9tfHXc) These shows were fantastic, they were all about making things from mostly house hold junk – think Blue Peter & sticky back plastic on a full show scale – this is where my love for making and repurposing things came from.
Newer influences include 36point.com’s Reflex Blue Show podcast (https://thereflexblueshow.com), hosted by Nate Voss (https://natevoss.wordpress.com) and Donovan Beery (http://eleven19.com), where most episodes they have guest speakers and give out tips and tricks for students and new designers. The website has all of their shows archived and I highly recommend starting from the beginning. As well as periodicals like Eye magazine – a highly anticipated piece of mail in my house (http://www.eyemagazine.com) for its analytical articles on the status quo and examples of great designers, what they are working on and what they have to say – fantastically inspirational, even if there’s only four editions a year.
Now, I’m constantly weighing up magazine covers in off licenses, evaluating posters and adverts on the street and criticising, not always in a bad way, mailers shoved through my door.
Looking forward I have an idea of where I want to be, I want to be stood in front of a white/pin board, with a group of like-minded people. I want to pose them our brief and I want the room to erupt into brilliant ideas that we mash and mold into a magical final idea. I want to use my peers strengths and set our plan into action, present our client with the perfect response and then start all over again. I don’t know if this role exists and If it does, I don’t know where, but I will get there, even if I have to make it all up myself.
So now all I need to do is work out, ‘what should I do about it?’