Archive for the 'me and my life' Category

Creating a new workspace

July 21, 2009

Hey everyone! I’ve just moved into my new place which is 3 minutes away from school, so this week has been quite hectic and exciting. As a student, my budget is small, even smaller now that I’ve moved out, and I am dealing with the challenge of configuring a small space for two purposes: as a bedroom and as a studio workspace. I am inspired by great workspaces, and I believe a great one is an aid to creativity and productivity. My main considerations in creating my own are:

1. Function – I estimate that most of my work will be done on my laptop, so that will be a central aspect of this room. I will be doing a little bit of drafting and sewing and handwork, but I hope to do most of this at school. The work that I do bring home will all be separated and stored after use in my closet, where it shares space with my clothes and personal storage. I bought the greatest desk from Ikea (pictures later), which meets my functional needs as a designer well. 

2. Simplicity – In keeping with my desire to keep things simple and live as minimally as possible both for physical and mental clarity, I aim to keep my workspace flow as simple and uncluttered as possible. I left most of my belongings back at my parents’ home, and took only what I needed. Now, I realize that I don’t need much to live off of. 

3. Aesthetics – Designers love beautiful things, it is no surprise. I feel so much more excited to get to work when I am in a space that I feel inspired in. Increasingly, I am drawn more and more to a minimalist aesthetic, bright and airy, with lots of white space. Although this was my original vision, I soon realized that it is hard to do white well on a budget, because keeping everything the same tone requires a reliance on texture and detail to keep from looking like a hospital room. I also love colour, so I decided to use red and purple as accents, which are great colours to add to creative energy. Decor will be kept to a minimum, and its function is to stimulate me visually and add to creative energy rather than dull it. I don’t need as much decoration as I think, because my work in itself is very visual and I always have visual inspiration to use as decoration anyway. Plus, in keeping with my student budget, I prefer to go with the basics now and spend more later on items that will last. 

3. Transitional capabilities – I am not sure how long I will living at this residence. I hope to live here at least until I graduate next April. I will bring my furniture along with me when I do move, and will aim to keep things organized and simple enough to move. In terms of transitional capabilities, I am also referring to the physical manifestation of my life transformation over the next year as I work on my graduation collection, develop further skills in my areas of interest, and graduate and get going in the real world. 

This has been a great way for me to look at how much stuff I have acquired over the years and what it means to me (not much). I have to take some time out to go home and actually purge, like actually. On the path to living more consciously and simply, I am thinking about the way I organize, the way I accumulate, and the way I consume. I am trying to use technology as my aid so that my work remains as much on the computer as possible and I do not have junk to throw away all the time. I use my library borrowing privileges to gain knowledge and information instead of buying books. Heck, I have even dropped all use of sticky-notes and notepads and favour of my personal notebook that I fill up completely with random thoughts, brainstorming, to-do lists and etc. (although, I have started to get the hang of Google Calendar and am loving it! I just started using the offline capability recently and have almost completely transitioned all to-do lists onto my computer). 

Once I have my room all figured out, I will definitely post pictures! Stay tuned.

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What’s Gonna Go Down Here

June 25, 2009

Hi everyone! I don’t know what to write about today, so I thought I might write about what I am anticipating over the next year (and therefore, what you should anticipate reading about). Hopefully this post will allow you to get to know me more personally.

My fall semester schedule has been set, and I will have school from 9-5 2 days a week, which does not seem like a lot at all, but believe me, I’m already suspect of the amount of work that will need to be done. I am so excited I can barely contain it! To be able to work on a complete project from conception to market research to production has been my dream since I was 7 and I will finally have the opportunity to do it in a safe setting. I have a general-almost-specific idea of the market niche I will be designing for, but that will have to be fleshed out in the fall. You will see components of my market research, my inspiration and creative process, my design process, how the garments will be made, and maybe a little bit of marketing and PR. I would really love for you all to get to know me through my work and understand more of what a designer’s job is.

I will be doing a self-directed study component where I get to come up with a subject that I would like to study more in depth and create my own course based on it. I decided that it would be a great opportunity for me to learn more about and gain practice in my topic of interest: digital textile and print design. I love to learn, explore and grow, and I work very well autonomously, so this will be good for me.

I will also be going through the process of creating 2 portfolios, one online and one traditional format. I will share my tips on portfolio development as I go through this process myself. As of now, I have pretty much nothing to put in my portfolio because my computer crashed about a month ago. Remember that? Although truly, I believe that it has been a blessing in disguise.

I will probably also be continuing my part-time job in the bridal industry, hopefully 2 days a week. My job there has also progressed since I started. I won’t mention this job much or at all, but the insights I gain and skills I learn I’m sure will show through.

After all of it, I will be moving Fashion 2.0 forward (maybe time for some Fashion 2.1? haha) so that it becomes more appropriate for someone who will no longer be just a student. Maybe I’ll become a freelancer, maybe I’ll move to another city and add another internship to my belt, maybe I’ll get a full time position here, I may even start my own business.

Who knows?

Why I Dropped Out of…Class

June 8, 2009

Earlier this year, I started to seriously consider the idea of traveling to London, England sometime during the summer to take a short course at Central St. Martin’s, one of the most prestigious fashion schools in the world. Last month, I decided to go for it, and booked a week-long class for August. I said to myself, I can’t back out now, the class is booked and paid for.

Except that I started to doubt whether or not the trip would be worth it, in financial and personal terms. I guess the lure of having a credential at a world-famous design school was what pushed me in that direction in the first place, added to the fact that I love learning and have the the intense desire to travel and experience different cities and settings. Many of my friends took trips to Europe this summer as well, making me feel even more trapped in Vancouver.

In the end, I decided to cancel my booking for several reasons.

I fell into the belief, like many others in my generation, that certain experiences and material objects are what define us, and to a certain extent, that is true. But, sometimes we let that override the things that should be important to us, and to me, those things are: love, passion, and freedom. In order to obtain and maintain these things in the life that I envision, it is a prerequisite that I be financially stable and that my personal finances are in order, and that cannot happen if I place my worth on an experience just to add this school’s name to my resume. There are many more experiences that are much more important to me than a week-long trip.

“Life is really simple, we just insist on making it complicated.” – Confucious

I could easily see my life become complicated if I forget about what is important to me and chase after a life that seems right or cool or interesting, although it seems that this is automatically the stereotype of anyone in fashion, and that if I do not subscribe to it that then I must not really be into fashion, or that it is the wrong career path for me.

It’s a strange thing to love fashion and be a designer while trying to live a life that goes against the very grain of what fashion now stands for. I sometimes find myself consciously having to pull back from the lures, but once I do, I find that I am not chasing an identity, but carving my own, and that is always a lot more fun and interesting, I think.

Now, to get to the things that will make a difference in my life: making small strides every day in developing my work as a designer, connecting to the whos and whats of the design world, and just enjoying the moments and moving one step at a time toward the future.

Technology, My Friend, My Foe

May 29, 2009

So after taking my computer to a professional and getting told that I’m no longer covered under a warranty, I have decided to fix my laptop myself. Which means erasing 3 years worth of projects, and starting over. At least I have the summer to get some work back. At least I still have my traditional portfolio to copy from. This will give me a chance to really revise my work so that I am proud of it. I have to ruthless about the work I present to the world now. No more fillers, or portfolio padding. Everything has to be top notch.

I am so bad, I never back up my work, and this is what happens. I’ve learned my lesson this time, and will probably be getting an external hard drive to work off of. And back up my work.

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be going to work for the next 3 days, will be back next week.

Personal growth and my blog

May 26, 2009

Hi everyone! I’ve been away the past week or so because my laptop broke, and I need to get it fixed. This has given me time to think a little bit more about the direction of this blog, and I’ve decided to change the format a little bit due to changes that have happened that have allowed me to refocus the intent of this blog.

Changes to the Blog
Originally the intent of this blog was to showcase and document my 4th year collection. Now that 4th year is looming just a couple short months away, I want to refocus the blog to that original goal. There are things that I am passionate about, but I feel like I have lost the personal angle I want to convey from this blog. I felt as if I was forcing an identity through the facets of fashion I was interested in, rather than developing my identity through creative self exploration, which was what I had wanted.

I feel that the best way for me to learn and grow is to be creative while still maintaining my thirst for knowledge and research. This I think will be best done through fewer posts a week so that I can focus on my creative energy rather than editing and presentation for this blog. I will be working with 3 regular posts a week that deal with creative inspiration and innovation (Inspired!), theories and thoughts on topics about self, fashion, creativity, all from a personal angle (Piece of My Mind), and a visual recount of my week through my sketchbook and finished work (The Showcase), as well as posts documenting the progress and process of developing my 4th year collection (more about that in the next post).

Part of the Journey
This change in blogging came through as I started blogging, while not connecting with my intent and true self. What led me to this was a change in my actual life. The last week I was faced with feelings of self-doubt, sadness, and failure. I consider myself to be an optimistic person with a healthy outlook on life. I am excited and passionate about the future and my work. However, not placing as a finalist in a design contest last week was the trigger for me to doubt myself. Added to that, what I thought was my first freelance job turned out to be a bust. And I started to feel undervalued at my part-time job. All 3 events happened within a week, all as a result of me having certain expectations that fell short. Not only that, but events in my personal life coincided that made me feel like a failure.

It took a few days before this dark mood fully took control, but with some help, it became the catalyst for me to keep growing.

In fashion, we are particularly susceptible to feelings of failure, self doubt, and detachment, as with other creative fields. It is not always easy. But I accept that it is a part of the journey. I will not always place first, I will not always place at all, I will not always know I’m doing, and I will need to work my way up. Most of all, I had to finally deal with the fact that I cannot settle with the talent that I already have and just practice and get better at it – I have to really get down and gritty by pushing my boundaries and growing creatively.

This morning, I took a look at the 30 design contest finalists and realized what they had that I lacked. I took notes, and I felt a lot better about not making it in, because I did in fact settle with my design entry. I received great feedback from my boss about the work I have done for his business. I also booked my trip to London for September, after debating with myself back and forth for months about whether or not I should actually go. After learning my lesson, I realized that I look too much at possibility, and not enough at how to make those possibilities realities.

If my hard drive gets erased, I will be fine with it. My work will be cleansed and I get to start with a blank canvas and portfolio.

The life of a designer requires careful balance, in my opinion. For me, at least. Making blogging my central focus from the start hinders my ability to grow creatively, so I am taking a step back and refocusing to fewer posts, with more personal content. I’m sure there are people who are interested in the elusive world of a design student, from someone who actually cares enough to write about it. If not, then at least I have fun doing this and learning from it.

Goals for 4th year

April 18, 2009

Goal setting is a tool I use that is really helpful in allowing me to see the pathway from where I am to where I will be, and to achieve that sense of accomplishment from reaching a goal. With this productivity movement, it seems that people are setting goals more than ever. I think creatives should make use of goal-setting to be the logical side of all their airy-fairy fantasies. It’s my experiment in mixing right brain and left brain tendencies to make the optimum use of my time and efforts. It definitely works in bringing clarity to an otherwise cluttered mind.

Before I even finalize the niche market I will be working on, I want to get down some goals of what I would like to achieve in 2 respects: 4th year in general and with my final collection.

Goals for 4th year:
– not go into debt
– in fact, I’m going to push it here: save enough money to ______
– blog more regularly
– have my online portfolio finished and ready to view by January 2010
– be happy with my education and where it has brought me
– be ready to start the next phase of my life with excitement and passion
– not look like a regular college student anymore
– become more knowledgeable and skilled in my areas of interest and expertise

Goals for final collection:
– incorporate my strength in graphics somehow
– showcase my point of view as a designer
– wearable, meaning could translate readily into production and sales
– unlike any other previous Kwantlen collection
– incorporate some form of collaboration
– forward moving, not inspired by the past
– push my own design boundaries
– make the people in my life around me proud of what I have created

Although, I think I need to clarify these a little later on, perhaps come back to them in September?

Speaking of goals, my short term goal for the end of this month is to finish and hand in my internship journal, as well as get to submitting my designs for several contests I am entering. I haven’t really entered something wholeheartedly and not won or been a finalist, and I have for some time floundered in self-doubt at where my skills are. I realized there is no better time than now to start putting my work out there, because with each time, my work will get better (unless I am somehow doing it all wrong).

School has ended, now what?

April 14, 2009

I’ve been interested in wearable technology for a little over a year now, and have always relied on internet articles for information. Slowly, I am seeing more options for research and resources within Vancouver.

Emily Carr University of Art and Design has a wearable and interactive products studio within their industrial design department. I guess industrial design would be something I would be interested in, except that I certainly was not educated on what exactly industrial design was when I was trying to make a decision about post-secondary education options. Fashion design, of course, was a pretty straightforward choice.

Because I believe in collaboration, I wonder if this could become a possibility for my grad collection.

I have this week off because my internship supervisor is in Mexico for the week. I decided to use this time to do a complete rehaul of my studio space to work more creatively and productively.

A suggestion by a 4th year graduating student: “Do something you normally wouldn’t do this summer.” My plans already include pumping up my creativity and skill level this summer, something I have previously planned on but never got around to. I would also definitely like to go on a trip, but again, 4th year is expensive, and I am trying very hard to get my personal finances in tip top shape before I graduate. It was also suggested that I incorporate my graphic design skills into a career in fashion, but that just opens a whole other set of doors, not to say that it isn’t a very interesting prospect.

Why oh why are there so many possibilities?

Trend Forecasting

February 25, 2009

We had Promostyl come in for a forecasting seminar for Summer 2010. I would love to be a fashion forecaster – that is one of my far-reaching dream jobs. Renee Labbe was our speaker, and I decided to google her to see if I could dig up any information about her career path. No such luck. And then I found this article, an interview conducted by Toronto Fashion Incubator’s Carolyn.

There are less than 500 people in the world working in the trend forecasting industry. It would be so awesome to be one of them.

However, its not something that seems realistic for me to pursue. For me, I guess I’ll stick to using my amateur raw forecasting abilities to design my own stuff for now, and see where that takes me.

There is a lot of talk about the future, both generally and within the fashion industry. Today’s presentation reaffirmed this with their directions. Final Fashion made a great post the other day about what to do in the face of a recession, and one thing is that people need to be more creative, to take a step back, and re-evaluate. It’s a perfect time to develop skills and learn more. One of my instructors at school was speaking today about the need to brush up on our technological skills – mine are pretty good, I think, but months do go by when I don’t work on these skills at all. This summer is the perfect time to brush up and learn.

And that includes learning more about trend forecasting and the world while I’m at it.

Valentine’s 2009 + thoughts

February 17, 2009

Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. Yes, this holiday is incredibly commercialized, but the sentiment of the holiday is always nice to appreciate. BF and I had dinner at Blue Canoe in Steveston. It was our first Valentine’s Day, and a lovely one. 🙂

The next day at work a girl came in so excited because her boyfriend had proposed to her the day before. She was so giddy. The waitress who work at the sushi restaurant next door also got married at 20 last Saturday.

I don’t know if this trend is true, but my boss commented that a lot of people seem to be getting married in 2009. Coincidentally, there has been talk of marriage everywhere I go. I’m not sure if its just that I’m getting older added to the fact that I work in a bridal shop that compounds this, or if marriage really is more imminent this year.

If so, my theory was that it has something to do with the economy. People re-evaluate, fantasize, and take a good hard look at where they are in life and who they are with. Christmas and Valentine’s are break-up periods because of this.

I always like to take a step back and do this regularly, regardless of my “economic” situation. Big-picture thinker, works in fashion as well. I notice and am wowed by the changes going on in our world everyday. If you’re into new-agey stuff, then consider it the beginning of the Age of Aquarius.

Blogging has become such a phenomena. Weddingbee was started by a woman who started blogging about her own wedding planning adventures. (On a side note, I was intrigued by a recent post that gave me a niche market idea in fashion, which I will disclose later.) Media really is a free-for-all now. Wish Magazine out of Toronto just issued their last issue. I’d be curious to see the subscription rates of consumer magazines, because I can honestly see how the magazine industry could feel extremely threatened right now. One of the “hottest” jobs right now is social media marketer. Heck, everywhere people are “creating” their own jobs, most often using the internet as a platform to do so.

I know this hardly seems fashion-related, but my fascination with fashion lies way beneath the surface. I like to look for connections to the world, and if I can make something look pretty on top of that, then I’ve done good. I feel like I’m slightly muddling around these connections right now, but we’ll see where they lead to.

Feng Shui and Opportunity

January 25, 2009

Its Chinese New Year’s Eve today, so my mom decided to ransack my room to give it a new year’s feng shui touch… which means everything is all over the place and I have to spend the rest of today purging, sorting, and organizing my room, including my wardrobe. It definitely looks like I’ll have to donate a lot, because my 2 closets and one generously sized wardrobe won’t cut it. Actually, I’ve known that for a while.

In work news, I’m getting my Sunday shift back to be the web designer for the store. Apparently, everyone I tell this to says that I should be asking for a raise. But when you’re young and starting out, I want to take every opportunity I can get. I mean, I’m not even trained in web design. They’re putting their trust in me, and I’m probably getting more out of this than they are.

At this point in my life, I don’t need money as much as I need opportunity. I’ll worry about money when I have to live on my own.