First Year: Reflection

This past year has been the most terrifying, challenging and exciting year of my life so far. Arriving in Cardiff last September I felt clueless and nervous; the decision to study in Cardiff had been a last minute change in my plan, I knew nobody and having never studied Graphic Communication before, I had no idea what to expect. When I met my class and we began workshops, I remember feeling instantly inferior to these passionate creatives, all older than myself as the youngest. There were times when I felt lost, like I’d stumbled into the wrong room and was sat among people far advanced to myself. Having just finished first year, I must admit there are times when I still feel this. What I did know was I was amongst some of the most creative and vibrant people I had ever met, people with interests and passions just like my own.

Before University I was studying English Literature, Fine Art and Spanish at Sixth Form. I had almost decided I wanted to become a fashion designer, and when I was younger would spend hours designing outfits, however it became an easy answer to the question “what do you want to be when you’re older?” because the truth was I really didn’t know. I gained a interest in graphic communication after I took part in work experience at Jaguar Land Rover and Bernardo’s Children’s Charity, visiting and speaking to graphic designers at both. I fell completely in love with the design studio at Jaguar and could picture myself there, turning computerised graphics into life size clay car models, designing and constructing television and advertisement adverts and creating presentations for VIP sales evenings. For a long time I was desperate to meet Ian Callum and knew that I was after his job as Directer of Design at Jaguar!

From a young age I always knew I wanted to have a career in design and I was always known as ‘the arty one’. Recently, I found a series of magazines that my sister and I created in 2006 when we were eight and, while its fair to say my skills and tastes have progressed considerably since then, my interest and love for editorial design has always been apparent.

Every project in my first year of University was a new exciting challenge that I put everything into, even when I wasn’t sure if I was even doing it right! I am very proud of the 2:1 I achieved in first year and hope for the same success and more in second year. I am terrified all over again for second year and the new challenges it promises. I have many doubts in my abilities as I look around me and see so many advanced designers, but it is only myself who can push my abilities further and develop my skills in order to produce better work. I hope to research into my interests in and around the subject of Graphic Communication this summer and also to develop my skills on Photoshop and Illustrator, as often in first year it was the lack of these skills that I felt limited my work.


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