Creativity & DIY


Personally, I thought there would be more of a catch to the movie as it was running, but the catch would have been with the cards not around it.

When you are engaged with one thing, it can be hard to notice what else could be going on around you also. A common term called neuroplasticity is where the brain changes by the habits that you do. This means you can make a habit out of not putting blinkers on when you are trying to find ideas around you and nor narrow possibilities.

It has even been proven to increase your chances of happiness if you live in the present, which increases your chances of noticing more things, as you are keeping options open for the future.

When you are away from home, your brain is more active on discovering new things that are around you, because the natural habitat and environment is different. This I found was an interesting insight in being able to open your mind up to different possibilities around you, and therefore being able to see more.

Experiment 1. How would you sell food colouring in an advertisement, using these images?

“Imagine the endless possibilities in food colouring, not only does it make your baking look half decent, it also can make a piece of artwork in many forms. One of which would be pouring the dense liquid in water and watching it disperse through the water, where the molecules once again meets at the bottom.”

Experiment 2. Close your eyes, and allow someone to describe something such as cutting some fruit. Describe all of your senses in this.

“Taking away such as sight allows you to open up your other senses more, making you more aware of what’s going on around you.”

Experiment 3. Put a raisin in your mouth and try to describe what you feel.

“It felt quite rubbery, like it was also squidgy like something slimy was waiting to burst out… it was ok.”

How would you define…

  • Imagination = Opening your mind to new and endless possibilities.
  • Perception = Changing/Adapting the way something is or has been. **Both interlink**

“Be more dog”? The idea of this task was to open up your senses and see all of the endless possibilities of where things were or why they are or even how they look. The moral of this was to not narrow your ideas, and sometimes the weirdest ideas create the best ones.


Pick me up.


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IMG_4365 copyToday, I decided to go and explore the Pick Me Up exhibition. This exhibition held all different young aspiring designers and graduates who are looking to get themselves recognized. What I noticed when I looked around was the trend of colour looming in every corner of every piece. I saw a theme of illustrations in big, bold, bright colours, the majority of them either painted or hand drawn.


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IMG_4382There were so many ‘bits’ to look at throughout the exhibition, and even showed some people producing their own work in front of you. As I was taking a look around, I saw a card on a small table reading “open me if you’ve had a shitty day” and I asked what that was about. The gentleman explained that its quotes of artists who had written certain things that will make you feel better about yourself; I bought two straight away, but I will refuse to open them until absolutely necessary!

What attracted me to these were the simplicity and the command that it has. Although it uses language that would be seemed inappropriate, it also shows a lot of truth. The idea of mystery behind the envelopes also made me wonder what could be inside it, considering there was nothing else that was clued from it.


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IMG_4373 As I walked around, I was most interested in the informal slogans written on pieces of artwork. I found during this exhibition that I was extremely interested in the quirky designs that are typical and fun. Moreover, looking at all the quirky designs, I felt like I could have been there much longer than I was to really grasp every piece, seeing as every one was different from the other, or had a different phrase/meaning to them.


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IMG_4372 It was quite inspiring to see what young graduates are doing. To me personally, I see that colour and bright bold designs that are simple and to the point appear to be in the so-called ‘fashion’ in the design industry. I quite like the prints throughout the exhibition also.

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IMG_4378 copyGoing to this exhibition made me think of how I would need to make my website stand out in comparison to others. Because colour and quirkiness appears to be popular, especially in aspiring designers, the thought perhaps of having a bright and bold, yet simple design for my website.

Workshop with Sean.


IMG_3928Sean De Burca is a freelance designer who also plays in a local band. He specializes in typography in his work, and renders the majority of his work by hand before refining it all on the computer.

Some examples of his work

Some examples of his work in sketch form…

IMG_3935Sean has done a lot of different pieces of work relating from shops to bands across the world. His method of how he produces his typography has taken him a few years to perfect, going from taking nearly 3 days to make one title, to having the complete title ready to finalize on a computer in one afternoon.



As you would have established, I do photography, not typography, so this was immediately out of my comfort zone. He went through how he got the baselines on a piece of paper first. When I saw it, I felt a little daunted by the look of it, and the amount of math involved made me feel like I needed to redo my GCSE’s…



IMG_3938However, as he broke down the method of his process, it didn’t seem so scary. With a little practice, and consistent attention to where you are looking, we were all able to have a go at using his typography method to create our own type. The sizes of the lines depend on how he wants the type to look. I will admit, my work from this has a book-full of improvements, but I am proud to have given it a go!

IMG_3937Because he has done this so many times, he has been able to figure out by guessing a rough estimate on the thickness and amount of lines he would need for each type he makes. Of course, this takes A LOT of trial and error to be able to know – a truly time consuming project for him, but you can see and appreciate the effort he puts in, making every minute worthwhile.

IMG_3936 Although this was not something I specialize in, and admittedly struggle with this… I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of it, and after having it all broken down, I felt very comfortable with everything. His work anyone would say it looks insanely difficult, but everything takes time and practice. With my work for example, the manipulations can look impossible, until you shred a layer off one at a time to find it is all baby steps!

Workshop with Carlos.

Last Friday, we had a mini workshop activity with designer and illustrator Carlos from Brighton. He came in to help us with opening our minds and to allow creativity to take over our brains, enhancing ideas. Because there is no hope in heaven that I can draw, I found this activity extremely challenging and hard to enjoy because I was getting frustrated at myself, but it still taught me a new method of how to think:

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photo 3One activity he got us a sheet of paper with squiggles all over, and told us to draw what we saw in between the lines (negative space). For example, in a triangle some people saw a pizza.

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photo 5We then got to play a game where he would start off with the word fish, and we would draw a picture of anything that linked with that word, and so on. This was an experiment to help us to come up with new adventurous ideas, which we could also use this method in our projects to expand our ideas and thoughts also.

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photo 3-2Similarly, we got put into groups, and given a word, we then had to do the same within our groups, and then we got given a separate sheet of paper, and drew on the page anything that linked with that word, we would then pass it to someone else on our team, and they would continue to draw on our page with ideas that spring to their mind, and so on. (My word was sport)

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photo 5-2I thought that this workshop was interesting, and I especially enjoyed the activity with the game. I didn’t enjoy at all the first or last activity, purely because my mind went into a mind block, and I also didn’t seem to grasp the idea of the last activity (no surprise there…).

Although it was frustrating for me to get into an activity like this, it is good to be able to get out of your comfort zone completely to try something new. I learnt from this that it is okay to be able to do this. Whether it helped or not, it still teaches you to know what method may or may not work for you. Because everyone works differently, these activities may work better with some than others.

Creating a basic animation.

Animations are a good feature to add to websites and other sites to make something appear much more interesting. They are useful to add that little extra touch. I have made a very basic tutorial on how you can create an animation, slideshow and page transitions online.

Go to Essentials – interactive for PDF. Draw a circle, fill it and then using the pencil tool, draw a ‘squiggly’ line going down. Select both; go to window – interactive – animation (for example). Convert it to motion path at the bottom right.

Go to SWF preview and click – this allows you to preview. On the other box you can adjust the duration.

Repeat using another shape and line. Do the same process. Go to window – interactive – timing to get them to play at the same time. Select both in the menu and click ‘play together’.

 Adding a feature – Make another shape, on the animation box, click on preset, and select a feature. (For example, pulse), click on loop to keep it pulsing!

When saving, click export, save as a SWF file, edit your settings and save.

 Creating a slideshow.

Import images, select them and go to window – interactive – object state. Convert them to object state. Create two shapes, they can be anything you want but this is just to show you as an example.

If you choose a square shape as an example, you can make rounded corners by selecting on the shape, and clicking once on the yellow blob and move them, curving the edges.

 To make the button, click on window – interactive – buttons and states. Add an action and select ‘go to next state’ in this case. To change the colour as you hover over, go to the buttons box, and select on the rollover where you can change the colour if you wish to.

 Making a page turn.

Create a new document, make a few pages and colour each one different so you see the transitions. To just have the pages to turn, export the file and click ‘include interactive page curl’ at the bottom of the information, where you can drag the corners to turn the page.

You can adjust the transitions by selecting the page, clicking on transitions and selecting one you would like for that page.

A small bit of inspiration.

Chloe Meineck was a previous designer who exhibited her work at the Design Museum. Her project was based around people who suffer with dementia and memory loss. She creates the so-called ‘memory-box’, where you put in favourite objects relating to one person, and as that object is placed in the box a memorable piece of music would be played.

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The idea this came from was her lack of understanding with her Nan who suffered with dementia. She wanted to keep people personal to those loved ones around them. Because music affects a certain part of the brain that is least effected by dementia, you remember it more against anything else such as family and friends.

The box works like an oyster works when travelling. There is a chip, which you can attach to an existing object, or make a new object and place it inside. Inside of the box, there is a reader that picks up the information of the chip that enables it to play music relating to that particular object. This can help to remind people who suffer with dementia of memories that could relate to that particular piece of music, and therefore, remember the people they shared that memory with.

I have felt really inspired by her work and the effort she had put in to try and ensure older people get the right treatment and care – similar to babies. Older people who suffer with memory loss need more reminders to who they are and who is around them, and this memory-box I think is an amazing way of being able to demonstrate this.

Indesign – The VERY basics.

Indesign is a software programme that I was completely unfamiliar with. In all the years I have done Graphic Design (I know I’m no expert…) I have always used Photoshop, purely because it was so practical with what I wanted to do!

I had a little look at it, and I had a little (very brief) go at creating a quick double page spread layout for a magazine. Indesign is great for this kind of stuff, because it allows you to format your work and structure it all properly and all in proportion of another. Moreover, it allows you to make the same layers and adjustments on just one/every layer, as well as keeping all the pages linked!

Indesign is different from Photoshop, because Photoshop is about photo editing mainly. Similarly, illustrator is different because it is based around vectors and creating HUUUUGE shapes and images without the annoying pixilation.

Now I have experienced all 3, I am beginning to learn more about the benefits of using each one, and how you can use each one for your designs to create something purely professional, as each one has a specific function, that the other may or may not have.

I went through some of the basics about Indesign, and by using these basics; it has allowed me to produce this:

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(54x54pO to start)

The basics:

Points – Picas (4.23 mm = 1 Pica) This is different to using millimetres; it helps to fit in the text on a page more accurately.

Shift and command = scales text quickly

W (when not selecting anything)= shows the page without any lines and margins – shows finished layout

‘Sell’ = ‘sub-heading’ small introductory piece of what the article is about

Filling in gaps – means you can design without the text content to get a head start of everything. (Type – Fill with placeholder text)

Shift + command + (</>) = size adjustments quickly

Little red box in the bottom right of a text box = overspill of words – click on the box and paste to another area. If still too much text you click on the box in the next column, and click shift on th area where you want to paste the rest of the text and it will paste it all automatically on the rest of the pages.

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Drop caps – makes the beginning of a paragraph look nicer.

Command D = file – import of an image

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Approximation of shapes on text – use the pen tool to go over the image and select as many points, leaving a gap. Select all the text, and go to paragraph – align text with the object, and play around with the text to your liking.

Optimum leading

My lecturer also showed me a little something, which again would be useful when talking about text. He showed me how to properly align my text against the baseline so that I get the best possible outcome for my layout.

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Similarly to kerning, kerning measures the width between each letter. Leading is the space between the lines.

If I were to fill in the space with text, set at 11pt and show the baseline, you can see it is not lined up at all. In order to get this, you have to find the optimum leading:

(Point size x 1.2 = optimum leading)
= 11pt type x 1.2 = 13.2 leading

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The box here shows the paragraph toolbox. On the bottom right, it shows two boxes. The one selected is ‘not align text to baseline’, and the other is ‘align text to baseline’. You select all the text using the Command + A buttons on the keyboard, and click on the box on the right instead.

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Because the spacing is too wide, you use the calculation above to set the baseline this time.

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Et voila!

Photo manipulations.

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My love for photography has always been a part of me since I was little, and when I got to grips with Photoshop and what I could make out of it, I was able to come out with some designs I don’t ever think I would have thought of doing!

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During my A-Levels, photo manipulation was something I especially enjoyed doing. I used the technique in both parts of my photography and graphic design subjects. Because I was using manipulations in both subjects, I was able to have a go at making LOADS of manipulations using tutorials I found on the internet. Granted, some are not all THAT and they do have errors, but for a first go at each one I was quite proud with what I achieved with these images!

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Graphic Design final piece

Graphic Design final piece

Graphic Design final piece

Graphic Design final piece

Graphic Design final piece

Graphic Design final piece

I could’t tell you which one was my favourite, but the ones which stuck out most for me personally, were my final pieces for both my graphics and photography. Photo retouching is such a huge thing in the design industry, and I am consistently influenced by it all around me!

Photography final piece

Photography final piece

Photography final piece

Photography final piece

Photography final piece

Photography final piece

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How did I get inspired? Erik Johansson. After finding his work by chance, I managed to get an interview with him and shortly after I was utterly obsessed (still). His work is the reason I travel down the design route I do today. If it wasn’t for him, I would probably not want to go near Photoshop! But he has made me realise the potentials you can get out of it. Below are a few examples of his creations:

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