Where to begin?
Well as they say let’s start from the beginning. But which beginning? The beginning of my life? The beginning of my college career? The beginning of design? The beginning of art history?
Well if you want to learn about art of design history, there are better sources for that. So why not start with me. Not my life. How about my first day of Graphic Design and Business? And then we can rewind and fast forward from there.
I’m going to start with a little self-humiliation. When I signed up to do a Diploma of Graphic Design & Business in 1999, I honestly did not know what that meant. I guess I thought it was computer-oriented and having to do with art, so I was aiming sort of close. My prior art experience was the Paintbrush program. I took some art classes in school, I liked visual arts but I mainly did extra units of art to increase my credits without having to do difficult subjects. I started in the world when InDesign hadn’t been launched yet, yes, I learnt on Quark, and how I shiver to think how we use to love this program. I took one extra multimedia class where we used Dreamweaver and Photoshop; but since that was around 2000, I’m guessing that was CS… yes, just CS. CS1, before they even started numbering them.
This first day of class my teacher gave us a stern speech about how “you have to be precise” and how “you could lose a lot of money to a client if you couldn’t get things just right.” “It is a very competitive industry.” But I knew better. I knew he was just saying that to test us and weed out the scared ones. I wasn’t going to give up. I don’t drop out. I wasn’t going to be intimidated. I didn’t even know what I was supposed to be intimidated about!
I had no concept of symbols, logos, packaging, posters, interactive, web design, print design, all the many branches of Graphic Design, let alone GD being a branch of Design in general. At that time I had no idea what Bridge was. I had no idea what bleed and slug meant. I didn’t know how to zip files or compress files. I tried emailing 50mb files and then got confused as to why it wasn’t working. I didn’t understand why my Illustrator files would crash when I tried saving files that were bigger than the space left to save it in.
Amanda of 1999 had NO idea what was going on. I always knew I was going to be an artist. I didn’t realise it the whole time. But sure enough, in 3rd grade we were asked to dress up as what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I dressed up an as artist. It wasn’t even planned out. In fact, I forgot to dress up that day. However, ARTIST was the first thing that sprang to mind. So my classmate and I started looking quickly around the room because the teacher was coming in the room soon. I put on one of the paint shirts all students were to wear to protect our clothes from the paint, which most kids just brought in an over-sized men’s shirt that was probably just my dad’s old work shirt. And then we borrowed the art supplies from under the sink: paint brushes and a white plastic palette.
I’m not much of a painter today, but it’s not as if I could bring in my MacBook Pro to school in 1995. It’s no wonder why it was hard for me to imagine what I was going to be when I grew up though, because it had not really even been invented yet. Of course, graphic design was around before the 90’s, but not the way it is today. I also enjoyed computer class, but computers back then were more set in our minds as a secretary or some sort of office assistant.
So then I was really good at typing but hated computers because they were so technical and confusing. Then I crossed the idea that I would become a flight attendant because I liked to travel. And then I liked this one a Police Officer, thought myself as some sort of super hero, helping the community. But then I realised I would have to do shift work, and I really did not want to do that, I wanted a Monday to Friday Job – If I only knew I would be working in to the wee hours any day of the week, regardless if it is the weekend…
Seemingly like an unrelated topic, I really enjoyed watching Disney Pixar Films. Who doesn’t right? But how many liked to watch the special features in how they were made? I was being fascinated by the RGB system, seeing Cowboy Woody appear in all red, then adding the green, then blue. Then I looked into Television and Film, but that was dreaming big… REALLY big. So big it would be biting off more than I could chew. Plus, Amanda of 1999 has zero art foundations when I graduated high school. I was preparing for the “real world” and learning chemistry, maths, writing a 10-page research paper. And you know how often we do that on a day-to-day basis. So next I looked at moving to Sydney. The big world! But even that was too intimidating. Did I mention I grew up in a 100-population town? But I jumped in the deep end and moved, into the BIG CITY of Sydney!
And this is where I started my career, straight out of college. So it was all hands on deck in a world I really knew nothing about. I learnt very fast they you really do only learn the basics in college and you had better learn hell fast in your first job. I learnt a lot in a very short amount of time in a magazine house and moved rather quickly to a small Advertising Agency, where I learnt everything I know (I can not credit my colleagues there enough, they were fantastic). It’s 2001 and I feel it is time to spread my wings. And do an even larger leap into the world and move to London! I worked various Freelance Design jobs and a few permanent ones whilst travelling the world. The best work experience anyone can get. Wow how time flies!
I have now settled back in Brisbane/Gold Coast Australia with my family and giving the new chance a go, I’m starting my own business, a little daunting, but so exciting, and I’m ready. I have definitely come a long way in 12 years. And it makes me wonder how much further I will be in 12 more years.
Look out world! Here I come!
Read Follow Me . . . Along Revolutionary Road...
Well that’s all for now…