My capabilities

‘Haley starts life in New Zealand living an extremely stereotypical typical life on a kiwi fruit orchard until her family relocates to Australia when she is almost 3. She started school at age 4 and is still studying all these years later, as her desire to learn has kept her moving forward all this time and has taken her overseas to China.’

My proudest moment so far as a designer was coming third place in a ceramics competition for my drinking fountain in Foshan, China. This to me meant a few things that my technical skills had improved, that I had a strong visual style that can be adapted to different contexts (as China has a completely different style related to their own culture) and that I was able to compete against others and create discussions.

I was told that manufactures where interested in the visual textures along with the shape and it had created much discussion between them. Knowing that my design had engaged others and they could see something within my work was a great feeling.

Across my time in this course I have chosen to do a large variety of subjects and subject topics but a few have always remained the same which has lead me into this Campaign Project studio with Soumitri. My passion for sustainability has always being strong as to me it seems the logical way forward, eg: carbon based materials will run out, and the pollution is harming and effecting the quality of peoples lives.

In ranking the skills I have learnt in the course from my most competent to my least I can see it follows where my passion has taken me. I have developed these skills to this level by following my curiosity. Illustrations, graphics and rendering would be my strongest assists so far and almost landed me a job (the graphics side of things.) This has always been something I have put time aside and worked on as having my work reflect me is important.

My technical and CAD skills have developed to their level only through failure. Even in first semester of last year people can see my technical flaws, this is because of my lack of confidence always held me back and I would never push myself forward to challenge things and would accept things for what they were. They had typically fallen short as I would let my strength of words and scenarios take over. This is until China when word meant nothing (translation difficulties would guarantee things would get lost) so I had to rely on my designs alone while talking to students and manufactures.

This has meant a leap frog moment when I realised I just needed time to master CAD programs. I developed many new skills, though I know there are many other students who are better and I am in a mediocre area where I can get by but with nothing that crash hot.

Detailed drawings and technical drawings are the skills which I lack the most, although I have made highly accurate models in the workshop and created pieces using sand casting, I still lack the details for manufacturing and as this is the thing which didn’t interest me and I found difficult so in group assignments I always managed to get out of it. It would be something I would like to develop more as then I can use it to rapid prototype models.

Experimenting with materials and making objects has always been something I have enjoyed. This is all done using my hands and other tools when needed. I have created a variety of time consuming pieces with the longest being a large metal fish which hangs on the wall. I have also hand sewn a range of character monsters for gifts. I also have machine sewn a few projects. I have a spark for making things.

My love of reading and writing has lead me contributing towards a few books including The corporation game and The Dragon, the Lotus and the Fire of the Desert along online design blogs. One of the graduates from last year said that I could even become a writer, but I think like with most design styles it’s a personal thing as to what you like. Brainstorming and mind maps have become a method I use strait from the start it lets me see how big a project is what can be done and how things are connected together.

One of the things which I used to hate but now actually quite enjoy is public talking, after my disastrous attempt in first semester of first year I took every opportunity to get up and talk, in second semester I gave a lecture to all the other first years. It now comes much more naturally as long as I feel like I have something worthwhile to contrite I am happy talking about anything.

Something which I hope everyone is capable of but I always try to make an effort with is networking not just with designers but other people who share similar interests with (mainly sustainability). This is important but often over looked as if I need feedback or input with anything I know of others to ask. Going out to lectures and events related to projects makes meeting a variety of other professionals easy.

Thing which I seem to fail at time after time is timelines, and deadlines for projects as I badly juge how long something should take and end up taking longer than I thought. I also have this ability to procrastinate until an idea comes, which means I can use up half the time just talking and discussing when I should have stopped that and started the doing and making. This caught me out once and I almost ended up failing the studio.

Learning through failure is the best way to gain motivation for me as I get more motivated to improve where I went wrong and show to others I know what I am doing. Though it’s the scariest way to learn as if you risk losing to much or having a disasters end there may not be time to fix mistakes. At the moment I am learning Mandrin which is difficult and challenging

I enjoy working the grey areas and uncertainties in a project as they deliberately force me out of my comfort zone. At the end I always feel I have learnt something substantial as I do things I never imagine or thought I could do. I see my capabilities sometime as never ending as I don’t know what I can or can’t do until I have tried. Though I know I will never be able to master and understand everything. I am most satisfied when I learn something new and able to manipulate it in a way that suits my thinking.

My inspiration for my work comes from a variety of things but mostly other designers who I respect and admire. It is others who help me out of my comfort zone and challenge me forward.

I always get angry at myself when I let opportunities slide away from me and feel it happens way too often. A lot has to do with timing and being ready for something, I carry around so much self doubt about myself or choose to see my flaws and weakness it holds me back. Letting go of perfection is hard for me as I feel these are the things is the first thing people notice about me. I hate it when others can see how much of a mess things are or see me as unintelligent.

Sometimes I feel a lot older than I am and others a lot younger, as people tend to think I am far younger than I am. I think my extremely unique life experience come through my designs and can be seen in some of the objects I create it can become quite quirky. I feel like I have worked hard and put in a lot of time and energy to come this far.

I know at times I am too silent as I am afraid of seeming stupid or too different. My mood can change dramatically to what I think of my designs along with my enthusiasm towards something. Working in group environment or with others who I trust and value their opinion, keeps me motivated and stops me from wasting too much time. I don’t think I could every just work solely by myself it would drive me insane.

There are many more things I am capable of a few more things which I don’t really give credit to mostly because they aren’t seen to be as of use to designer or taken for granted by others. Like being a happy and positive person, some one who is strong and independent.

The best quality that I see within myself is someone who is willing to say yes as you don’t know where thins can take you. The greatest challenge I have is just giving things a go even though when I am not good at something, as I am afraid people will think I am terrible and give up on me.

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One response to “My capabilities

  1. Good on you H. Enjoyed reading your post – as always.

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