To begin Constellation Level 6, I found myself in the situation of making important key life choices that will affect my developing career as a creative individual; from beginning to develop an individual style of design, looking at the availability of creative employment in Cardiff and finalising the direction of my dissertation studies. Spending three years building valuable academic knowledge within the setting of constellation, has enabled me to feel confident in my capabilities in both research and execution of my work.
I have been determined to apply as much of my previous theoretical learning to the development of this current work as possible from the theories of existentialism and being. I often fear that I missed out on fundamental art theory and history education due to my ambition to progress straight to university instead of engage in a foundation course, but I seem to find that I lack the more common theoretical design knowledge in comparison to other individuals around my studies. I do find that this makes me want to try even harder to prove to myself that I can achieve at an academic level. I would love to see a more theoretical base to the studies within graphic communication that can expand further into employability skills from the application to design.
The concept of what makes up the being of an individual, in relation to existential theories and social sciences interested me from Level 4 of constellation. From these roots, and application to my subject study of graphic communication, I developed my dissertation title by combining my most personally enjoyable subject topic of brand development, to the theoretical topic of authenticity and being. I stumbled upon a series of difficulties that hindered my learning experience. Due to the current and fluid nature of my topic, I struggled with the prospect of finding relevant sources that met my needs, as initially I was unable to find text with more than a paragraph of usable information that I could read through. Although the university library has a plethora of different books available, with a niche topic like my own, I was forced to conduct a lot of research online through reports, articles and webpages especially when developing current case studies.
I was amazed to find that Gobe, encapsulated my vision of emotional branding before I even the knew the concept existed. It is an exhilarating prospect to discover shared ideas, and gained the knowledge that I too, could one day have the same influence with my own creative expansions. His exploration into the blurred lines of brand and consumer relationship, put into perspective how valuable and vitally harmonising the two influences can be.
I really do feel that every aspect of subject, field and constellation interlink in a way I would not have thought possible. The ways in which theoretical understanding can be applied to every element of creative practice means that I am always able to develop my knowledge of design further, even when outside of the studio.
Recently, I have started to cater my subject work towards acknowledging how I can effectively portray the key values of a client’s identity. Within a recent competition brief for the Royal Opera House, I found that in-depth research enabled me to understand the emotional qualities that make up that individual brand. If I could gain insight as to who the brand is, the personality, aspirations and passion envisaged as a physical persona; far deeper than their existing connotations, I would be able to authentically design for both the client and consumer in a true and engaging manner.
From the study of main dissertation themes, I have adapted to consider the way I look to design myself as a brand. I feel as though there should not be such a divide between the boundaries of who an individual is and their creative practice, and I hope that the extensive knowledge I have developed on humanity and branding will inform and enable me to rethink exactly how I see myself as a designer and how I can communicate those messages to others around me. I have altered the use of language within my online presence and creative portfolio in order to more authentically portray myself with a touch of individuality. By taking ownership of my creative style I hope to create a greater consistency throughout my future projects.
During my writing, I have asked myself many a time, how authentic am I? I have established that it is important to ask myself these questions, just as it is important to maintain a positive essence and outlook on why I do the things I do. Within constellation, I expanded on the theoretical topics that I was truly interested in, not because of expectation or peer pressure. Looking back reflectively, it may have been easier for me to have developed a thesis based on typography or art history, but I have the knowledge in myself that I developed an idea that was authentic to my identity.
Personally, the most important aspect of my exploration is the way I have brought my understanding out of the creative world entirely, impacting the way I view myself and how I in turn affect the essence of those around me. Consequently, thinking about how I can use my skills to benefit others has greatly encouraged me to alter my direction of work towards a project of change and helping others. I have grown increasingly interested in how the influences of humanity are affecting the natural environment for wildlife and I aim to employ a similar emotional design strategy with the aim of direct engagement on a level that mere physical design could not portray.