Friday, 27 November 2009

Craig Oldham

Craig only left uni 3 years ago - he has a great job at Music and has worked in some great agencies already (including Chase), and he still remembers what it's like to be a student.

There was lots of nicely presented pearls of wisdom in his talk.

Two heads are better than one. They just are.
15,500 design students graduate every year.
Rules should be broken but never ignored.
Being an artist gives you liscence to hoard stuff.

But what was really great about Craig's talk was his openness and personality, they really shone through. He had a genuine enthusiasm for motivating students - taking time out of work to give these lectures and even producing a newspaper of everything he told us!

The most interesting thing, that struck me the most, was what he said about ideas. When someone comes up with an idea in just a few seconds, its those few seconds,plus their whole life. Everything you have ever experienced, learned, collected, stored is dredged back from your memory and you file through it for anything relevant to what your doing. This made perfect sense to me, guess I have just never thought about it before. That's why everything you do makes you a better designer. This is what I like about designing the most.

''Understand what graphic design is to you. Define creativity, and what you value as good design, then you'll know what it is to achieve it''

Wow, this is a really inspiring quote. I think i'm a more 'bunch b' emotional designer, but I do have quite an influential logical pull as well. What I do know is that I've stopped trying to put myself in a box now - I don't want to be an 'advertiser' or a 'graphic designer' or an 'art director', I want to be a creative. And I want to use my creative skills to do anything that comes my way. And I want to work with people, and not by myself. The bit about knowing your strengths and weaknesses - I think I work better in a team, but most of all I enjoy working with people more than working by myself.

On his website, the design family tree, something I felt I could really relate too. Before I did my placement in summer, I was terrified about leaving uni. I kept thinking that I really had no idea how I would begin, and what I would do when I left. The outside world seemed so far removed from the little university bubble. But when I came back from London, I actually tried drawing out something really similar to what Craig had done, like a flow chart, because I really needed to express the little journey I went on somehow. I realised that once you meet just one person, you meet someone else, and then get invited to something different, which leads to meeting another person and it really does happen. Now I've had a taste of that, I'm not so worried about leaving, i'm just excited about what might happen.

When I got home I read the paper word for word, and it was great. I love the pull out wall chart with little reminders on it. Then I went on Craig's website and I now I love him even more! I love how his website is so personal, the 'to do' list is exactly like one I have made myself, but guess I would never have thought to put it on a website - Do I want to be a designer all my life, write a novel, read every book I own. I like how he's still doing his own work and uploading it along side the paid stuff. I like how much of it is just chasing ideas and satisfying curiosities just for pure pleasure. I actually think this is one of the best self promotion websites I have ever been on. I feel like I know Craig so well.

I think this was one of the most inspiring lectures we have had so far, and if in 3 years I can be any where near as sorted as Craig I will be a happy chappy!!

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