Sunday, 29 May 2016

Art school is a waste of your time!

Art school is a waste of your time, and that's exactly why you should do it.

It's coming the end of my time as a student—technically my course is finished but it's not really over until the exhibition opens on Saturday 4th and I can have a beer along with a well deserved pat on the back. As I look back, I feel an epiphany coming on; what a brilliant waste of my time this all was!

If I had decided that university was not the way, confident that I could work my way up through the design industry without the backbone of a degree certificate; it's likely I could very well have done. Many people now are basking in the good light of degree free design careers, riding the smooths behind the giant boats, such as David Carson. I would be in £40,000 less debt and three years into a career—sounds pretty swell doesn't it?

I've wasted time, effort and money on mass; to be almost exactly where I could have started, merely three years in the future. But, (here comes a but bigger than anything you'll find on MTV) it has given me something that I would not have gotten otherwise. Time.

(sort of related)
I've spent three years, 36 months, 156 weeks and about 200 episodes of Countdown learning, experimenting and failing at Design. If I was in job, I'd be making money but I'd only learn from what I was being paid to do and the work that was available to me; but university has allowed me to make dogs out of balloons, learn all the rules and how break them too.

All this time spent is a massive waste, but that's only really the view of the man who left school, started working on the labour yard and has been there ever since. In my mind, the only time wasted was the huge summers between each semester of study and anytime I spent not experimenting, pretending I knew better.

Art school is a waste of your time and it's a waste of my time; it comes at a huge cost and it'll make you pull your hair out and that is the best bit about it. You learn from your failings, you grow from your struggles and you somehow become a master of faux-asain cuisine. (I'm talking about packet Ramen if you hadn't guessed)

So waste you time and become a designer, wash you precious time down the drain and become an artist. If you want to actually want to succeed then make sure you put in as much effort as possible to make this wastage it's most poignant. Experiment, cry, learn, fail, set things on fire.

You can make it without an arts degree, but wasting your time in such a glamourised fashion really stands testament to how serious you are about your subject. Only true artists drive themselves into crippling debt for no guaranteed outcome. Remember that my children.

Go forth and waste.

Monday, 23 May 2016

A wee trip to Scottish land!

Lost & wet as we avoid the rain, sheltering under some scafolding; I hear Katie giggling. "I can just image how you're going to write about this in your blog."

Thursday, myself, Katie and Maddy trotted up to Glasgow to attend an exhibition opening. We were actually attending said opening because our work was in it—more importantly our work was one of the main pieces exhibited in the space. Along with our Head of Marketing (Megan Brown) we made our trip north in search for free beer, contacts and – as it turned out – rain.

The competition was run by Poster Project; by the staff of Front Page in South Block Gallery. I know that's a mouthful, but they are all rather lovely so why wouldn't I list em' off?

Martin, the head honcho tearing up our poster
We entered the poster competition with our entry "30 Perforations on Blue". I know, doesn't that sound fine arty? Well that's what we were going for, a little poke at ourselves really. The theme of the competition was 'stress', so we decided to make a poster that allowed stress relief—a poster you could tear.

Stood there drinking our beer, we cheered and screamed as every person took the brave plunge to extend our their arms and tear off a little chunk. There we are, mid-conversation, then some unlucky bugger goes to rip out a section of the poster—hurah! we cheer! we shout!

Meg-Dawg ripping our poster
It got to about two hours in and few people had't been brave enough to make any big rips, so every now and then, we'd sneak in and make a tear ourselves. Then, as we stood there encouraging the staff members to tear it up; one brave lady marches up to the plate and makes one large, brave tear (as seen at the bottom right of our blue A2) making the poster wish it was never born; and us rather happy indeed.

It's a bloody brilliant feeling, wathcing as people interact with your work. Wanting to tear it up and keep a little bit for themselves; looking at all five winning posters, admiring them and then turning to ours and attacking it—ruddy fantastic!

Meg-Dawg caught ripping our poster
As we left the poster was in a worse state than any of the images I have now, hanging of it's top left hinge; partly covering it's poster neighbour. It looked broken, ripped and fucked; it looked fantastic!

It was lovely meeting all these new people, an experience that I'd never been through before. We met lovely scottish drunks, lovely scottish designers and lovely scottish people. I've been talking about wanting to branch out to Scotland for a while, especially with Lucky Me Lucky You and this has cemented that idea. If we get the chance, we are going right back up to that lovely place.

Kaite, chatting about our ripped arse poster
Also, Scotland has a better design scene than London right now—yeah, I said it!

Sunday, 15 May 2016

It was the best of times, it was the best of times.

On Friday, I handed in all my work for the last time. It was like removing a knife from my side; sure it's a relief but am I really feeling any better now?

Over the last three years, everything I knew changed and change was just a part of the process. Moving away, moving flats, changing years and building a career. You get used to this process, right until without warning it all comes to a crashing halt.

My crashing halt was when I handed in my green box of work. It was what I can only describe as a previously discarded vegetable delivery box, filled with a green marbled portfolio, gilded pendrive and the occasional prit-stuck business card. Though even without the glitz and glamour, this crappy box full of my work was quite a big deal. Placing that down in it's final resting place, like a lost family pet and the feeling of being hit by the cargo train that is the last three years of my life.

It's a strange notion actively ending something that you've built up for quite a while. The feeling of liberation and nausiating fear is a mixture not to well know for me, but that's exactly what I'm living with right now.

But it's not all doom and gloom, our degree show is roughly two weeks away, I'm attending an exhibition opening with some of my work in it next weeks, I've started a studio with my buddies, I'm off down to London to flog my portfolio in July and I start my first contracted design job days after.

If nothing I've said makes and sense, I think my friend James seemed to sum it all up quite well—
Three years, even longer for some of you, three years we have grown up together. How the heck have we coped? From rubbish projects, making tedious showreel Images that don't get used, to such heights, where people are winning competitions, getting jobs and producing fabulous work. When the tutors haven't helped us, we've helped each other and I can't think of a nicer bunch of people to have spent uni with. Now that we've no more work to do or self reflection forms to fill out. All we have to do is make this exhibition rock! Which I am sure we will.

How I kind of look right now.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

A change is gonna come

I TURNED TO MY BROTHER, AND SAID; BROTHER WILL YOU colour me yellow and put blue text over me and hang me in Carlisle establishments.

Soon, I'll likely be handing over the poster baton to another lucky student; so I'm going a little more experimental with my posters. Each year I try to change up the Motown & Soul posters that I've been doing since first year, so this year was no different; but in a way it was.

I created a style or system that changes on demand—it can look like this poster or it could look totally different but somehow they link. Don't ask me how, I did it but I'm not 100% sure how I did.
For this poster, I wanted the idea of the trumpeters playing so loudly it was affecting the text; sending it all over the place.

It may be different and I'm not totally sure on the response from the public, but it so much bloody fun, that I'm going to keep doing it.

p.s. the lady friend really isn't digging it.

Friday, 6 May 2016

The Sugar Syndrome

A story of a lady with an eating disorder that befriends a paedophile. What else would I expect from Tommy Newall ey?

From being naked in the front room of my halls to being naked on stage, the two humans that make up Heads Up Productions are at another strange and horrifying production—The Sugar Syndrome.
I believe the name comes from when soldiers would have a bulk of rations saved and gorge on them in a single day just because they hadn't had that amount in the recent past; the impulsive choice to make a terrible decision.

Anyway, I made a poster for them and luckily with avant-garde drama productions you can create avant-garde typography; I mean I usually have the freedom to produce whatever I want to—just as long as those guys like it. With this poster, the play followed the arc of eating disorders, child abuse and paedophilia, so instead of making a poster that no shopkeeper would allow in their window; I thought making some interesting type decisions would be the best way to go.

So if any of these strange things appeal to you, I recommend that you clear your calendar for mid-may. You make yourself available on the 26-27 May and you go see some bloody fantastic theatre.
I haven't seen or heard any of the production so I can't give you my word on it, but I can give you my word the Heads Up Productions is made up of two bat-shit-crazy, hard driven people; so how on earth could it ever be bad? 

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