Discovering Design

Surface Illustration

Our illustration project is to design something that can be placed on an interesting surface. I am feeling discouraged because I have brainstormed for hours, of many cool objects that can be illustrated on however I cannot settle on an object or a concept. I would like to come up with something unique yet cohesive in a set. Perhaps incorporating popular sayings into the design, and an illustration to follow. For example “Only the good die young” or “singing in the rain”, “Keep calm, have a cupcake”, “Let the good times roll”. Where do I even begin? Perhaps I need the visual inspiration of knowing what my surface will be, before I can allow my imagination to narrow into one, solid idea and plan.

Perhaps I will chose six different items, and have my illustration style and colour palette be what tie them together. I have the motivation to create something beautiful, however I am finding it difficult to settle on a great idea. There are so many great things that could be done with this project, its almost as if I do not want to waste it on a less then satisfactory design.

It seems as though for every project assigned there is a moment of “AH HA” were a great inspiration and idea comes to me, and everything seems to unravel after that. However having faith can sometimes be hard when were under tough deadlines as designers. I am going to spend the remainder of my day, walking in the sunshine, experiencing my surroundings, nature, great weather, and looking at different and interesting surfaces that can inspire me for this assignment, and hope for AH HA!



It is amazing to see what sunshine can do to peoples moods. On this sun-filled day, walking uptown waterloo was like walking downtown Toronto. Everyone was outside enjoying the weather, dining on patios and expressing their style and fashion. I couldn’t believe how many women, were dressed up, beautifully coordinated and accessorized. I even woke up this morning wanting to throw a dress on just to come uptown to work on homework.

I love walking uptown and seeing peoples self expression come out in their style and fashion. So much art and design in the way people put themselves together on a daily basis. It’s like each person I walk by I get a small insight on what they like, by noticing the subtitles in their style. 

Local Marketing.


As I sat in a cafe uptown Waterloo, I noticed a large board covered in local posters about upcoming events. I had no idea how many things were going on constantly in the city I live in. There were posters about shows like Faust in the Box, la vie du cabaret and the princess project. Many interesting artistic functions going on in our very city. Its amazing to see how much talent is being shared with the rest of the city around here that isn’t always noticed or appreciated the way it should be.

Seeing this bulletin board was such a positive thing to see. It is wonderful to see people expressing their talent and wanting to share it with the rest of our city. It is also great to see how many things are organized for artistic people to become involved in. This realization brightened my day.




Style — Something I have always been complimented on.

It is about having confidence, and being opened minded. It begins by knowing what colours look well together, and what colours coordinate. Having design in my background may help with this, however it has been something that has come naturally to me since I discovered the art of fashion.

It is also about not conforming to one particular style or trend. Many different pieces in my closet can be put together without falling under a general style category, making it my very own style. I also do not dress in the same style every single day, I dress based on my mood which gives variety to my look every day.

Step one:

Decide what kind of mood you are in. Some days, I feel like wearing something comfy, some days I feel like dressing up, and other days I feel like wearing something comfortable while still looking stylish.

Step two:

Coordinate colour. Sometimes colours that coordinate are not always obvious. For example—green denim pants with a denim button up dress shirt. This is where being open-minded can also come into play. If you do not try, you will never know.

Step three:

Once you have the basis of your outfit — a top and bottom. Next is spicing it up with accessories, whether it being a necklace, socks, stalkings, tights, earrings, headbands, rings, bracelets, scarves and belts. However there is a little bit of a learned art to notice what looks good and what doesn’t. For example — you would not wear a necklace with a very detailed shirt. However wearing a necklace with a loose-fitting shirt can be exactly what the shirt needs to dress it up or appear more fitted and less bare. A belt may also help with this.

Step four:

Next comes your choice of shoes. Boots? Flats? Heels? Sandals?

Many of these choices in fashion also depend on where it is you are going and what is appropriate. However my rule of thumb is that you can dress up your outfit a little bit in no matter what situation while still remaining appropriate. For example — you would never wear very high heels with short casual cut off shorts in the summer. However wearing heels with skinny jeans and a tank top out to the mall would be appropriate, casual but chic.

Becoming good at putting outfits and styles together comes from research like anything else, and a natural eye for what looks well together. It is about being confident and open to trying new things and putting them together. I also enjoy visiting different time periods into some of my outfits, making them unique. As well as branching out from shopping at the usual streamline stores, and getting out there to discover new treasures. Visit your local salvation army, one persons junk can be another persons treasure at an affordable price while still giving back to the community!

Success comes from something you love.

Over the last week, I have been listening to a band intently and recognizing their beautiful talent. Last Wednesday night I was delighted to see they were visiting Waterloo as a part of their tour. I went and saw them at Maxwell’s house, a smaller venue owned by a graduate from Laurier . He began the small business and now holds musical workshops and live performance to support the his passion. He is successful and his ability to direct the skills he learned while attending Wilfred Laurier University toward something he absolutely loves, music is admirable.

I am not the only person who recognized Maxwell’s amazing story. After seeing the band at Maxwell’s house on that Wednesday night, I developed a friendship with the lead guitarist and vocalist where I was then invited to their show in Hamilton, one of the many places included in their tour. After speaking with him in Hamilton about Maxwell’s success, I learned the success that this young man has had for himself. A small group of musicians from Vancouver came together, and developed an album combining their beautiful voices and talents. He told me the story of him attending post secondary school for a course associated with travel and history where he just barely finished because the success of this band began to pick up. He took a leap in faith, and went on tour with this band, have been creating records since, and have now been together for five strong years.

Sometimes all we hear from our parents, peers, and elders is to “stay in school”. When really, I think our parents should be telling us “follow your dreams”. The reason I think this, is because I have more than enough friends who are in school for something they don’t enjoy, wasting thousands of dollars because they either don’t know what else they would like to do, or they are discouraged. Many of them believe they would not be able to make a career from something they love. Both Maxwell and the man I met at Maxwell’s stayed in school like I am sure their parents advised, however they took their skills in the direction of something they truly loved to do. Both people took a leap in faith, and it worked out so incredibly well for the both of them.

I truly believe that doing something you love, is much easier to become successful at then doing something you do not love. You are spending a lot of your life working to support yourself, so you might as well enjoy what you are doing. Throughout my career in highschool I read between the lines of my parent’s advice. Yes, I was advised to stay in school, and it was a bonus if I enjoyed what I was doing as well.

In grade ten, while working on a dvd cover in my Comtech class the stars had aligned. I worked on a few different designs for hours and hours, and time flew by before I knew it. The time flew because I was enjoying what I was learning and working on throughout the process. From this day, I began researching, talking to my teachers, which is when I discovered what Graphic Design was all about. With the motivation from family, teachers, peers, and the successful people I am meeting along the way each day, has helped me to strive through my education so that I am working toward something I love every single day.

My first Client Propsal

This week I completed my very first client proposal. Once I finished the assignment, it put a large ‘real life factor’ into my brain. I can physically imagine myself as a designer writing many proposals. This helped me a lot to see it’s importance and it was refreshing to be able to relate this project to something essential that I will be doing throughout my career after school. I think the project was a really good learning process, I learned a lot about myself in the sense of the way I work through projects. It made be realistically see how long things would take me, how much it would cost the client, and how many things are involved in a project. Paying attention to every single step, and including them in this proposal helped me be able to schedule my time. I will take this over into other projects to help me manage my time realistically, as I have found in the past difficult to do so. 

Doing this project also helped me put into perspective my worth as a designer and why spec work is so ridiculous. When doing the activity to find out what I should be making as a freelance designer while budgeting our expenses in life as well as a salary. I discovered that if I were doing freelance as a graphic designer, I would be charging around 50$ / hour. Once I discovered this I was able to compare this with a “competition” we had been offered to join this week. The competition was to create a logo, website banner, and “something of our choice” and IF we won, the prize was 50$. After doing this project, and seeing what many of our talents are, this was laughable.

There are situations in which projects may be Pro bono, and supporting a good cause. It was a great eye opening activity for our class to do. I am beginning to be able to picture myself in the design world which is incredibly exciting while still being a little scary.



Strength and Weakness

Every person has strengths and weakness in both their everyday lives, social lives, and professional lives. I find my biggest weakness could also be viewed as a strength. When working on a project I go through a series of steps, challenges, and emotions. In order to succeed and push past the obstacles it all depends on how I deal with my frustrations as well as my working habits. A weakness of mine is that I cannot continue with a project unless I am one hundred percent about the concept. I find myself thinking hard and deeply on my concept, as well as the style in which my design will be in before I can move forward. I find it difficult to design, unless I have a clear image in my mind about what my design is going to look like. In a way, I see this as a strength because it is clear that I care about think wisely about every single one of my design decisions, making it easier to rationalize  my design choices. However sometimes I find this hinders my creativity, and enables frustration in times where creativity is lacking. In the graphic design field, deadlines and working quickly and efficiently is one of the most important aspects.

In order for me to be the successful designer I strive to be, I must learn to work quickly and efficiently while still keeping my care, and focus on the concept and design. It is very important to pay attention to detail in design. Sometimes I find it difficult to check and double check assignments as well as pay attention and fix the tedious issues in a project. With strict deadlines it is difficult to catch everything, which is why it is detrimental to work quickly and efficiently and will be something I work at becoming better at.