I Got Into Design School

…but don’t get too excited, I’m not a design student. Anymore.

Beauty is how you feel inside, and it reflects in your eyes. It is not something physical.

Sophia Loren

Over the weekend, I realised I would probably be graduating in 2024 (making my time in University last a total of 6 years) and I am not too pleased about it. I’ve made jokes, I’ve rolled my eyes and I’ve “made peace with it” all in the span of 24 hours because there is nothing I can do to stop myself from getting a degree in Information Systems.

Basically, databases, ew.

So to counteract all this negative energy, I’ve decided a story time post was in order.

Yes, I got into Design School. I still remember how I applied, how I got in…

It was one of those sunny Autumn days that you just wake up and you feel positive. I had picked up my phone and seen an email about my design school application. It had been so long since I applied and so much turmoil over my decision to apply had occurred that I no longer believed anything would come of it.

I can’t tell you how surprised I was to find that I got into the Visual Communication program (Graphic Design). But not just that, I got into the Visual Communication program through mostly, iPhone photography.

I still can’t believe it. It’s crazy.

But I don’t need to talk about why I’m not in Design or why I’ve changed my major so much in the last couple of months. Instead, let’s take a look at that iPhone photography that got me there in the first place.

So a lot of these pictures were taken in 2018/19 and while they have a lot in common, they’re also very different and speak to very different things about me; so here we go.

My Design Portfolio

1. How To Be An Influencer

How To Be An Influencer
How To Be An Influencer

So obviously, I didn’t take these pictures myself. These pictures were taken in Eutin, Germany; where the roses are bigger than your head. In my portfolio submission, I described this piece as a magazine spread that “serves to comment on the rise of “influencers” and the emphasis on the image rather than the moment, but also on the blurred line between superficial and smart.”

What I was trying to put forward here is the relevance of social media, the superfluous nature of the world we live in but also the intelligence and the clever way influencers and this generation uses social media platforms to achieve varying kinds of greatness.

Plus, I loved throwing in the roses there in the corners. I honestly thought it looked a little cheap and not very professional but I felt I had to submit something that was directly related to graphic design.

And yes, I was directly parodying Elle Magazine, I absolutely love them and would love to work there someday.

2. Rosenstadt

Rosenstadt

Still on this trip down memory lane (to Eutin; where the roses are bigger than your head).

Rosenstadt is the informal name of the city because of it’s beautiful, beautiful roses. During this weird time we live in, I am desperately pining for the tranquility, the beauty, the elegance and the quaint charm of this small German town and the wonderful people that inhabit it.

In my portfolio, I said, about this piece, “Eutin is a quaint northern German town with little to do and a lot to see. It is endearingly referred to as “Rosenstadt” (Rose City)—this is why. This piece is inspired by my summer study abroad experience in Germany and the whimsicality that comes with European summers.”

I would do anything to go back to this right now.

3. Blue

Blue

The only piece in my portfolio that wasn’t digitally engineered.

I did this piece at an “afternoon art” type of event and we were given watercolour markers to coat ziplock bags with and then stick them onto our art. I had drawn the little face of a beautiful, black girl I had seen on Pinterest (I was looking for inspiration) and, honestly, in the beginning it wasn’t very political in any way. In fact, there’s probably a lot of people who wouldn’t be aware that the girl in my picture is black.

All over her face is scribbled, “brown skin girl” and to me this picture is kind of inspired by Beyoncé and her eldest daughter Blue Ivy because a) Beyoncé and b) Ms. Carter has done a lot for black people. Most significantly, her song Brown Skin Girl, has encouraged dark-skinned women (specifically, dark-skinned) to love themselves and take care of themselves. In my portfolio I said, “this piece serves to humanize dark-skinned girls and celebrate them in a way they haven’t been while breaking down barriers held up by colorism.”

4. Look Up!

Look Up!

No seriously, look up. Look.

This is a picture from Millennium Park in Chicago, from 2018. I had gone on a trip with a number of really great people and it was my first time being in Chicago and I really enjoyed experiencing the city the way I did.

This piece is quite on the nose about everything it speaks to. There’s things that I kind of tucked away and are supposed to mean something if you just look. More specifically, it speaks to our society’s digitisation and growing disconnectedness. In my description I said that, “this piece is inspired by modern architecture and how it can be a marker of the digital age.”

To be honest, this piece was way more than that but the meaning looks better when you find it yourself. Also, it’s designed to be a postcard 🙂

My portfolio consisted of a total of 14 pieces which I will be showing over the next two posts so stay tuned for that!

At the end of the day, I strongly suggest you all to follow whatever dreams you have because sometimes the compromise isn’t so kind.

xx

Naomi.

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