Final Major Project VS Mental Health #MHAW17

It’s been a while, a really long while. In fact, five months since I last wrote a blog post on here and it was the beginning of my last ever university project. It was all about confidence VS creativity and how I have a lack of confidence with creative work. If you want to read it, you can click here. 

We’re half way through #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek2017 #MHAW17 and I have finally completed my degree.

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As it is #MHAW17 I thought I would share you my struggles with my FMP, incase someone else is going through the same thing and to let them know, they’re not alone.

All three years are over and done with and I’m confused to how I’m feeling. I’m glad the pressure of third year has been lifted. However, there is still pressure of what grades I get at graduation, or even if I do graduate. As well as whether I get a job in graphic design and where it’ll be, or even if I’m good enough to go into industry. To be honest, I don’t think I am ready to leave education. But when will I ever be ready if I’m not now? I just kind of wish we had just one more project to do.

My final major project at university was a ride and a half. To start, I did a FMP (final major project) proposal in first semester of third year and it was for a sub brand for Lamoda of creating stationery for them. I had it all planned out, researched and was more than ready to go. When I got my grade back for the proposal I got my highest I ever got whilst at uni and this made me so excited. It wasn’t until after Christmas and we got going with the actual final major project I found, it really wasn’t for me. Nothing inside me wanted to open my computer and design for stationery. In fact, I couldn’t of thought of anything worse.

If you’ve read my blog before, you will know I suffer with a mental health condition called Trichotillomania. If you are new here, I’ll explain briefly. It is an impulse control disorder that makes you pull your hair out. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot stop. It is incurable and you just need to focus on ways to get through each and every day.  It is, however, personally for me triggered by stress, anxiety and depression.

With my ideas changing and people in my class getting things done, I felt behind. I felt like the more I saw them, the more shit I felt about my own work. This was down to their work being incredible and mine wasn’t even started yet. The question of was I good enough to even complete my third year, was all that was going through my mind. Every night I would wake up and brainstorm what I would do instead of a stationery brand.

It was around seven weeks into my thirteen week term, that I finally started to get ideas come together. The final idea was to create a zine which focussed on beauty standards of society focusing on women. I had recently done my dissertation in the first semester on this and researched a lot, so I knew about the topic. I went to class for lots of weeks running up to this idea and I kind of just got through each meeting – how? I don’t know.

It wasn’t until when I was sat with my friends and they started getting really into their projects and I hadn’t even started mine yet I panicked. I didn’t want to start because, I genuinely didn’t think my work was good enough. I was seeing my class produce work week by week and I adored all of their work, but there was something in me telling me – nope! You’ll never reach that standard of work. That’s when I called a meeting and I was given three solutions.

  1. I could terminate the term. I could do it at a later date, but it would mean I wouldn’t graduate with my course friends.
  2. I could get extenuating circumstances. My mind just wasn’t with the course due to one thing or another.
  3. Or, I could just get my head down, ignore what other people were doing and just focus on my own project.

I don’t know if any of you have anxiety or suffer from any MH issues, but the thought of going home and telling my family that I wouldn’t graduate until November or even later scared me. Genuinely, all I’ve ever wanted to do is graduate with the people I spent my last three years with. I wouldn’t want anything more than that. Anxiety did not let me forget those options throughout the whole course.

I can safely say, that chat really kicked me up the arse. I had 8 weeks to do enough photoshoots to cover a zine and a website with different content for each, illustrations to draw, editing of skills to show, film to be written, filmed and edited as well as create a website solely from scratch.

I had panic attacks after panic attacks, but they wouldn’t effect me in the day they effected me at night. Night time was when it really got serious. Nine nights in a row I had a panic attacks. To accompany them I had the most terrifying nightmares. They were SO bad. Not only was the panic attacks and nightmares the worst of it all, but when it did come to morning I was so exhausted from having to deal with that half way through a sleep, that I had no energy in the morning. I didn’t have time to go for a doctors appointment so looked in the local Boots and picked up the tablets ‘Kalms’ especially for night time. I was a bit sceptical at first using them, because I didn’t want to rely on them, but they literally saved my last few weeks at uni. They didn’t help me get to sleep, they help me not wake up in the night having panic attacks and helped me sleep through. If I could I would make a special acknowledgement to them in FMP.

Towards the end, people were producing more work than they needed to and to be up to that level I felt I had to do the same. At one point I had four days to complete a website, edit my video and do other extra work on top to build my CAT credits up.

In the end, my FMP consisted of:

  • A 32 page zine, all creatively directed photo shooted/edited by me. Illustrations drawn by me and the writing, written by me.
  • Five interview conducted for both the zine and the website.
  • A 20 something page website, with every single page developed and designed by me using Adobe Muse.
  • GIF’s made by me.
  • A video filmed, edited and styled by me.
  • Flyers/posters for campaign reasons created by me
  • A second 12 page preview zine for the next issue designed by me
  • A 64 page development book, completed.

Zine pages:

Website examples:

Sketchbook examples.

I’m not going to lie, I feel so proud that I created all of that in practically 8 weeks. Even though, my mental health really challenged me, as well as life, I did it. I completed the whole three years, with the people I had studied throughout the whole course with and handed together as a tag team.

If you are going through a similar circumstance and you need someone to talk to, to help get you going and a kick up the ass without being TOO harsh, message me. I will always be here to help you through.

YOU CAN DO IT. If I could do it, so can you. Believe in yourself and get your head down.

Remember, diamonds are made under pressure.

A special thank you to my friends, tutor and family for being a massive support throughout the completion of this whirl wind adventure.

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Confidence VS Creativity

So, it’s got to the main crucial part in my whole degree… my FMP. An FMP is a final major project and it’s the last ever project I will do at university. You will then potentially show future employees after you leave. To me, that sounds scary.

I’ve been studying fashion graphics (which is basically fashion and graphic design combined) for three years now. I have enjoyed myself throughly on the course and I have definitely learned skills I never thought I had or could have. One of skills being digital illustration. My mum is very good at drawing and so is my uncle, so I’m guessing that’s where my creativity comes from. I love showing off the work I’ve created and proud of to people who follow me on social media, people I know and see day to day and professionals at interviews for work experience/freelance.

However, I am not that confident. To be honest it scares the living life out of me the need to be confident about ideas. I’ve never been that person in class that puts up their hand first to answer a question in a full class and I am definitely not that person who voices their opinions to a massive crowd. I have grown to be OK with that and accept it as part of me. This isn’t a blaming game but I do think school and the people who constantly used to tear me down and rip me apart have played a major role in shaping me to be this person. Of course, my anxiety isn’t exactly the biggest help either.

With my confidence not being the best, it effects the way I create for my degree and other pieces of work. I am never, ever confident with my ideas and every time I submit a piece of work I worry for hours and days about if it could of been better. I’m sure lots of people have this too but I will not rest about it. I always don’t think I’ve pushed myself to my full potential and this is probably the main reason why I feel this way. I want to ask for people’s opinions on things more and I want to ask for help if I’m stuck on something but my confidence just won’t let me.

I absolutely love seeing people do their best and do well. Nothing makes me happier and I am 100% routing for them. Yaaassss!!! But with everything I have, I just wish I could do the same for myself. Instead of sitting there for hours comparing myself to creatives I see/follow online and creatives I see on a daily basis, I wish I had the confidence to say “IM GOOD TOO!”

This lack of confidence is something I’m going to try my absolute best with in the last four months of uni – yikes!! I want to be able to leave my degree after being so proud of what I have achieved through my FMP and actually show my full potential and not hide back on ideas. Not to let my brain win when it tells me “don’t do that someone else would have done it better” or “your idea is rubbish, you share that everyone will laugh” I want to come out of this degree shouting my opinions around and not have those awful feelings after. After all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


At the end of the day, I am my own worst enemy. If it doesn’t change now, will it ever in the future? Will I get that dream job with no confidence? It’s time to make some changes

Follow my graphic design instagram if you’d like, it’ll be updated with my inspiration and development as well as personal projects along the way. Who knows, there could be more creative posts on here in the future!

Drawing for BFRB awareness week

This week beginning Saturday 1st October to Friday 7th signifies BFRB awareness week. BFRB stands for Body Focused Repetitive Behavour and Trichotillmania is segmented under that. If you don’t know what Trichotillomania is then a quick overall from what I’ve dealt with is that it’s a compulsive urge to pull out your hair. For me it’s my hair on my head but can be hair from anywhere on the body. It makes you feel so small and weak. It ruins your self confidence. It ruins relationships. You can read more of my story on my blog and I’m hoping to share some stories off the side for this week. 

For me one of the ways, when things are getting pretty bad is I like to distract myself through art. I study a degree in graphic design, fashion graphics and it involves a lot of creativity. I like to draw illustrations then ‘destroy’ them with colours that represent how I’m feeling. This week I’ve found things pretty hard and have been so upset, so one evening I made use of drawing. 

I thought I’d let you in on the thought process for this drawing. The girl I drew is just a random person that developed as I drew. I added splashes of red over her eyes to signify how the bad times take over whilst I’m experiencing it. I used blue as a calm colour to say that although it’s there now it won’t be forever. There’s only a little blue as at the moment I don’t 100% believe that, it will change though. I put rainbow sploges in the background as a reminder that things will be OK. We go through the rainbow of emotions when we’re feeling like this and even though it hurts now we will move onto the next colour. I put the black over the mouth to signify that although the majority of the time I want to speak out, most times I don’t because of fear. I’m sure some of you will relate. The eyes and mouth had a drop shadow behind them to show they are the parts that show the pain more. 


What kind of things do you guys do I would love to hear. Keep a look out for my post throughout the week on BFRB awareness week! 

Digital Illustrations – What I Use

The degree which I study, if you don’t know, is fashion graphics. In September it will be the final stretch of the degree and I’ll be heading into my third and final year – scary. I still remember my very first day at uni trying to figure out how to get there from my halls – as if I didn’t know the way.

I also remember my first day of opening up Illustrator in a technical lesson and absolutely hating it. I had come from a creative media course at college and only ever used Photoshop and Indesign. Everything, in the beginning, on Illustrator was so complicated compared to the other programs. I bet the first time I opened up Photoshop I felt the same, hmm. I used to dread every lesson, for the lecturer to say ‘today we will be using Illustrator’ – my worst nightmare. The more I went to the lessons however, the more I got used to it, and before I knew it I had excitement for the lessons. The whole process of learning something new was exciting me to the point I used my free time to expand my skills in learning how to use Illustrator more.

(It’s crazy to think that this was the first ever drawing I did and was created on Photoshop – how? Using the pen tool on there and my latest drawing which IM SO PROUD OF on Illustrator using the paintbrush tool)

The more I developed with actually drawing illustrations on Illustrator the more my poor mouse pad on my laptop got worn and used until it quite literally didn’t work anymore. It was so good on my behalf, that it happened near Christmas because I was able to ask for a Wacom tablet as a gift. I was so lucky to get the Intuos small (I’ve looked everywhere online to find it to link and I can’t waahhh). I wanted to develop my illustrations more and I knew this would be an investment to getting me to do them more and to develop.

At first it was a weird but cool experience. I really, really enjoyed experimenting. It is literally like drawing on paper but on your screen with the advantages to Illustrator. After just a few uses I found it so so much easier to draw with. Once you get over the whole co-ordination of the watching the screen to drawing – you’ve got it! I’ve been told by numerous people that the best way to use Illustrator to draw is by using the pen tool, but I find it so much easier using the paintbrush. There are a whole range of different paint brushes on Illustrator which I have only recently discovered because I’m still only learning, which are incredible. Using the paintbrush tool also helps get my style across a lot better as well. My Wacom tablet has helped me so much in progressing and I genuinely don’t think I could ever do illustrations again without it.

Here’s a trip down memory lane of a few of my illustrations I’ve done since starting uni. This is crazzzzy to see how they’ve come along…

And finally here is a video of me illustrating in action…

I hope you all enjoyed this post and if you’d like more creative posts like these let me know.

 

 

Newest plans

Summer is here – finally and hasn’t it been a hot one these past few days. Although I think I’ve only spent a combined hour in the sun actually sitting in it this past week I’m loving it. The sweaty nights however, not so fun. Any how, during this time I have been making plans. Plans which can lead to big big things potentially in the future. If you know me or read my blog before you will know I love goals and setting targets to reach.

Around this time last year I spent my summer from uni learning how to do fashion illustrations properly. With properly I mean developing how to draw them/shading/colouring and learning both programs Photoshop and Illustrator. I had an Instagram account which I’ve now merged into my own blog/personal/graphics account where I posted solely illustrations I created everyday for two months. They usually were celebrities or influencers and sometimes got reposted by these people which gave my account more exposure. I had people message me asking to make graphics/illustrations for their blogs/personal use and I never felt ready. I just needed that little extra time before I was ready to do them.

Well… I’m now ready. I have to complete 100 hours of work placement this summer for me to be able to complete my degree, I know right.. pressure. I have already tried out an internship and felt it wasn’t for me. I have also applied for many and the ones I really want haven’t got back to me – I can’t wait to graduate and apply for junior graphic designer jobs. I am soooo ready. I feel like making illustrations for other people will not only possibly help me get these hours to complete the degree but it will also help gain more skills, as you know the saying practice makes perfect and all that.

I’ve decided for now I will only be doing digital illustrations until I magically come into more money as I don’t have the £’s this summer to make physical prints, but maybe that could be something to do in the future.

Here are a few of the recent illustrations I’ve done and I’d be happy to create ones to anyone who would like one at a small cost.

Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in happening and I’ll see if I can make it happen.

Tweet me at @charnicolelucas or you could always send me an email: charlottenlucas14@gmail.com where I’d be happy to discuss with you further!

 

Trich is trichy.

YAY! Lets start this post off with a positive.. I’ve just finished my second year of university! What a year it has been, full of ups and downs but its now d o n e. I’m looking forward to the break although I’ve now just started an internship in London, so its full on still with trying to mix that with work.

However, this post will be a little different to my other posts of reviews and such. This week is Mental Health Awareness week and to start it off I thought I’d write a little bit about me I don’t usually share and show you some uni work which is related to this. This blog post will tie in with one of the latest projects I’ve done for uni. It was a Triptych project which we had to create three pieces of art which work alongside each other and cause a reaction of any kind to the public. Whether that be shocked/intrigued or gets people thinking what on earth is that about once they’ve seen it. I took this opportunity to base it on a mental health illness which is close to me. I saw this as an opportunity to raise more awareness for it as not many people know it exists.

I suffer from a mental health condition called Trichotillomania (or Trich for some). To start Trich is a condition where a person has a impulsive control  hair pulling disorder, whether that be one of many things: eyebrows, eyelashes or hair pulling from the top of your head – which is what I currently suffer from. No matter how hard I try to stop pulling, the more I think about it the more I pull and it is exhausting. Imagine cleaning your carpet week to week and pulling up massive hair balls from it from the way you just cannot stop pulling. For me, even the thought of going bald in places still doesn’t ‘stop’ me. There’s something that tells me “yes I know you want to pull but…. there could be hair on your head that is ‘dead’ or has a massive split in it, which you do not need.” This disorder is exhausting and debilitating. It makes you feel sad and it makes you feel angry at the best of times. Many people just don’t understand you, the more they say “Don’t pull” the more you get angry and feel like shouting back “I WOULD IF I COULD!!!” Believe it or not, it doesn’t make us feel any better, instead it makes us feel worse about ourselves.

I do have triggers which set it off. Usually if I’m feeling stressed, anxious, sad or maybe I know this sounds weird but even bored can set it off. I suffer a lot with feeling anxious about a lot of things. There could be simple things such as laying in bed at night and knowing that you have turned the oven off but just the small thought of it even being on could set me off and the only way I can control it is… pulling at my hair. I’ve been at interviews recently and the only way I can control not feeling unbelievably sick or worried is by pulling my hair. I guess its seen as a way to relieve and pull out that part of me which is making me feel so so ill and worried, who knows? The brain is such a weird thing.

TRYPTCH FINAL

I just wanted to share with you all a little bit about me which I don’t make public a lot, unless you know me to raise awareness as well as sharing with you all the latest piece of work I’ve done from uni. I’d love to know what you think about this… what is your reaction and do you ‘get it’?

Thank you for reading this far if you did, it means the world to me.

Speak soon,

Charlotte.