Life as a Graduate Part One.

So… here’s my little insight for you all into the world of a recent graduate. Twelve weeks ago today, I handed in my final major project at university. Crazy! I miss the work load strangely, I miss the knowing that I was working towards something great and I miss seeing my friends almost every day as well as living with some. I also miss the independence uni gave me and how everything was so much closer to me down at uni. Since the uni days, I just feel like every day that goes by I can slowly feel my creativity slip a way a little more, or so I think it is.

I am losing my mind every day applying for six – nine jobs whilst simultaneously getting emailed replies from other companies declining job applications. Some not even giving a few hours and instantly replying saying, no chance. (I once got an email that said I don’t think this role is worth your application – great, loved that.)

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(Pic by my good friend Aisha’s dad – woo graduation day!)

Right now, I am currently in that stage of looking for a graduate job whether that be an internship that pays for at least my travel and food expenses or a junior graphic designer job.

The only thing with this is, many jobs require experience. How am I meant to get real life experience if people don’t give you the chance? That phrase real life keeps coming up. I’m over it. I do, however, have a real big issue with internships that don’t pay and especially now I’ve graduated with a decent degree. I personally feel they exploit new creatives with fresh ideas to build their company up and for what? Many of them… nothing. I know that completing at least even a week of an internship will ultimately become part of your CV.  This way, it can count towards experience every company wants you to have, but internships could also be unpractical if you have no money – like myself. For example, for me to get to an internship in peak hours it would cost me £600 a month on travel only, for free work

I’ve found that the interviews I’ve been to so far have also bigged you up and make you believe you are suitable for a role and then, sadly, will see someone else for an interview and they have better experience than you. Even if that’s just a tiny bit and you’re back to square one. Who would of thought that sitting at a computer all day every day refreshing websites for potential jobs, going to interviews and then restarting the process can be mentally and of course physically exhausting.

I’m also aware that I haven’t finished uni that long ago and I also know that jobs take a while to get but I’m feeling frustrated in this job search and ultimately, lost. Let alone the massive pressure to get a job in the degree you studied the past three years and spent a fortune on. It feels like an endless cycle right now and no matter how hard I try and think… if I don’t get this job or I don’t get that reply, it’s not the right one for me… it is disheartening. I find myself feeling angry that maybe I’m not good enough for the career I want to go into and the constant declines are making me believe it more and more.

When I first got my few replies back about job interviews/phone call interviews I was excited that I posted on my social media and let those really close know. But with the constant not getting them, even though I’m trying my hardest… I’ve began not to let them know. That phrase… build your success silently is coming to my mind. Maybe if I don’t shout about these things, it will work in my favour? I don’t know… my brain is weird.

I have really and truly hit those graduate blues and I’m not sure how many more days I can sit on my sofa, refreshing job applications and watching Netflix I can take before going out my mind. I’m just so so nervous thinking I’m not good enough for my career I want to take. It’s becoming more and more believable the more I get jobs declined.

I just want a chance in this real world, I’m almost over it, already… before things have started.

 

 

 

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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.

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!

 

Audrey Illustration

During a blogger chat the other night I questioned whether or not to add my own illustrations I draw onto my blog and the majority of answers I got was – yes! If you know me already, you’d know I study Fashion Graphics at uni. I create graphics and drawings in my own time to expand my skills on all softwares.

So, one night in uni, when we were all just chilling I got out my graphic pad (basically it plugs into the side of my mac with a USB and has a pen so easier to draw) and decided to draw Audrey Hepburn, an iconic lady in her own right. I can only however draw from a photograph, weird I know.

I’d never drawn her before and decided it would be a good idea. So, a few hours later I had finished. I added a colourful background to the black and white image.

The outcome is here:

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Do you want to see more illustrations in the future or? Let me know what you think! If you want to collab see my contact page on how to get hold of me.

Speak soon,

xoxox