Hello, my name is Amanda & I’m a designer

Posted on Nov 4, 2010 in Thoughts

Hello, my name is Amanda & I'm a designer

I haven’t really been posting a lot lately, but luckily, the creative stream hasn’t stopped, just my blog documentation. I’ve had my fingers in a few different pots lately and I couldn’t be happier (or busier).

My fulltime 9 to 5 job is as a game designer at Microsoft and I love it. The people I work with are great, and the job is varied enough that I’m never bored, I’m always challenged, and always learning.

I’ve also been closely involved with Sandra Rogas Gonzalez’s final project in the EMB program at VFS. I’ve played the role of production coordinator leading up to and on shot day. I’ve dealt with last minute craft service truck breakdowns, making multiple trips back to my house to pickup last minute items for craft services, documenting by photographing, and arranging rides for a cast and crew of 35. I’ve assisted Sandra with some of the usual producer types of tasks, and tried to keep her on track with timelines by sending her to do lists and regular check-ins. I’ve had some design input on the title sequence, been a big part of brainstorming the name and branding of the film, and am the graphic designer in charge of creating the promotional materials as well as the design and development of the website (soon to be launched.)

It’s a great project, and I’ve volunteered all of my time and talent without complaint. Graduating from such a time/resource intensive program at VFS (Digital Design in April ’10) and maintaining that pace has really propelled me into a good variety of projects. Speaking of variety of project, here’s what else I’ve been up to:

I completed a full analysis and designed wireframes for a great site that should be launched soon with a past instructor of mine at VFS. The client was great to work with and with her own artistic eye is designing the site herself based on my background research.

I’ve also got a friend in the music industry with a great voice and great entertainment value named Chantal Upshaw. I recently collaborated with Shawn Hight to film her show as well as Nadia Von Hahn during her cd release party, and we’re working on editing the footage now.

Of course I’ve been keeping up with my regular love of nature photography, and volunteering as a web maintenance/consultant for Buy-A-Net, a malaria prevention charity based out of Kingston, Ontario.

One piece of advice that was given by a few different instructors while I was at VFS was to keep something for yourself. So in addition to the photography, filming, producing, designing, coding, consulting and good times, I’ve also been thinking about how to share my love of the fashion industry with the world in the same way I’ve been able to with the rest of my talents.

Thus, I’m branding a fashion and accessories line to showcase and sell my work, and am planning a website that will compliment Etsy’s powerful selling site. I’m only in the beginning stages, but I’ve already named the collection and started collecting materials to create some items in small quantities to sell online.

In addition to that, as the tormented (it seems as if everything is just ‘good enough’ design lately) designer I am, I’m contemplating a website redesign. Right now it speaks only to a small skill set of being a Flash developer. (Did I mention I’ve also got learning Unity on my to do list?) While I’ve been given advice on being specific with what I want to market myself as, so as not to come off as indecisive, I’ve finally decided that I can listen to all the advice in the world, but in the end the decision is mine.

And I’ve decided what I’ve known all along, and what I realized in my final year of my graphic design diploma six years ago. I’m a designer, a maker. And a real designer can design anything. They have a passion to create things, digitally and with their hands. A real designer can take a concept and apply it to any medium. They have a passion that they want to share with the world.

I am that person. I strive to make things better through design of any type. I crave involvement in all facets and all disciplines. And I’m not ashamed to say I’m not specializing in anything other than sharing great design with the world. You can call me Jack (of all trades, master of none) if you’d like, but I’d prefer you call me ‘designer’ for short. (Look forward to a redesign of my website to reflect that too!)

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