Suddenly Older

As a teenager it is inevitable that you will be asked “So what do you want to be when you grow up?” at least 3 times per family event. Forget the fact that you will be asked exactly that, once again in another two weeks, by the same relation.  I always had two major problems with the question, firstly when  does one actually grow up? Secondly this is the most impossible question to answer when you have absolutely no clue. On the upside, a mumbled generic “uh something creative?”  should cut the conversation short. Unfortunately  however, it would often result in a 30 minute pitch on what you should do.

Fortunately I have passed these days and am super keen to at least begin my career as a visual merchandiser, but I will admit it’s just as overwhelming as it was two years ago. Where do you even start? The last few months of my course sped past at such a pace it felt like a constant race to get things done, then it’s over, and your left feeling as green as a year seven on their first day of high school. I have learnt an incredible amount over the last two years, but now my course, totalling off fourteen years of schooling, is suddenly over and I am suddenly older!

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Riding Bicycles

“I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike” This was how I felt when I saw how wonderful the GIANT bike, we were to use in our window display was! Gleaming turquoise with perfectly pumped tires, it took all my will not to jump on it and ride off into the glorious sunset. Thankfully I didn’t because it looked fantastic in our window. I was very pleased with this display- the careful paintwork teamed with the matching accessories and mannequin worked well and we felt were able to strike the right balance between chic and urban. Though simple in prop creation and execution, it was an eye catching, clean display, which focused attention on both the bike and branding. LESSON: It is a tense feeling, not knowing how your key product looks. We had to wait till the day of the bump in to pick up the bike. Unsure of colour and size, we waited with fingers crossed for its arrival. When it showed up 2 shades darker than expected, I was surprisingly overjoyed, it looked even better against the chosen wall paint. This easily could have gone the other way, but thankfully for us our lucky stars were shining!

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LOVE YOUR COLOUR

lyc2actusalTrawling through the craft boards on Pinterest one is bound to come across numerous paint sample crafts. Many, question the ethics of these activities, frowning upon the abuse of free samples, worried that paint samples will follow the dark path of the beloved sample pot. The realisation that I would need to collect a fair few myself and become one of these offenders, made me uncomfortable. Thankfully I didn’t need nearly as many as some of the projects I have seen, wall plasterers I am looking at you, but still it was with a hung head and awkward shiftiness that I snuffled  away more than my share.

Nonetheless  despite my paint sample trepidations and the struggle I had with minimalism, (as expressed in post The Art of Minimalism,) my display is now complete and to be honest I’m super relieved it’s over. Visually it is a simple looking display, but surprisingly I had more struggles with this display than any of my others. I feel it worked out in the end, for which I am enormously happy; the addition of the decal was definitely essential and I am so glad I branded Wattyl for a second time, a last minute thought, but one which pulled it all together.

One of the many things I learnt though, and entirely regret not thinking of earlier, was the idea of using one large foam core board, folded in thirds to allow one clean backdrop. I used 3 individual boards, which was nightmarish due to some ruler mishaps- to have thought of the former idea originally would have saved me a lot of trouble and avoided me developing an absolute loathing of  foam core!

lyc1lyc3(This is not a true Wattyl display, just for educational purposes)

THE ART OF MINIMALISM

Minimalism is a very misleading style. It appears easy enough, just throw a chair in white room and voila you have minimalist art, however despite its basic appearances, its a lot harder than it looks. Currently I am undertaking a minimalist display, predominantly white with a splash of colour, yet I am finding it most difficult. I am not a minimalist, I love adornment and character. To try and strip a display to the bare essentials, trying to strike the right balance between minimal, yet not bare, is providing me with a challenge. Do I add a paint brush? A decal? Does it need more colour? Will it become too busy? I look at the other displays so full of life and product and worry that mine will just be blah, forgettable. What my display is missing is a punch point, the colours I intended on having as my grab, are lacking. I need to get me some more pizzazz! So whilst I stew over how to master minimalism, I say hats off to those who can pull of the minimal look, for it is far more difficult than credited.
Below are some works that achieve perfect minimalism by Alexander Kent (1st and 2nd images) & Tatiana Trouvé.
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Paper planes

There is this saying which my teacher regularly quotes- ‘if the the client gives you a budget of $500, don’t present them with a Ferrari’ and it was keeping this in mind, that we developed our latest Eastland display for Kate Hill. With only two weeks to conceive and create our display, and only $300 in pocket, we had to keep this display simple. Ideas of conveyor belts and airports were tossed around, but reality reminded us that these, though respectable ideas, were near impossible. The suggestion of paper planes was great for the tight budget and time limit- 100 planes later and our display is finished and looking pretty good! The toughest apspect was choosing the colours, and that’s hardly something to complain about.
Even so it was a stressful display, with communications slow and time ticking by at a rapid pace. I have decided that yes, email is a fantastic creation that allows you to avoid using the dreaded telephone, but to call is a hundred times faster when trying to work out details with clients. Yet although I admit this, it is one thing to preach and another to practice; I feel for now I will still be emailing first, just in case they do reply super quickly, because I’m a scaredy cat. In terms of outcome: I think it looks quite pretty, it reflects the Kate Hill brand and captures the idea of air travel, it compliments the luggage and is aesthetically pleasing. Though there a few small flaws in the web of planes, it’s difficult to get such things perfect, it doesn’t really affect it. Oh and if you ever need to suspend planes, I feel we developed a pretty effective method, but not once we overcomplicated it entirely. Sometimes the best solutions, are the most obvious ones.

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WHAT’S YOUR CRIME?

Fashion Police.
The two words which caused sirens of horror to go off in my mind. Not because I am on the run from some hideous outfit offence, although I’m sure we all harbour a few dark fashion moments, but because this is the theme of our end of year exhibition. I shuddered when I first heard the words, my mind instantly leaping to tasteless, trashy and blah. However with some persuasion and discussion I was sold and even excited about the idea. Here is the opportunity to take a subject that doesn’t sound too flash and turn it into something fun, but to good taste, with a touch of class. The opportunities for design, display and promotion are great and with the right angle I feel it can be pulled off quite successfully. Although without wanting to dampen anyones dreams, I feel that the idea that it could go viral is a tad far fetched. Just a tad. Nonetheless, I would love to be on the media team, there are such possibilities in this media filled world and it excites me to know I can have the opportunity to test out these in a way that serves a purpose. I know this project will be a lot of hard work, but super exciting stuff is happening and I am ready to grab this project with two hand and dive right in!

Oh and on another note, excitingly we have received a number of positive responses from our Feastland project with Eastland wanting us to do another two displays and some other companies interested in involving us in some future projects! So super pumped all round!

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The above poster was made using the handy app Phoster- the application that enables you to create neat, stylish posters in minutes!