As it's Love Your Work Month here on the blog, I thought I'd share a little insight into how I work on designs for theatre and events. For me it's all about the process (blame drama school) and it's very rare that the ideas I have about a project in the beginning make it through to the eventual realisation. I have a semi-formula that I mostly follow throughout each design, and it looks a little bit like this:
1// Visual Research - This is hands down the most important part of designing for me. I collect inspirations on themes and atmospheres and make mood boards to communicate my ideas. Pinterest has literally revolutionised this part of my process (not to mention saved a bit of space on my hard drive) but also I try to use sources other than the internet like books, exhibitions and the real life observation to get a more rounded perspective.
2// Sketches and Experimentation - My sketchbooks are not really very pretty to look at... When I'm just playing with ideas I work very roughly and mostly only in black pen. They are more working drawings to get ideas of shapes in space and quite a lot of shoddy math where I am trying to get measurements right. I hardly ever show these to people!
3// Visual Communication - When I get to the point where I am ready to show my ideas to clients or collaborators, I make sure that I have some good quality images to communicate my ideas clearly. My biggest learning curve during my degree was that people can't see into my head, so I have to try and get my ideas down on to paper in a way that sparks other people's imagination.
4// Sourcing Materials and Making Prototypes - This is perhaps the most challenging and interesting part of what I do. Every project seems to have something new to make that I haven't tried before... This means a lot of research and a lot of sometimes fruitless experiments, but it's my favourite part because it's where I learn new making skills.
5// Realisation - Where everything (hopefully) comes together. The realisation of a project to it's final stage takes a lot of work and compromise, but for the most part it is an amazing feeling to see your ideas come to life... It's what I'm in it for!
6// Documentation - So important, and something that I often wish I could redo. It's really hard to take yourself out of the finished-project-excitement to remember to document your work... But in designing live event especially, you can't recreate the moment, so taking pictures is essential!
Hope you enjoyed that little peek into how I work! What's your favourite part about your job?