Category Archives: graphic design

Blog Hop!

Hi All!

I was nominated A LONG TIME AGO by my lovely friend Janene of Oobop to participate in this little challenge whereby one answers some questions and then passes on the torch, so to speak.

Well I am REALLY behind in my blog reading apparently and so I’m very late to the party but I am no less determined to make up for it so here we go! ^__^

Q1. What are you currently working on?

Pants!! Lots of them!! I haven’t blogged any of them yet but it’s on my to-do list. I have so far made a pair of Burda trousers, a BHL Holly jumpsuit (blogged here) and a subsequent pair of Holly trousers (not blogged yet) as well as a pair of Named Jamie jeans – hurrah! Making pants is ENORMOUSLY satisfying. Even though I’m still nailing down the finishing details, I’ve been getting a pretty darn good fit on all accounts and as my mum says “the rest will come with practice”. Love that – it’s so true! I have been trying not to get caught up in the minutiae, and instead of beating myself up trying to get the details perfect, to just let myself learn naturally 🙂 It’s MUCH more fun that way!!

Q2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?

Work as in sewing? Or work as in work? LOL.

My sewing differs maybe in that while I used to follow sewalongs and pattern trends in the beginning (which really helped me learn), now that I feel more comfortable learning independently as well as confident in the skills I have learned, my focus has shifted more to creating wardrobe items that actually suit my taste and lifestyle. Much more satisfying, although it’s sometimes tough not to let myself be led astray with the latest patterns or trends – that said, I’ve made enough wadders following other people’s styles that it’s getting easier to remember that 😉

And as for my work, well as Janene mentioned, like her, I am a graphic designer and illustrator. I guess where I differ is that much of my work has been focused on packaging design and print, whereas many designers these days are heading to the more digital realm; websites and the like. I have done that, but my true love is ink on paper (or paint on canvas, as it were LOL) 🙂

Portrait of H.R.Giger and Li – watercolour and ink on illustration board

Package design for Western Family product line of teas. Illustration and packaging design for this and many other Western Family product lines by Amanda Russell, through 612 Creative.

Q3. Why do you write/create what you do?

I started this blog as an online journal of sorts – a place to record my creative endeavours. Over time it became rather sewing heavy, so I assume it is perceived as a sewing blog but I don’t hesitate to blog other creative projects if I get a mind to 🙂 I create what I do as a release from projects which are client-driven to projects which are ME-driven.

People often think that having a creative job must be a creative person’s dream come true, and it can be sometimes, but not in the way you might think. Success in graphic design is much more than being visually adept. You also have to be an amazing negotiator, communicator, and compromiser, and at the end of the day, because it is such a collaborative process, success can be measured only in part by (your own opinion of) the visual outcome. The result is that, as an artist, I am often left with a desire to create something that is 100% MY vision. On the other hand, there is often not much remaining of one’s creative energy at the end of the day for one’s own projects. So sewing kind of works for me in that it activates my analytical brain a bit more and tricks me into being creative even when I don’t feel like I have much creativity to give ^__^ (and knitting is just downright therapeutic)

Sedum-progress1

Q4. How does your writing/creative process work?

I take notes for myself along the way so I have something to refer to should I ever choose to revisit a process or pattern. Sometimes (usually with sewing projects) about halfway through, I begin drafting the blog post and then I refine it when I do the final draft. The worst part for me is taking photos – it’s really time consuming and tedious, but of course it is also the best part of READING a blog at the same time – nothing is more fun than seeing pretty pics breaking up those walls of text! LOL. This is where I feel my blog could use the most improvement. It is ironic, really, as I of course possess the skills to design, style and shoot professionally but I fall short when it comes to my own blog, partly due to limitations in my environment, but mainly due to lack of motivation because I actually really dislike being the subject in photos ^__^

IMG_2750

me and my man at a Vancouver Canucks hockey game – because hockey is what we do, and this is how I feel about having my picture taken LOL

 

 

I do not photoshop or enhance my images (even though I could, quite believably LOL). I do correct colour, contrast, cropping, etc, however I make a point to do that as little as possible. If I were a fashion blogger or I was marketing a product, the artistry of the photo would be more important, but for documenting a process like sewing, I believe it’s more important to show it simply.

My process for writing on other topics is different. I will usually get inspiration to write about something, with no warning, and I will just go for it. Generally these types of posts start off being written on my iPhone, edited and posted while I’m on the go.

As for nominations well, I’m not sure if these ladies have been stung by the blog hop bee yet but I’ll take a chance because each of them has inspired me through their blogs and their personalities:

Annabelle because she is one of the most generous and genuinely lovely people I know, and is inspiring both as a person and in what she makes 🙂

Andrea because she is incredibly inspiring and courageous in her creative endeavours and in life 🙂

Sallie because absolutely everything she makes looks like it leapt off the pages of a fashion magazine, and so does she… and her photos are gorgeous 🙂

Advertisements

Did you miss me? :)

It’s been awhile, right???

I’ve missed blogging and this super awesome blogging community – although lately I’ve managed to start reading more blogs & catching up with what everyone’s been up to 🙂

So what have I been up to?

Well, since I started my job, I’ve gone through a somewhat tumultuous time, as the new job is not very suited to me. Add to that, I’ve dealt with the emotional runoff from losing my old job, while still doing contract work with them, and trying to stomach the dynamics/politics involved with that, not to mention a 3-1/2 hr commute every day and juggling the additional work in my diminished “free” time. I’ve had to reassess my career choices/path quite wholeheartedly in order to cope.

In short, this whole process has sucked a LOT of my time, energy, and passion from me, and I’ve been through some pretty depressing times. But I’m figuring it out, one step at a time, and while I don’t particularly relish the next year ahead, I know it will end and I’ll move on to the next chapter.

In the meantime, I have to work that much harder to regain my passion for my career and my creativity so it will be a challenge, but a good one, I think 🙂

But to end my comeback post on a very positive note, I have a happy announcement – we got a new kitten this week!!

20130714-184011.jpg

Her name is Lola, and she’s a little fireball!!! But SO affectionate and sweet; a perfect companion for my Hutchie… look, they are already getting along and it’s only been 3 days! 🙂

20130714-184223.jpg

I had to make do with the bad photo cause I didn’t want to risk going to get the camera & missing this moment ^__^ Also, she looks a little mangy here cause she had to have a flea treatment – ugh 😦

I was hesitant about getting a new cat after my beloved best friend (Hutch’s brother) died last year, but she is not without similar qualities to him – which I’m sure makes the transition a little easier for Hutch – but not TOO similar; she is a girl, after all, and quite the mischievous little princess at that ^_^

As for personal projects, I’m trying to work on them but it’s a LOT slower than before. Still, I count every little bit a victory, as my time is rare, and my creative energy & passion is still pretty damaged. So baby steps…. and hopefully something to show soon 🙂 Until then, God bless & keep smiling! 🙂


Giveaway! First Annual Blogiversary!

October 18, 2012, marks the one-year anniversary of my first blog post on this here project blog. Little did I know what an amazing community I was yet to discover and become a part of!! I’m gonna get all down & personal here now, so if you wanna sit this one out, or just skip down to the giveaway, I’ll totally understand 🙂

A lot has happened in a year; I’ve learned so much, and come so far!!

In sewing, I’ve participated in my first sewalong, made my first pants, did my first FBA, sewed my first buttonhole and used boning for the first time, along with so much more! I’ve learned so much about fitting, fabric, and technique. I’ve begun to discover my own personal style & have started my first planned capsule wardrobe!

In my personal life, I’ve spent the last 10 months trying to improve my health, inside & out. For me personally, unless I follow a strict diet & exercise plan, my self esteem suffers greatly. I have a really slow metabolism so I easily gain weight, become lethargic, and just feel generally gross – physically and mentally. Through tracking calories & a daily exercise regime, I’ve lost over 30 lbs! I still have a ways to go but I’ve come a long way & I’m on the right path^_^ I am also very blessed to have a wonderful man and mum in my life who are loving, supportive, and patient with me no matter what I’m going through 🙂

In my professional life, I just recently lost my job of almost seven years. No boo-hoo-ing though; this is one of those transitions that was meant to be. As emotional as it was, (after so long, the people there are like family to me), I was going stagnant there from lack of creative stimulation. With the changes in the company’s focus, there was less and less work for me, so while I still do work for them a few hours a week, I’m free now to try & find a new home that will challenge & grow my creative abilities… and that’s exciting! (even if I have to be poor for awhile lol)

Over the last month, two lovely bloggers I’ve met along the way have nominated me for blog awards. Thank you to A Gastronome’s Closet and PunkMik!! Since I have already received one recently and handed out the honours to others, this time I would like to, instead, give back by hosting my first giveaway!!

The giveaway is for a set of three patterns; one for each of my award nominations and one for my one year anniversary! ^__^

The first two are brand new, unused patterns:

Simplicity 2339 Amazing Fit blouse:

And Simplicity 4192:

In addition to these two, you will get one of your choice from the vintage patterns shown here

Alternatively, if you’re not a sewist, I’m offering a personalized blog header for your blog, designed by me 🙂 (you tell me what you want & I’ll design it!)

This is my thanks to you all for being so awesome!!! Feel free to pass the giveaway info on to your friends; anyone is welcome to participate!!

To enter, please leave a comment on this blog post by the end of October and let me know what prize you prefer 🙂 I’ll draw the winner on November 1st 🙂 Happy October!!


Love & Loss; Fun & Games

Hello friends!

It’s been a heckuva 2 weeks or so!

So after my last post I haven’t done a darn thing in terms of project work. The last day of my job was approaching and honestly, it was too hard for me to focus, with trying to figure out finances & job searching.

Then last Friday was my birthday, and my partner and I (who are huge gamer nerds, FYI) trekked down to Seattle (just a few hours from here) to attend NA’s largest public gaming convention, Pax Prime!!

Here’s us on the bus very early Friday morning:

20120904-171328.jpg

Pax Prime is 3 days of gaming bliss: nonstop panels, shows, parties & demos – we had a blast!

20120904-171538.jpg

20120904-171628.jpg

20120904-171711.jpg

20120904-171804.jpg

20120904-171729.jpg

We even attended a party held offsite for a game we’re both super excited for; Dishonored – the party was a murder mystery held in the mansion of Lady Boyle; a character from the game.

20120904-173339.jpg

20120904-173412.jpg

20120904-173438.jpg

It was an awesome weekend but I’m glad to be back home – I missed my kitties so bad & my fluffy one (Mama’s boy, Starsky!) still hasn’t forgiven me entirely yet ^__^

20120904-172304.jpg

Now we’re back & reality must set in. But before I became a hobo (LOL) I had ordered some custom labels with my logo on them – very nice quality embroidered damask – and they arrived today to help cheer me up!

20120904-172548.jpg

I love them & can’t wait to start adding them to my creations! I know this will help me really focus on attention to detail & think of my clothing as I do my design; as representing me and my quality 🙂

It’s still hot here – summer isn’t through with us yet! Hopefully I can get back my focus & deal with all the business-y stuff so I can get some project work done too! 🙂

Hope you’re all well – I’m trying to catch up on posts missed so forgive me if I’m a bit behind! 🙂


New look for Symon Sez!

As you can see, I updated my blog header!

As I’ve recently been designing my identity, logo etc for professional purposes, I thought it would be nice to extend that to my personal endeavours as well, since let’s face it… as a professional artist, sometimes the lines between the two are a bit fuzzy ^__^

I’ve also got business cards and fabric labels with my logo coming soon!!


My Portfolio Site Launched!

If you’ve been following you’ll recall I got laid off about a month ago, and since then have been working very hard to compile the last seven years worth of my work, narrow it down, and create a portfolio so I can get my butt out there and get a job. LOL.

I’m still working part time at the moment so I’ve actually got a couple months left, in which I will be designing my resume, takeaway piece, and logo… but until then, I have an online presence now, which I can share with you:

http://symondezyn.prosite.com/


The Wave of Change… an Artist’s Journey

I have been slack in my posts and my projects lately, because as of late, I have been swept up in a tumultuous wave of change crashing through my life.

I’ve been working at the same design firm for almost seven years… which is the longest I’ve worked anywhere. This can mainly be attributed to the fact that the people I work with, including my bosses, are wonderful people – like family to me.

I have come a long way since I first started here. I took a production artist position, knowing there was no guarantee that I would ever get an artist’s chair. Eventually I was given a small job to test my skills, and it all exploded from there… to this day, where I can say I’ve earned my badges at being a skilled senior designer, packaging design expert, and illustrator.

The company is shifting and has been for some time now, though, so the opportunities for me to do creative work have been less and less, and so the inevitable has happened; I’m moving on.

There have been tears and laughter, incredible triumphs and some painful learning experiences. I am sad to see this part of my life end, but I’ve been stuck in place for a long time and I’m excited for more growth and challenge again.

I will still be working part time for awhile yet, and will retain work for them as an independent contractor, but there is definitely some big changes ahead. I don’t know yet whether I will move on to work for another firm, or open my own business and take contract work.

I’m scared but excited… I am a bit sad but I can’t help but look eagerly ahead to what awaits me. I know I will take with me the best of these last seven years, and build on them.

I am talented, intelligent, experienced and skilled… driven and passionate. I am positive, optimistic, and joyful!

I am a Creative.