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Maha Bodhi School, Victoria School, Anderson JC, LASALLE College of the Arts

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Lazing, Hobby Crafting, DIY, Graphic Design, Computer Stuff that you don't get it

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Saturday, February 11, 2012
The Inconvenient Truth
[ZOMBiE CyGiG] ranted at 7:40 PM --- Post#5605198458249273191

As much as I always say that I seldom regret choices that I had made, I can be wrong at times. It has been ages since I blogged, and now that you see me do so, it signifies something terrible happened in my life.

I once said I liked graphic design and LASALLE was the optimum school for me. I may or may not be wrong, but I'm beginning to doubt myself, and the more I think about it, the more worst it becomes. Till now I reach a point, just around two months before I get a Diploma, I am considering quitting school.

What I though graphic design was when I was in JC:

- about spoofing posters and making satirical works

- techniques of Photoshop and illustrator

- techniques of photography

- expressing yourself

- theories of printing

- writing plugins for Photoshop, developing filters

And what it turns out to be:

- Its more "design communication" than "graphics design"

- Bullshitting. The more bullshitting you put when you present the better you are, although I am a bullshitter, I thought that was not very fair.

- Fake briefs. Most of the briefs are specially formulated to tekan or make things difficult for us. No one in real life will ask you to make a logo for Online Gaming Ninjitsu. No one will ask you to make a fake publication in A1 about your friend but sound as if its a serious shit magazine. Almost none of the ideas for integrated campaign is practical, and more than half of them are not even technologically and practically feasible. If you let me choose to make a hypothetical design solution for some international brand or a simple one for a store in Sim Lim Square selling harddisk that would actually be in used, I choose the latter.

- Real briefs. Oh yes, real ones call Live Project. Aka free labour. Giving us a few weeks to do projects coming from real companies, and then pre-selecting the entries before sending the best out. they tell you "its good for your portfolio if you win!". How many won out of the 100+ students? There are some projects that no body won and some that are done purely for the school.

- Ignorant to technology. No one gives a damn about how laser printer works. No one gives a damn about what is RAW. No one care to explain about colour calibration and colour profiling. My lecturer ask me to print in RGB. Photography was taught well in level 1, but I felt that was not enough. You are not taught on how to do audio and video recording, yet they are looking at professional results. Even more ironically, technical aspect only carries certain weight, then after, no points are given for superior use of technology, but only points deducted for inferior use. Not much advanced Photoshop and Illustrator functions are taught. I do not really blame then, since the school focus more on getting the ideas right, but that is just not my cup of tea.

- Rush. This one is my fault. I enjoy doing design work when given the liberty of time. But everything is so time pressed.

- I get sick of it. Doing all those over and over again makes me get sick of design. I no longer sketch ideas and illustrations and carry a little sketch book with me. I stopped all that. And now I am very sure I will NOT be doing any work related to design after I graduate. Even if I do, it would be because I got no job.

- Beauty over Function. It seems like people are concerned over how things should look good than how things should function well. I get quite irritated over it. Ir irks me to design a Merlion for a chair that is plainly uncomfortable when I can have a nice cheap chair made in china.

- Self Directed Learning. Hello SDL, it seems like we meet again after AJC. Its is puzzling that core modules are too under delivered while side modules are alright. In Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver class, things are taught step by step, hand holding you for the first few times and then let you unleash your creativity later. Whereas for the core studio modules, everything is expected of you to find out yourself. Till now, I receive almost no training on how to do layout, how to choose colour, how to manipulate text.

- Imbal learning curve. They teach you some basics, and you are happy with your ability to catch up. The next thing, they are expecting you to auto pilot to Advanced level and produce something at super level.

- Imbal points distribution. DST gets so much lesser credits than Studio when both require a lot of time to complete. Being good in DST, I am unable to use my strength to push my overall points up.

- Creative Process Journal or sketchbook. When will they ever realised that most people fake and fill up their CPJs with crap just so not to fail. It simply hinders my creative process when I need to take a photo of every single damn thing I do and the lecturers are not really going to read through it. I spend more time taking photos, printing the pictures, cutting them out and pasting them back than doing the project.

Basically, I realized the course in LASALLE is not quite like I imagine. All along, I have treated lessons in LASALLE just like normal school subjects. Close your eyes, just do and score points and fuck off. Often I lie to myself I am a design person. I am not. Sorry, I am not interested in typography, I am not impressed by nice layouts and illustrations. I hate vintage stuff. I prefer function over form.

What LASALLE want me to be:
- Professional designer in the industry
- Take up design projects
- Make things communicative and aesthetically please
- Great concepts!
- Work in major companies
- Create a good portfolio and reputation
- Never sleep, just do work
- Work for passion

What I actually prefer to do:
- In house the not-so-important assistant designer OR printing shop owner!
- Assist in projects of other nature in terms of design
- Make things really work and really useful
- Cheap and affordable concepts for everyone
- Work in small local companies
- Keep a low profile
- Relaxing lifestyle with plenty of time for hobbies
- Do work as people would like me to, just to earn their cash. Period.

I am not getting the passion in LASALLE like i did for DnT and Computing. Perhaps this is how it works in tertiary education. Perhaps you should never work or study something of your hobby, or risk losing interest in it. Right now I have almost lost all interest to do design. Don't get me wrong, LASALLE is a good school but its just that it does not really appeal to me. Comic sans looks more appealing to me than Helvetica. MS word Posters with real messages appeals to me more than nicely designed posters mean to grab your attention only.

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