There are many key areas to a reliable and creative process. You may find yourself suited to a particular couple as your creative life progress, but there is no doubt that all are crucial. Researching, practicing using Visual Vocabulary, finding inspiration and designing around your audience should be the main areas you focus on whilst designing. Gathering any type of data, if it is information, photographs or a piece of audio, will all help the advancement of your knowledge and understanding. The first principle I wish to discuss is Visual Practice. Through the ‘visual practice’ of observation, collecting, studying and exploring a subject, topic or theme, you will gain a deeper understanding of the subject. Each piece of information you gather is like another arrow for your bow. Paul Davis once famously said “Boredom is the enemy of the artist”. The more directions of design you have to pursue, there is a higher chance of creating a better outcome. The series of directions you can find don’t have to be drastically different from one another. The key is experimentation and development; to progress you need to fail, and then learn from your mistakes. Changing the method within your media could be classed as a different direction. If you’re using a high quality SLR camera to take photographs, will not venture into using film cameras, VHS or Polaroid. Each will give you a totally different outcome, and until you try them, you cannot truly see what they have to offer. The second principle I found interesting was Practices & Processes, which links in very nicely to the first principle; By understanding the various ‘practices & processes’ of illustrators, designers, photographers, we are able to progress and advance in our own practice. Many Illustrators and Designers find inspiration by collecting, collating, observing and/or drawing. Quoting Mark Wigan, from ‘Thinking Visually 2006’; “I couldn’t draw very well, so I had to stick stuff down” & “I get inspiration from anything and everything”. As you (and I) develop as a Designer, I will soon start to develop a personal visual language. This should come from Design to start taking over my life – by being open-minded, by working hard, doing sustained practice taking risks, and learning from my mistakes – and my triumphs. I will learn what works for me as a designer – and I hope to learn not to dismiss what doesn’t. Just because I’m not fantastic at (for example) Photography, doesn’t mean I should not take any photo’s, but to use them in the best way I can – and this will spur my own personal development and lead to better outcomes.

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