Review: Graduation guide for design students

Graduation Guide for Design Students

Graduation Guide for Design Students

Graduation Guide for Design Students

I’ve just started teaching part time at the One Academy, a local art and design college where I tackle the subject of illustration and the creative process. I have to say that it’s really fun so far – there’s nothing like answering questions on the spot and helping to nudge fellow students on their way (wherever that may be). One of the recurring challenges that they face has a lot to do about what is expected of them when they graduate. While I reassured them that there will come a time when they will be stressing about that, I’m more concerned about them exploring what they like and are good at, instead of giving in to what they think that others want. Not especially when they have a year to go before graduation!

A few weeks back, Moniek Paus sent me a book that she wrote – Graduating Guide for Design Students, published by Norwegian Dutch (thank you Annemarie!) publisher BIS; and as I’m leafing through the snippet of tips and advice that she’s put together, I do a mental nod each time I flip the page. I feel that a lot of the stuff that she’s written down here applies to how a student thinks – something that I appreciate even more after I’ve spoken to my students.

Graduation Guide for Design Students

Graduation Guide for Design Students

I realize that it must be overwhelming, being a student (in a uni/college) at a time where speed takes precedence over substance; and wrongly thinking that they need to sort things out quickly to get to where they want to be. But there is no shortcuts – not really. I guess once they realize that it’s not time they’re racing against ultimately, they’ll be able to slow down and concentrate on their own craft instead of getting swept up in the flurry of information surrounding them.

And this is the gist of Moniek’s book. She separates her book into 5 chapters, and each of them are reassuringly brief and simple:

  1. How to get started
  2. How to survive
  3. A guide through the process
  4. Design advice
  5. Practical advice

It almost feels as though she’s right there with you as a friend – giving you advice on how not to stress out, and reminds you to take a shower (who knew that running water increases productivity?) Her illustrations go well with the advice that she dispenses, and the spreads are almost like mini posters that you’d like to rip out and hang on your mirror (the book’s dust jacket also doubles as a poster!)

You can get your copy here (Amazon) or via BIS Publishers.

My apologies for the quality of the images, which were taken on my iPhone (3GS!) instead of a digital camera.

Microcosm Publishing

DIY Screenprinting & Home Sweet Homegrown | Microcosm publishing

Microcosm is a small publisher based in Portland, where zines are du jour and their belief is as refreshing as publishers go. They specialize in DIY (Do-It-Yourself) goods that teach self-empowerment and their website offers up a slice of what they do – from giving out transparent and accessible financial records (their minimum wage is USD$9, capped at $13) and a sliding-scale pricing for all their wares (yes, it’s true!). I’ve requested a couple of books for review, and for those who are very much into DIY (and not just crafts, mind you), I think you might just feel as though you’ve hit gold.

[quote] You determine what you can afford to pay for the items that we publish ~ Microcosm [/quote]

Home Sweet Homegrown | Microcosm publishingHomesweet Homegrown: How to Grow, Make, And Store Food, No Matter Where You Live by Robyn Jasco shows you how easy it is to sustain yourself with a garden. And if you don’t have one, create one instead with the space you have. The topics run from the basics: how to cultivate your seeds, irrigating your garden with an old hose, recipes for those delicious freshly picked greens and even the topic of fermentation; with lots of information in between that’s neatly organized between chapters.

DIY Screenprinting | Microcosm publishing

DIY Screenprinting Handbook by John Isaacson is an instructional book on screenprinting in a quirky comic book format. Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of the concept – between these pages (and the strips) there are lots of information that’s delivered with a wittiness that makes it all that much easier to digest. There’s also interviews with other screenprinting artists in between that offers a break in the comic book sequence. The dissemination of textbook information into a storyline – with Isaacson playing the lead role – makes for a lively read out of mere instructions.

See more books over at Microcosm Publishing!

Have a lovely weekend folks!

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