Assessing my own work

As part of this module I have to assess my own work and professionalism. In a nutshell I’m not impressed with myself, but the grades I got on my last module were the proverbial kick up the backside and I can see that late nights (doing my work I might add) and late mornings catching up on my sleep do not work for me. I am one who needs to work with the rhythm of nature. I also need a routine — chaos is so unproductive.

Anyway, as I’m likely going to be self-employed after I graduate (and my next module will be practice anyway) I’m being a one-woman-band on this project. I’m doing my own designing, pattern-cutting, sourcing, photography, modelling, and presentation work. That’s a lot of hats to wear but I want to get a lot of skills. Even if I end up working for someone else I ought to have at least a basic understanding of what the other people in the company are doing so that I can communicate and work better with them.

Therefore I’m learning photography. I’ve bought a Sony RX100 II compact camera. I know it’s not a DSLR or even a 4/3rds, but it does enough for me to shoot some (hopefully) professional-looking photographs of my work. I’ve got to learn about composition and lighting and all that, but my new motto is “one thing at a time”; I can’t do everything at once and I’m not going to try — I’d just go crazy!

The way we’re doing this module (when we’re at the college) is to do our CVs etc. in the morning and our competition work in the afternoon. I find this way of working better because I concentrate on the task at hand and actually get work done. In a way, it’s like colouring in one section of a drawing at a time instead of trying to colour them all in at once with different coloured pens. You can see how much calmer and more efficient that would be!

At the end of the module…

The other thing I have improved on (and will continue to improve upon) during this module is concentrating on what I’m doing. It’s really the only way to get anything done. It’s easier for my mind to wander when I’m on my computer because Google is only a click away, but I just have to do what I’m supposed to do instead of Googling other interesting things. : )

I also find to-do-list-writing helpful for concentrating the mind. You can look at your list and think “well, I can get at least these two things done” and then find that you can get some more things done as well (depending on the tasks of course).

As I’m working as a freelance pattern cutter now, I have set aside Saturdays to work only on that. The other six days of the week are for my coursework. This allows some flexibility for course-related work experience. This coming Saturday (the 12th April) I will be working on a fashion show in Beverley though, so my freelance work will have to be on Sunday this week.

I’m also beginning to feel more professional by organising my branding and my employment packs, and learning to do photography. Being able to present a professional image really boost your confidence, but must, of course, be backed up with actual efficient work. : ) There’s real pleasure in being tidy and productive, you know!

It has occurred to me that when photography and styling join forces, they are more powerful than politicians. The images in adverts and the media, I think, have more influence over our conscious and subconscious decisions than any amount of 5 minute “vote for me” adverts before Emmerdale. It really fascinates me and motivates me to learn more about photography and styling. It will really help my next project look professional.

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