wow what a morning!!! Lauren Currie probably just changed most of 2nd year Design Studies Students lives if not forever then at least for a little while. Inspirational just isn’t enough to describe what Lauren has done in such a short time. But just who is she? Lauren was a graduate of Duncan of Jordanstone in 2008 and after a summer of working in design she came back to do her Master of Design at D of J but Lauren had her future mapped way before that, from 2nd year in fact, when like us today she heard all about service design. Lauren introduced us to some of her projects today, Studio Unbound, Redjotter, Snook and myPolice.
Lauren talked about the importance of social networking and how incredible opportunities can happen if you put yourself out there and just have confidence in what you’re doing. Through twitter Lauren was flown first class to China to talk about Innovation in Scotland! Blogging, Tweeting, flickr, vimeo and using Skype are amongst Laurens’ favourite online tools but she also stressed the importance of keeping our online presence professional this leads to an important point – to think of how we are perceived by others both online, in the studio with our peers and with our tutors. Lauren encouraged us to believe in ourselves as designers – if we believe, others will too.
For me its been quite a journey getting to where I am and when I came to Duncan of Jordanstone last May for an interview for direct entry to second year – just walking up the steps to the building was amazing, I can never explain to any one how much it means to me to be actually studying here, it really is a dream come true (someone once said to me that I sound like Im on X factor and the novelty will wear off but thats really how it feels) so for me everyday is like another opportunity to be grasped and I want to learn and push myself as much as I can, while I can. My enthusiasm for my textile work knows no bounds I absolutely love coming into the studio and have loved the project briefs set so far and get so excited over new challenges. Lauren has made me realise that if I start now I can also feel the same about anything I want to take on – just apply the same principles as I do in the studio. So here goes, I always think Im not good enough in my writing but from now on this will change – ‘attitude’ is on her list of five inspirational words. If I believe in my writing and keep practicing by blogging small amounts as often as possible then it can only improve and my confidence will grow. Openess, belief, confidence and explore are Laurens’ other words and I think I will write these out and place them on my studio desk – they will become my mantra!
Another really important point was to think of ourselves as a brand – Laurens’ Red Jotter avatar is her own red nails and people have approached her because of this so its important that I choose something memorable – I’ve always been known for my love of red lipstick! Wonder what Lauren would think of that? Lauren mentioned that someones avatar was going to be a plate of cookies – then when applying for an internship she could send cookies to get herself noticed! I remember hearing Johanna Basford speak and she sent mugs with one of her amazing designs printed on instead of a business card – she said that even if they use it for pencils it will stay on their desk and not put in a wallet and forgotten about – brilliant idea!
So the ‘to do list’ has started – use my connections more, I’m fortunate that I belong to exhibiting groups – so I need to focus and create things that others will want/need. Think of a brand, choose an eye catching avatar, focus and create, get out and about and interact and remember that its never too late and although I’m 50 remember that life begins there!