So, this has been an extremely bizarre week, from new projects to voices in my head giving me design ideas whilst I sleep (no joke).
Lets go through a quick week breakdown (more for my assurance than anyone else)
So I’d like to announce the return of the Hurricane Bike project, which is beginning development again this week, so stay tuned.
I’d like to also announce another couple of projects, all products (I’ll be talking more about that soon).
This is all filler for what really happened this week, yesterday in-fact; in which whilst I slept, myself talked to myself in a dream and gave me a design idea which ended up in this portfolio (you can find it in my graphic design section)
“hey, that ‘k’ looks like a ‘skip song’ button!” myself says, “how about that..”
I suppose when I was young, my idea of what counted as an idea was pretty broad..
I guess the only way to think outside of the box, is to observe the outside of the box. In the same way I couldn’t visualize a new colour without seeing it first, there is no way in my view to have an original thought or idea; rather, we can only apply our experiences through the prism of design into a new product.
I don’t think you necessarily need to delve into textbooks or other designer’s portfolios for inspiration (though they are great!). I’ve found that even the weirdest bits of inspiration can define an idea. Hell, these days the more niche the inspiration, the better.
Case in point. Pull out a sketchbook, or notebook, or dog-eared scrap of card and close your eyes. Start squiggling on the paper, and whatever the result is, try to make something out of it. A product, a character, a building it doesn’t matter. Even blind scribbling could be blind inspiration.
There’s actually a blog post I’ve kept private, absolutely full of images of some of the strangest sci-fi inspirations I’ve ever seen, one day I’ll post it, but for now, that’s under wraps.
It’s part of the reason I love design so much, and would encourage everyone to nurture their own ideas; everyone is unique in that they have their own experiences, and so when given a problem,everyone will have their own solution.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog & Portfolio… It’s certainly been a fun year for me, and since this email I just received had some fun trivia regarding my site, I thought it’d be to share it with y’all.
Happy new year! – Mike
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 18 trips to carry that many people.
Having sat in front of the keyboard for several minutes trying to question the motives behind this decision, I shall just move on..
Admittedly, a portfolio is hardly the sort of place to display such primitive works: a collection of the very first 3D models I made in Blender, after my grandad showed me the software at about 11-12 years of age;
So why show them at-all?
Firstly, I’d rather they were kept somewhere where hard-drive gremlins can’t sabotage them, but the works are fairly critical to my passion for design, since it was the CAD side of design that I really enjoyed initially, and the reason I had enjoyed it so much was because I could actually do something that few people could in my school.
It was difficult to actually remember the specifics of how 3D modelling became such a hobby to me, but I am sure it started with Blender.
Blender, for those who don’t know, is a free, opensource 3D modelling program that allows users to both create stills and animations and share these with the world.
Something clicked here. I had always been fond of computers and technology as a whole (having used educational coding software’s like Scratch or Gamemaker as a springboard into this). From these terrible models and self-taught ‘skills’ (don’t laugh) I would stop using Blender a few months later, only to find that two years later, in a beginner GCSE design course lesson, that those skills would be reinvested into more, useful areas.
I think it was ProEngineer that I first used for CAD software; I made an iPod and a Kettle and, whilst they looked alright, the introduction of Keyshot that really made me marvel at the power of CAD. Seriously, just Google that software…
IT’S INCREDIBLE. I CAN MAKE EVEN MY WORST WORKS LOOK LIKE MICHAEL ‘CAD’ ANGELO SCULPTED IT.
So, if the rest of the site hadn’t suggested, from that point on I became a complete CAD geek.
‘The CAD guy’ was pretty much the only name the lower years knew me as, (or ‘the guy who spends most of his time in the DT suite’, on occasion) and to be fair, for a small period in my life it was good to know I was actually quite okay at something, and to hear that I was going to be mentoring my own teachers just put the icing on the cake.
These days it’s just good to know that each day is just another chunk of progress achieved, and I’m glad I moved away from the area to branch out into other skills (my sketching skills still need some definite rethinking). Though in all fairness, CAD will always be the best bit of the design process for me.
I guess we all have things we are proud of, and things we want to improve,
And considering being really proud of something was a pretty foreign experience to me, it felt pretty good.