Hi Frank and everyone,
here is my monologue.
Its been around 18 months since my MA finished.
Graduating during start of recession made the post-MA months unfairly difficult. Not only for obvious lack of paid work and loads of work for free offers, but worse, the confidence nourished during MA tended to shrink down. In this time I made the mistake of applying for any work that could keep me in London, and this means work 'outside my practice'. I wrote about 500 emails and had un-original replies (i have them on file to eventually do infographic project). Had meetings with some great people that shared my interests, and big shot idiots like the one who turned me down for being 'idealistic and too independent'.
Anyway, what happened was the idiots changed the way i see myself working in this industry and i gave up applying.
Continued to work on my own with contacts previously had, believing in what I believe, and trying to do responsible work.
Randomly replied to add for communication designer, a project of social design 'Make your own shoe' to sustain income for community in South Africa, thinking it was a little project of NGO Soul of Africa, until meeting with founder of Clarks Shoes for a breakfast with loads of shoes on the table. Boost of confidence, and more important grew huge interest in Social Corporate Responsibility and Social Entrepreneurship.
Big terms i spent the next months researching, and realizing that in reality is the way to implement my 'practice' in the industry. For this also needed to learn better project management skills.
Moved back to Lisbon last summer because i ran out of cash, and here I am still. For 5 months worked in little studio specializing in healthcare communication (my first studio job) making money to return. Worked on innovative user based projects to better patient access to health information. Got insight on how to start up an idea for a project, that could go wrong.
Then quit, and decided actually want to stay here for now and invest in my country because its a bloody mess with amazing beach.
Been explaining my ideas to key players within Sustainability and Social Entrepreneurship here (not designers) and laying the ground for a studio with projects that make a difference. I have added environmental policy to client contract. still need to pull the 'Robin Hood' trick doing projects that pay well and are less interesting, but never under-estimate the power of educating a client.
In November I went to chelsea to help out on the Triangle Project, what a great experience it was. I think its important to keep contact with college, it reminds you that everything is possible. Going to london quite often, meeting with MA GDC08 members, conferences, workshops etc, refreshes ideas to bring back here. Research is for life.
I have recommended the course once, to my friend João, and I would do it again. I think its all about the people. In my year i was lucky to have such great understanding between 17 different individuals and i learned alot from them, still do today. Also very lucky to have brilliant minds, Tracey, Frank, Luke, Anna G, John C, that definitely planted the seed to what my practice is today. Very important to keep in touch and continue sharing. Its not easy to find people that get the core of your practice as the ones who lived it as well for a whole year.
At the time I wished the MA would have been longer, felt i could have done more. Last week I had to publicly present my project, after not looking at it for so long, it actually is better than i thought: how idealistic and independent!
Sorry for making this long, i had not let it out before and now its been a pleasure.
Best and hope to see you soon,