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Another year has come to an end (and another birthday is fast approaching; I'll be 24 on NYE. I can feel the arthritis kicking in). I know I've been pretty neglectful of this blog as of late, but a lot has happened especially over these past few months. At least it meant I only had to look back a few posts to see what I wrote for my 2016 year end entry...

I said at the end of my 2016 blog post that I wasn't sure what lay ahead in 2017, and that I had no specific plans other than to work on my portfolio and see where it ends up after another 6 months. I don't think I could have guessed 2017 if I'd tried! In a similar fashion to the 2016 post, I'll sum it up very quickly in bullet points:


  • Mr Snuffles the hamster joined the family; the cutest, most doziest, docile hamster I have ever met

  • Bought another car, nearly as fun as Bert (if you don't already by now know, Bert is my other car - a classic Fiat 126) but a little bit quicker...

  • I got a fantastic opportunity to go on a work trip to America, where we visited Boston and I also combined it with a trip to New York - was amazing but very tiring!

  • I took my next step in the career ladder and joined a design agency as a Graphic Designer which meant leaving Autodesk, my first job out of uni. Admittedly I didn't think the right job would come along until at least early 2018, so everything happened very quickly!
And here we are. If I had a time machine back in 2016 looking to my portfolio now, I'd probably be a bit disappointed as on the surface not much has been added (to my online portfolio anyway). I realised though perhaps a little later than I should have done, that developing and progressing as a designer can't be measured by how many projects/design pieces you pump out in a year. You learn from doing of course, but the results of what you have learnt aren't always gleaming pieces to put in your portfolio - I found I've learnt a lot from even the quickest and smallest of projects. I've picked up skills over these past few months which are essential for creating better work. Straight forward stuff that can be overlooked such as little things to look out for when checking print-ready files. Even just setting up the files, something which is hidden from the final product; I've learnt more efficient and better ways at creating an organised file system so that revisiting work will be a doddle, even if it's months down the line. I've also been increasingly reading advice, debates, and blogs daily, including how to refine my skills as a designer and to increase my awareness of what new technologies/software updates are on the horizon. Overall compared to 2016, I can say I'm far more confident now that anything I add to my portfolio moving forward will have a better, more organised underlying foundation in terms of both thought and physical structure (that isn't of course to say I'm anywhere near perfect, just improved upon from last year!). 

For 2018 it would be great to write a list of things to aim for (so I can reward myself with gold stars and chocolate); I learnt from my time at Autodesk that something measurable and realistic will make you far more likely to end up achieving them. So over these next couple of days of 2017 I'll set about making a list, then this time next year I'll be doing the next end of year post - have a great New Year!

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