Tag Archive | Dundee

Things I’ve done recently.

Here, have all the photos.

Recently I’ve seen some awesome things at DJCAD’s degree show:


had a surprise Saturday off work:

and visited Camperdown Wildlife Centre on a sunny Monday afternoon (I love the idea, but in the end seeing animals in cages always makes me a bit sad):


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Fisheye all the flowers!

I have just bought myself a macro and fisheye lens adapter for my camera. I was very prepared for it to be absolutely rubbish, but I actually love it. I’m sure gear purists will scoff, I’m really pleased with my new toy. For the money, it gives a really good fisheye effect, and the macro attachment is fun too. I made a trip to the botanic gardens today to scout out their collection of tropical and interesting plants (“Where do you keep your flowers that eat things, please?”), and I was a little bit disappointed because the pitcher plants were all looking a bit sad and brown and… well, gross. I also couldn’t seem to find any Venus flytraps or sundews or anything, so began to think maybe they didn’t have any, but there were definitely flytraps on one of their garden guides, so perhaps I just missed them.

Here’s a pretty flower fisheye picture for now, dear blog. I will update again soon with more pictures from my garden visit and thoughts about my recent and upcoming uni work.

FISHEYE ALL THE THINGS

Isolated Heroes

Yesterday morning saw the culmination of a few weeks’ work in my Design in the Market module – a group presentation on a designer of our choice. As a group, consisting of myself, Jennifer, Lesley, and Rebecca, we eventually decided on Samantha McEwen, the girl behind fashion label Isolated Heroes. Part of our research for this presentation was to contact and interview our designer, and Sam invited us to do so at her studio space in Wasps Studios in Meadow Mills, Dundee. Sam was really welcoming and friendly throughout our interview, and we were left with pages of notes and lots to think about in putting together our presentation. For other classes most of us have had to create PowerPoint presentations before, so we decided this time to use Prezi for a bit of a change; luckily for presentation-phobic me, Jennifer and Rebecca put together a really solid presentation that flowed really well, and after a bit of rearranging and rewriting we were ready to present.

I’ve never been the most confident with regards to speaking to people, especially to groups of people in an actual lecture theatre, especially when my grades are reliant on it. Despite all this, I think our presentation went really well and I’m really happy about it.

isolated-heroes-portraits_MG_7460

From speaking to Sam and listening to other groups’ presentations, it’s obvious that all these successful designers and businesses began with a very solid idea, a passion for something very specific, and a real drive to do exactly what they wanted to do. This is reinforcing my thoughts from my previous post: that I have to work hard on developing my brand and finding my passion. Wish me luck!

The Olympic torch relay, Baxter Park

The Olympic torch came to Dundee yesterday, which was quite exciting! I mean, it’s not often that this sort of thing happens in my little city.  I met Iain after work for a walk through the very busy town centre, and then we made our way to Baxter Park. It was really nice to see so many people just hanging out in one place and (mostly) having a good time and getting along.

We watched performances by Emeli Sandé (good), Anderson McGinty Webster Ward and Fisher (good) and were given a total of 10 free Nature Valley cereal bars (good). The crowd was a little bit lacklustre and difficult to ‘work’ sometimes, and pretty much as soon as the cauldron was lit people started leaving – even though there were people on stage still talking (some schoolkids, the Lord Provost, and a local MSP), which I felt bad about. But I think everyone seemed to have a good time, in the end. I do kind of wish we’d made our way over to the other side of the park to see what was going on over there; apparently people could have their photo taken while holding an actual Olympic torch, which would have been a fun thing to do.

Border Crossings sketchbook…

…or “I don’t like slide shows so I hope your scrollin’ hand isn’t tired.”

I’ve had a bit of a difficult time with this new module. It’s based around the concept of identity – personal identity, cultural identity, our identities as designers within our specialisms. This is a lot to think about!

I struggled to think of things relating to my identity that I could actually draw. I mind-mapped things like my family relationships and my personality traits, but those things aren’t exactly drawable. Now, I love me some traditional crafts – knitting, crochet, origami, sewing, bookbinding (not something I do a lot, but I took a 6 week class at the DCA once – very recommended!). I find these things quite therapeutic – the repetition and the thought of following steps to reach a desired outcome is very reassuring to me, somehow. So I decided to focus on that.

Also, in relation to my cultural identity, I’m Dundonian through and through, so I looked initially at maps of Dundee and the surrounding area, our railway bridge history (oh hay William McGonagall), and our textile heritage (jute everywhere!). I’d also like to bring more aspects of “Scottishness” into my sketchbook, although I have found myself falling into the trap of Scotland being all tartan all the time.

NeoN11 finale.

Dundee from the Law.

Dundee at night from the top of the Law.

Last night, after a long, woeful day at work, Iain made me walk up the Law. It was horrible. It was dark, and muddy, and cold, and steep. But it was totally worth it in the end. It was the NeoN finale (although it wasn’t really the end of the festival, since there was still stuff going on today), and it was good. There was a bit of Tagtool, a bit of performance art, and a bit of dancing-with-LEDs.

I’ve not been able to attend any NeoN stuff so far, although my boyfriend has and has told me all about it, so it was really nice to go along to this. I’m really happy that there’s such a creative, artsy scene in Dundee, and really hope to go out and participate in things more often. Participating in things is good.