Week 6, my final week at The Student Hotel.

Unfortunately due to personal reasons I had to cut my internship at The Student Hotel. I enjoyed my time here so much and I was extremely sad to leave. Working along side Chris (the head designer) has taught me so many new skills and gave me so much more confidence. Although I was only here 6 weeks the fast working pace allowed me to explore so many different aspects of graphic design. I got to work on the Facebook page, leaflets, posters, special offers, events, the website and a new brand identity.

My last week at work I spent my time working on drawing up layouts of the rooms of the new exciting building. The layouts I produced are to featured on the new website of the ‘The Bazaar” building. This is a new project The Student Hotel have been working on. The Baazar is a place where  small businesses, partys etc can come to work, relax, host presentations. As an intern I have been very lucky to see this new concept and build come to life! This is one of my floor plans at its early stages.
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Week 2 at The Student Hotel.

After an exciting first week starting my new job I was so excited to go to work Monday morning. On monday I travelled to The Student hotel located in The Hague. It was really nice to see another part of The Neverland’s and also to see a different hotel destination. Me and my work colleague George travelled around The Hague all day promoting The Student Hotel to different universities around the area with newly designed posters. I was very impressed with Dutch universities the complexes were huge!
Tuesday I was back in the office finishing my coffee coupon designs. Chris my manager was able to teach me many new skills using adobe illustrator whilst doing so. He taught me how to work properly using layers and text composition techniques. In the evening The Student Hotel christmas party was held in one of the new locations, we got a tour of the new build, 3 course meal and lots of champagne!
Wednesday morning I started to design complimentary soap bar packaging to accompany the shampoo and conditioner bottles in each bathroom of the hotels. It was important I used the same theme. After lunch we all traveled to the new build to give tours to guests we had invited along to introduce the new hotel. This was a great networking opportunity for me!
This was the end of my week at week, as Thursday morning I flew back to England to spend christmas with Family and Friends.
Happy Christmas all!

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Starting my new internship at The Student Hotel…

Last Wednesday morning (10th December) I was extremely excited to start my new placement. I got to work around 9:30am. Windswept and shivering from riding my bike I entered the doors of The Student Hotel thinking to myself this is the start of the next chapter of my life.
I received an extremely warm welcome from all the team in the office and went through my contract signing the next 5 months of my life away. My first task was given to me that afternoon, I was asked to research shampoo and conditioner bottles as I was going to be designing them. They were needed to be put in every hotel room so it was important I made the correct colour scheme and composition of text. I continued to work on this project for the rest of the week in between other tasks. I made sure I was constantly discussing ideas with my manager and asking for feedback.

Other tasks I worked on this week was making Id cards for the staff in photoshop, brainstormed ideas for the Ski party hosted at the hotel in january and also designing coffee coupons to be given out to encourage people to use the onsite restaurant ‘The Kitchen’. I also had a meeting with my manager to discuss up and coming projects in the new year! I really felt welcome and apart of the team by Friday, Im so happy to be given this opportunity.

http://www.thestudenthotel.com/

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Mexx, week 20.

I can’t believe I’ve been at Mexx for 5 months, it seems like 5 minutes!
Last week I was very busy with all sorts of different tasks. I attended a few different meetings throughout the week. First a line meeting which went over sales figures, it was interesting to see what sells and what doesn’t. Esther the head designer kindly arranged a meeting with me to go over the themes for spring summer 2016. From this she asked me to help help her with some further research. I’m excited to start working with these these themes, I like them a lot!
As I have now been at Mexx for 5 months I had a meeting with the head of the floor for a quick catch up as to how I’m getting on.
Also this week I helped designers sketch clothes in illustrator. I’m confident doing this now and because designers can see this they gave me more creative freedom. I know I only got to design the pockets of a pant style but I was pleased they trusted me to do so!

12 weeks, 6 life lessons, 3 bikes, 1 city.

“I think I’ve just put yogurt in my coffee, its curdling”

1. Communication and culture chaos

My first two weeks living in Amsterdam were spent lost and confused. Shopping and travelling to work were no longer simple everyday tasks, they was mission impossible!

Figuring out the transportation system was like trying to crack the Da Vinci code. I can barely transport myself around England and I have lived there for 20 years. Reflecting on how I felt travelling to work on my first day I can’t help but laugh because now the tram system is second nature. It’s rare that I use public transport in the week as I bought myself a bike to travel to and from work. Bikes however is a touchy subject at the minute as I’m currently riding round Amsterdam on my third as my first two were stolen. When you leave the keys in the lock though can you really expect anything less?

For anyone planning a trip to Amsterdam in the future make sure you hire a bike. You get to see so much more of the wonderful city. Take it through Vondelpark and embrace the scenery and Dutch culture. But first make sure you have full travel insurance because Dutch cyclists are roofless. No exaggeration! Vondelpark is one of my favourite places in Amsterdam. The atmosphere is amazing and the scenery is beautiful. Unlike back home you don’t see unintelligent teenagers roaming around in army’s draped in Henry Lloyd causing mischief wherever and whenever possible.

Due to all the cycling through the park and to work not only have my leg muscles increased but so has my appetite. I literally cannot stop eating! I wouldn’t mind but doing a food shop when every food label is written in Dutch is extremely difficult.

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“Oh a Jumpsuit is called a Jumpsuit because that’s what you just out of planes in”

2. Fashion facts for dummies.

This is one of many brainwaves I have had whilst starting my new job at Mexx. Before starting my placement I was very apprehensive about working in the world of fashion. I didn’t really know what to expect. Most people have a preconceived idea of the fashion industry thinking it’s terrifically glamorous but when I was sat at my desk one day staring aimlessly into my computer screen I come to the conclusion fashion is not all fun and games. This was another one of my magical brainwaves.

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“Is it half 5 yet?”

3. Carrier confusion

One of the most useful pieces of information I have learnt so far working for Mexx is that I positively do not want to work in an office. I literally cannot still at my desk. My eyes start to pour staring at a screen all day and my bum becomes so numb. Office work is defiantly not for me. The unnerving question is what do I want to do? I’m trusting another brainwave will emerge any day in the near future. I say trust but really I mean hope.

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“Sophia!!! Put some clothes on.”

4. Confidence is the foundation of all success.

As much as I love fashion and shopping for new clothes, I seem to have gained a reputation for being in the nude. Some people admire my confidence whereas others just think I’m bonkers! On a more serious note however…even though I’m dazed about where I want to be in 10 years’ time, I have learnt the one characteristic I can count on to get me there is confidence.  Dr Norman Vincent Peale once said “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy”-Wise words from a wise man.

A few weeks ago I met up with graphic designer Naomi den Beston. I love the work she produces. Seems as though she’s based in Amsterdam I thought why not drop her an email introducing myself thinking what have I got to lose? I received a lovely email back inviting me to join her for coffee at her apartment. She gave me so much useful advice over coffee and told me about a bunch of events nearby I should attend and people in the design industry she will introduce me too. On my way home overwhelmed with her kindness I thought to myself how if I never had the confidence to send the first initial email all these new exciting doors would never gave been opened.

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“I could call you and we could see if we can arrange to work together?”

6. Hard work pays really does pay off!

During my journey home deep in thought after talking with Naomi I also started to reflect on our conversation. At first I thought about how lucky I am to be living in Amsterdam and have the opportunity to meet with lovely people like her. Amsterdam is such a great place to be spending my placement year, known for its creativity, design and inspiration floods the streets. After a while I realized (not only had I missed my tram stop deep in thought) it’s not luck that has brought me to Amsterdam. It was hard work; you make your own luck.

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“What’s wrong Soph?”

5. Family and friends

Four weeks after flying the nest I started to feel an inkling of homesickness. It’s not so much the place as let’s face it who could possibly miss the glorious sights and stench of Ellesmereport. Family and friends is what I miss most.  Moving to a foreign country having to be totally independent has made me appreciate the people in my life to a greater degree. It scares me sometimes how for the first time in my life I can’t just pick up the phone to my dad and get him to pick me up or to ask one of my many stupid questions.  I try my best not to let it bother me as after all when I get too homesick I can always just book a flight home at the click of a mouse. Plus flying home warrants a shopping spree in duty free. A self-confessed shopaholic like me can’t really complain. Life couldn’t be much better right now.

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Vintage fashion love

Why do I love fashion so much? Other people love sport, gardeing and food. What is it about vintage fashion that I love so much?
To me vintage clothing is a form of self expression, history and individulity. Fashion enables me to portray my quirky personality to the world without a single word. I enjoy being different and not conforming for the media. I dont aspire to be like anyone else but myself.
As well as using fashion to express myself I also use it as therapy. Whenever im stressed or have has a bad day I find myself in my closet vintage shop browings through rails and rails of endless clothing. Even if I dont buy anything, I still feel a sense of relaxsation leaving the store. On a blog post I have recently read about this subject a lady named Alexandra said “Fashion is an art and a form of self expression for the ones who create it. But it is also a form of self expression for the ones who wear” – See more at: http://styleheritage.com/2013-08/fashion-as-a-form-of-self-expression/#sthash.IbK2oWZY.dpuf.

I completely agree. Maybe thats why I love fashion so much as its so closely linked with my other greatest love in life… Design.

Mexx, week 4.

 

During my 4th week at Mexx I helped a lot with the boys graphic design department, helping them tweak art work. This wasn’t particularly challenging but it refreshed my illustrator skills. From working with different departments it gave me a stronger understanding of the styles and techniques that Mexx like and don’t like. Ive noticed how they like to layer images ontop of one another editing the transparency and sometimes combining text. The words Mexx is used frequently though out all the graphic work, there never heavily branded but always clear of the company name.

I had some free time during the middle of the week as my floor was having a massive move around so I went exploring around the building to learn about other aspects of the company. I went to watch a photo shoot. It was nice to see the graphic design come to life on products and models.

Also this week I created a few of my own illustrations, I think its good sometimes to break away from the computer screen and do some traditional style artwork to keep creative juices flowing!!! Im finally starting to settle in at Mexx, I know feel like I understand the company a lot more and the way it works.
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