We visited Dubai Design District #D3 yesterday which celebrated the near completion of phase 1 of its development. I’d like to see in the coming months how it intends on on being different from other developments like Dubai Media City (DMC) and Tecom. At the opening there were food trucks, a bubble gum factory, pop-up stores celebrating local designers, many creative initiatives and several stages for performances. We saw a great performance from #TalvinSingh among others. The vibe was good and with all these temporary structures providing the energy and buzz, I’d like to see how it will foster and support designers and design businesses once the ‘permanent’ structures of the district are left to there own devices.
By Mark Woodward, Creative Director
Best Website of this week is a weekly round up of the most outstanding website designs that we’ve stumbled upon.
Creation of a photography style, campaign concepts, storyboards and image library projecting the real life of Dubai.
Dubai Tourism approached us to explore different ideas for an image library and photostyle. We worked closely with the marketing team to capture a side of Dubai that was not seen by locals, expats and Gulf tourists and international travellers. We used our in-depth knowledge of the Emirate to seek out and document the city, its people and the life outside of the city. We chose to photograph the destination in a documentary style to portray the subject as naturally as possible. If you’d like to see more of what we shot you can visit Katarina Premfors website. Katarina is a director at AirSpace and responsible for the images and art direction for the Dubai Tourism photostyle.
Last week Katarina and I found ourselves at the Camel Beauty Contest in Al Dhafra, 1 hour from Abu Dhabi. Actually, I was more a tag-along to a well-planned project that Mohamed Somji (Gulf Photo Plus) and Katarina (katarinapremfors.com) had organised. The event has a more official title – Al Dhafra Festival, but we were there for the Camels on Katarina and Mohamed’s personal project. The idea was to shoot one of the winning camels of the Mazayna Al Dhafra (the main competition of the festival). Fact: 25,000 camels take part in the event, with last years winning camel receiving a whooping AED 20-22 million in prize money.
Katarina and Mohamed also shot the event in 2013 both noting the increase in popularity with tourists during this trip. You can view images here. Below are some pics capturing a few moments from the shoot.
Day 1: Celebrations for families of winning camels as Million Street transforms into a busy, crowded highway of people, cars and camels.
This camel was tied to the wrong sign.
Day 2: Early morning setting up equipment and backdrop before the camels entered the arena.
Day 2: Herding the camels for the competition.
Day 2: Early morning camels in the mist.
Day 2: Camel owners choosing the most placid camel for us to photograph.
Katarina and Mohamed are currently working on the actual shots involving the backdrop, so watch this space and we’ll keep you updated.
By Mark Woodward
Photography © 2015 Mark Woodward. All Rights Reserved. Please ask permission before using images.
There is much discussion surrounding colour at this time of year especially for the seasonal fashion industry seeking out new trends and rationale. This year we [the team at AirSpace] have been busy putting together our own 2015 colour palettes and reasoning behind them. Our palettes have been selected to work with the Pantone® colour of the year – Marsala (see above colour). It’s an earthy, full-bodied red wine / Indian spice hue that feels warm and rich. It is distinctive and can be used on its own or as an accent colour to many multicoloured palettes.
Our palettes complement Marsala with welcoming hues that are charismatic and sophisticated. They can be applied to textured surfaces and upholstery and also support the current vintage trend within graphic design. These swatch mixtures are flattering against many skin tones working with both Masculine and feminine graphic styles and fashion attire.
Marsala is extremely flexible and can be paired with brighter colour palettes in addition to darker, trailblazing taupes and blues.
The following palettes have been created by AirSpace Studio to pair with Marsala:
Despite Pantone®, Leatrice Eiseman and her associates providing justification around the Marsala hue, we, at AirSpace have our own take on what the colour of the year should be… We call it Acidic Coral – A vibrant and uplifting hue full of hope, drama and prosperity.
By Mark Woodward, AirSpace Studio, Dubai.
Recently, we’ve been experimenting with silk screen printing. Here’s our first attempt – keeping it simple.
A new surprise from OK Go’s new video using a drone to film the video – a combination of innovative aerial shots and ground level fly through footage. It continues their tradition (brand positioning) of pushing the limits of choreography in one take. Great Music video and super entertaining to watch! Directed by Morihiro Harano.
It is tougher than ever for students (and graduates) to find jobs in the creative industry and it can be just as tough finding an internship. But it’s also important for the industry to create a better platform for jobseekers. After all, they are the future and it is already evident that here in the UAE we are allowing our homegrown talent to fall by the wayside because very little is being done to help graduates make the transition to full-time work.
We receive emails from students everyday asking for jobs or internships. Unfortunately, being a small boutique consultancy we are unable to reply to everyone and so only those applicants that take the time to do some simple research on our business are the ones that we try to reply to and take and interest in.
Here are some ideas that can help potential candidates. They are not a secret sauce but they will increase the odds of landing a career in design or the creative industry…
Spend as much time as you can in the studio. Good work comes from the effort and hours.
Make the most of your universities facilities. This is your time to experiment with ideas. Design studio are often less well-equipped.
Find out what disciplines within the creative industry interest you?
Who are the companies who do that work – regional and internationally?
Find out about the other companies within that creative field. Who is good, bad, innovative.
Form an opinion and talk about it in your interview.
Start building a portfolio. It’s never too early.
Start your own personal projects. They are a great talking point in an interview.
Do whatever you need to to keep the fun in your work.
Travel if you can. Visit art galleries and museums wherever you go. Gain life experience!
Read about artists, designers, architects. Read about manufacturing or print techniques. Knowing this will help you develop your own techniques and will improve your employability.
Go to a design studio. Ask if you can just hangout. Ask if you can make the coffee. Ask if you can help out for one morning a week, even if it’s not paid, get experience early on, and lots of it, it’s in your hands..
Keep a sketchbook. As an employer I want to see how you think. A sketchbook show me you are passionate. It show me that you can articulate your ideas visually. I want to see that you can experiment and the journey it takes you on. Sketchbooks are more interesting than final pieces of work.
Enter awards – if you win it will help you stand out and provide free PR.
Build up a network of companies, designers that you like, write to them and ask if they would mind giving some advice about design, finding a job, build relationships. Invite the same people to your end of year exhibition.
Subscribe to industry magazines.
Keep an eye on industry blogs.
www.booooooom.com / www.changethethought.com / www.theculturist.com / www.computerarts.co.uk / www.designiskinky.co.uk / www.ffffound.com / www.formfiftyfive.com / www.itsnicethat.com / www.lostateminor.com / www.motionographer.com / www.septemberindustry.com / www.thunderchunky.co.uk
Form a collective, create your own pop up studio.
Go to art openings and art fairs.
Creative industry nights. There is one organised at Media One hotel by Campaign ME in Dubai, another called -ING.
Go to networking events
Take a placement (with anyone).
Become an expert in an area related to your chosen field. i.e. Take a placement with a the local printer if you are a graphic designer lean about techniques and processes.
Go to portfolio review nights. Editing your own work is difficult. Being able to edit work effectively will help you grow throughout your career.
Promote yourself. Goto www.campaignmonitor.com and put some work into a newsletter and send it out to people who’s work you like.
Get on to LinkedIn or build a profile. One of the first things employers look at is your online presence. Help them find you.
Find an agent – Creative Animals
Look on the job sites – bayt.com
Create your own art design exhibition, invite potential employers.
“Who you hang out with determines what you dream about and what you collide with. And the collisions and the dreams lead to your changes. And the changes are what you become. Change the outcome by changing your circle.” – Seth Godin
- Keep your CV simple. Make it relevant.
- Write to the companies you’re interested in.
- Address it to the right person. Do they have published work or a portfolio online like on Behance.
- Do some research – Show an interest in the company you’re applying to. What do you like about them, their work, their style, their philosophy.
- Attract their attention in other ways. Mail or FedEx them something clever and make it relevant.
- Write an actual letter to the person you are applying to. It will show that you’ve made an effort and the personal touch will solicit a response.
1. Create a strong portfolio of work that is well edited and focused on your target job. If you are applying for a designer position include design projects, NOT photography or work from your embroidery class, unless it is the best work ever. Furthermore, DO NOT include every project and application you have ever done.
2. Research the design, advertising and marketing industries in your city or country.
3. Find out what projects interest you.
4. Send an enquiry to that company about vacancies or internships.
5. Send your work to other designers and creative directors. Don’t ask for a job ask them if they would mind giving you feedback on your work. This can be a more effective way of building a relationship with potential employers and it can help you improve your portfolio.
6. Research the design/media company you are applying to.
7. Find out who to send your CV and portfolio to, and include a link to your portfolio.
8. Standout, get noticed, but avoid stalker-ish behavior.
9. Follow up with call or email a week later to check in with that company. They might be busy with no time to respond.
10. Connect with the consultancy/agencies on social media.
11. If you receive a reply, thank the company for their time.
12. If you get an interview, be passionate and enthusiastic in your communication with the employer.
13. Prepare some questions that you’d like to ask during the interview. It shows you’ve taken an interest.
Common Interview questions
1. What design consultancies agencies you admire and why?
2. What design projects interested you?
3. Who do you admire?
4. What is your opinion about design in the region/globally?
5. What would be a dream project for you?
6. What would be a nightmare project for you?
7. What kind of design disciplines are you best at?
8. What kind of design disciplines are your weakest?
9. How do you normally start your design process after receiving a brief?
10. Can you draw? How do you articulate your ideas?
11. Why do you want to work for us?
It’s good to know how the creative industry works before you start selling your services as a freelancer or business owner. What services do creative agencies and individuals offer? How much do they charge? How is quality judged? Learn how to work efficiently. Learn from others. Learn from the projects. Learn to work in a team. Learn to support your colleagues. Learn what it takes to beat the competition. Experience company politics. Challenge yourself. Inspire people.
(a) Get an internship with a company that does the type of work you want to do. I recommend you try out a number of different sized companies in the field you’re interested in. You may find it’s a lot more hands on with steep learning curves at a smaller company. In larger businesses you might have the opportunity to move around departments learning different skills and a broader experience.
(b) Work in your chosen field for a couple of years. Get a feel for working with others in a team learn form these people. Get some industry insights go to meetings learn how to present your work.
By Mark Woodward, Owner & Creative Director, AirSpace Studio.
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