1. Professional Studies: “The Client Factor” with Richard Wallis

    Wallis stated that technology doesn’t determine invention. It was explained how 90% of innovations fail, using the personal digital assistant; the Newton, developed by Apple in 1987, as his example. The guest lecturer stressed that a reason for this failure was because of the way in which the Newton platform was conceived. “The best can’t be predicted”. With this quote, Wallis is referring to how a producer combines luck with preparation when stumbling across an invention in a eureka moment, as apposed to a product being forced into production by a board of directors drunk on PowerPoint presentations and analytics.

    With a far less whimsical approach, the guest lecturer declared that ‘you’ could have the best idea in the world but if it doesn’t fit the client’s needs, it will not be commissioned. Reflecting on my personal development, my expertise has been rejected in the past where I, as part of 8bit Lemon, have failed to be successful in pitching for a particular project. It was emphasised that potential clients are often talking to three other companies at any one time, something that is all too true in the industry and a reality I have been a victim of first hand. Wallis explains how one must refine an “elevator pitch” that exists in less than fifty words, that strips the “bullshit” and cuts to the chase of the proposal.

    What I found interesting was a theme that ran throughout the entirety of Richard Wallis’ lecture, this being the idea that the client is “everybody’s business”. Even though the client may not be everybody’s priority in the running of the company, finding, pitching and handling client’s needs to involve an entire workforce. Poor producer/client communication encourages faulted expectations and missed deadlines, all of which loses the client’s trust. I will be taking action in attempting to apply my newfound appreciation for the client, introducing “The Client Factor” to personal ventures of mine and 8bit Lemon, student start-up creative agency of which I co-founded.

  2. Professional Studies: Evan Grant, Seeper

    Evan Grant founded Seeper during his enrolment at Bournemouth University. Studying New Media in 1998 to 2001, later to be referred to as Interactive Media Production, Grant expressed that it was over time that the company transformed into an enterprise led by research, development and discovery, empowered by the willingness to operate with clients only to fund a form of artistry as apposed to a more conventional company forever pushing for its next pay day.

    Considering my personal development, what I take from this is that my fears, of not knowing the precise field in which to concentrate after graduating, were all in vein. Here, Evan illustrates that there lies an evolutionary progression to one’s career and that my area of expertise may change, meaning perhaps I shouldn’t focus on what I want to achieve ultimately, but instead concentrate on what I am good at currently i.e. web and brand design with and without 8bit Lemon, student start-up company I co-founded.

    Broadening my appreciation for cross platform delivery/exhibition of media content, Grant labelled the common lap top computer as “a glorified typewriter”. With this, the lecturer was implying that though on the surface the former appears to be a far more advance device, when compared to the traditional typewriter, Grant implies that they are not too dissimilar after all, but why? Intuition.

    Giving an example, the lecturer condemned the lap top in being as unintuitive as the typewriter, depicting an Amazonian attempting to use either device, coming to the conclusion that neither word processing tool is one that offers a user experience that the most unaware user could operate by means of natural instinct. Here, Grant underlines the importances of user intuition with regards to product design, something that could be considered also with web design and the user’s experience, expanding on my appreciation of media production processes.

    An item relevant to my own career development, the guest lecturer expressed how he considers himself more of an artist than a businessman. Grant admitted that clients will often “bastardise your ideas”. With this, I feel I was being encouraged to realise projects myself, to stay true to my work and to maintain my integrity as a practitioner. I have come to the conclusion that when accepting paid work, I should want to be commissioned, not hired by clients, retaining my creative freedom.

    Pushing further away from the businessman stereotype, Grant explained how the business side to starting up a company should be regarded as second best to the creative working side, even informing his audience that “the business side often takes care of itself”.

    Evan Grant concluded, “find a way to communicate what you do to anyone and it will spread”, a self-explanatory proposition and something I will implement into documenting my occupation in the future. After speaking personally to Evan, I was told that creative company problems often lay not in the quality of work, but instead the way in which it is documented: shown to the public. With this in mind, I intend to regard the displaying of my work as important as the work itself i.e. improve my online portfolio. In this post-lecture conversation, I also introduced Evan to 8bit Lemon where it was discussed how Seeper could begin forwarding unwanted work to 8bit Lemon, forming a newfound partnership between the two Interactive Media Production founded companies.

  3. Professional Studies: Copyright with Kris Ericson and Bartolomeo Meletti

    Though the subject could be deemed monotonous, prior to Ericson and Meletti’s lecture on copyright for Interactive Media, I was uncertain over the legal issues that surrounded intellectual property and how ownership of IP rights can lawfully exchange hands. “It protects the expression not the idea”, with this, Ericson justifies copyright not as a protector of facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation, but instead as a protector of the way these things are expressed. In addition to this, I was unaware that as soon as work is created, copyright attracts to it.

    Reflecting on my personal development, it was this very issue that caused distress whilst liaising with a client, who six months into the project chose to depart company and after only paying half of the agreed fee. I use the term ‘agreed’ loosely as there was no contract in place and this was a huge mistake on my part and I was burnt as a result. To salvage three months of my life, I am now attempting to retain IP rights on the designs that were unpaid for, and so Ericson and Meletti’s lecture was significant to this newfound appreciation for the importance of a legitimate contract and was the encouragement I needed to fight for what is my intellectual property.

    An item relevant to my own career development was Bartolomeo’s reference to the literal and non-literal copying of source code. It is copyright infringement to copy and paste code, however a developer, to use an example, can copy the way a platform game works and there is no infringement unless it is proven that the developer in question had access to the original code.

    Following the lecture I was asked to participate in a web resource project, founded by Ericson and Meletti, that will provide copyright information for media freelancers and professionals. My involvement will require a filmed interview discussing my “copyright experiences” as part of 8bit Lemon and as a student at Bournemouth University, and with my contribution I intend to broaden my understanding of the key concepts around copyright in media production.

  4. Professional Studies: Joanna Lush

    Joanna Lush spoke of the different roles that exist in a creative agency. The guest lecture identified six individual working titles, raising a personal question regarding my role at 8bit Lemon and/or any group assignment project in the future. Lush recognised Project Management and Creative as two of six positions that are necessary to the operating success of a productive company. Here, lies a decision that I will have to make post-graduation when either managing 8bit Lemon or applying for a job.

    I tend to consider myself a leader. My fear is that the different roles that exist in a creative agency, may in turn distance myself from one area over an another, when I would prefer to be involved in every fine detail. Understandably this would be highly unrealistic when in a newly employed position, however, distributing responsibility in a company I have co-founded would be difficult, like trusting someone with your child. Whilst being a project manager would enable me to lead a team of people, to then not influence the creative side of a project would be like forcing a riot policeman to sit behind a desk pushing paper for the rest of his career. Can one be too creative for a project management role? When should the ‘businessman’ in me take over from the ‘creative’?

    "One agency didn’t have dedicated mobile developers so it was outsourced". With this, the guest lecturer mentioned ‘outsourcing’, which refers to the allocation of jobs to a third party. Similar to my struggle to distribute responsibility, outsourcing work is a reality in industry and whilst doing so would be un-enjoyable, I understand to free-up one’s workload could in turn allow for more time to be spent developing other parts of the given project and/or enable a dedicated specialist to enrich the project with their inclusion i.e. mobile developers in Lush’s example.

  5. Professional Studies: Intensive Day Workshop

    Within this blog entry I will be discussing the opening Professional Studies intensive day workshop. I will be considering the legal and ethical contexts in which the media operate, express my appreciation of media production processes, explain my understanding of cross platform delivery/exhibition and conclude by criticising my ability to work in groups and manage media workflow. I will close this entry by talking about a company I co-founded during my first year at university.

    Mike Hawkyard was the most captivating guest speaker of the intensive day workshop. Director at 4t2Multimedia, Hawkyard spoke of co-founding his company and shared a number of home truths with his audience. It was discussed how when starting up 4t2Multimedia, the company had to distinguish whether it were a ‘monkey or lion hunter’, referring to the size or relevancy of a particular job to be undertaken. This led to me reflecting on my own personal development and the design agency I co-founded during my first year at university. It is crucial that a company only commits to jobs that can be regarded as on the right path to achieving the overall objective of that company. Hawkyard explained how only when 4t2Multimedia began turning down jobs they would have once regrettably taken, did the company begin moving forward.

    ‘Everything is My Fault’ (EMF) is a concept that has remained prominent in my mind since the intensive day workshop. Hawkyard described how it is us who make or break our careers. It was stressed that even when a partner seemingly fails, our intervention could have rescued the situation and thus it was our neglect that assisted the failure. I will be adopting Hawkyard’s EMF with the intention to accept nothing but success, implementing the way of thinking into everything I undertake from here on.

    Tim Wright, the final guest speaker, spoke of his approach to stalking people as a valid means of networking, albeit light heartedly. It was explained that through pursuing individuals of your interest, one could force an interaction. I must consider, to what extent does this cross the line and/or infringe the law? Legalities aside, can the act of stalking someone be regarded as unethical? Does it matter? With regards to my professional development, I feel, though I don’t consider Tim Wright’s approach a noble one, if stalking someone meant I would succeed in my career, then I would most probably participate, though shamefully. 

  6. Professional Studies: Preliminary Reading

    8bit Lemon *to be read only if necessary*

    During my first year at university, myself and three other BA Interactive Media Production students founded ‘8bit Lemon’ and promoted ourselves as a design agency specialising in branding, web design/development and user experience design (which considers the users journey and the psychology that surrounds interface design). Aware that the company had to portray an expanding portfolio, the first generation of jobs meant liaising with charitable organisations and public art projects of that manner. In displaying our creative genius to the wider public we were moving the company forward and in effect, securing our short-term future, albeit for free.

    Now a year since registering the company and distributing shares accordingly, ‘8bit Lemon’ has most certainly experienced the highs and the lows of a student start-up. In this time we have been lucky enough to spread our wings as far as Silicon Valley, San Francisco, only one of a few major client/partner relationships that have played a part in what has been both a turbulent and inspiring first term.

    With regards to my professional development, operating a fully functional design agency has meant stepping up to the plate, as it were, forming personal relationships with clients, dealing the pressurised situations in a professional manner and grasping the concept of a work/play lifestyle, managing my time effectively to achieve a balance. I regard this learning curve the most valuable since my time at university. It appeared that only when chucked into the deep-end did I feel I was developing at the rate I was satisfied with.

  7. tomallisondesign.com initial wire frame & design concept sheet.

  8. Hilsea Lido Development Project, Portsmouth.

    Note. interior/exterior pool.

    Drawn in Adobe Illustrator. Made beautiful in Adobe Photoshop.

  9. Group Production Brief 03 (Week 5-7)

    Tate Modern: Inspire 2012

    Final Keynote Presentation

  10. The Proposal: Tate Modern ‘Inspire 2012’

    General Idea/Concept

    ‘Inspire 2012’ consists of user experiences located both online, and offline at the Tate Modern London.

    The project encourages members of the public to draw from inspiration, gained after experiencing art showcased at the gallery, or on the Tate Modern website.

    The idea enables participants to respond by creating their own piece of art - called ‘user adaptations’.

    ‘Inspire 2012’ will consist of;

    • Network website (Desktop) - Facebook integrated
    • Smartphone Application

    From these ‘user adaptations’ further participants can then ‘join the evolution’ and be inspired by both the original exhibited artwork and/or the inspired adaptations produced by members of the public; causing a chain reaction.

    Process

    Users will have two avenues in which to choose from in regards to entering their piece of art into the ‘Inspire 2012’ network.

    • 1. Online image editor - Part of the desktop site and would allow anyone to participate: no need of any particular software.

    Enable the user to submit their work instantly to the network, ready to be inundated with ‘likes’ and comments (integration with Facebook).

    Taking advantage of the multi-layered files uploaded from the online image editor, fellow users can manipulate other’s work (perhaps a feature that is optional - as user may wish not to make their adaptation editable).

    • 2. Preferred when a participant wishes to enter a piece of art that cannot be created on the online editor i.e. illustration, sculpture etc. and thus may upload a jpeg file that would be as influential on the network but cannot to manipulated by others. 

    Activity at the Tate Modern

    Uploaded artwork will be showcased at the Tate Modern. ‘Inspire 2012’ staff members will walk in-and-around the entire gallery with iPads fixed within their sweatshirts, showcasing pieces submitted in the last 24 hours: a walking-talking interactive exhibition. This too enables users to view his/her work inside the international art gallery.

    ‘Inspire 2012’ will also house an extremely large projection in the Tate Modern main entrance hall, exhibiting a mosaic design of the work being uploaded instantaneously.

    Examples where ‘Inspire 2012’ will work effectively: 

    Secondary School trips

    Our intention is that classrooms could get involved prior to visiting the Tate Modern by logging on to the ‘Inspire 2012’ network through Facebook, viewing artist works and/or user adaptations, and begin working on their own art piece.

    (Enabling teachers to engage the students in the works of artists exhibited at the Tate Modern)

    Once at the Tate Modern, students can view their adaptations on the walking-talking iPads OR develop their work on the online editor at the ‘Inspire 2012’ Editing Stations (Mac suites), positioned in the main entrance hall and under the projection exhibition.

  11. Group Production Brief 03 (Week 5-7): Tate Modern

    Aims

    • To create a mobile game or playful experience based on art.
    • The game must have a relationship with Tate’s modern and contemporary collection, though it does not need to reference artworks or artists directly.
    • To engage players from a broad age range with great addictive game play
    • To be fully playable outside of Tate’s galleries whilst rewarding players if they take the game to Tate Modern
    • To be cross platform for both Android and iOS

    Audience

    • Global but with a high proportion of UK users
    • Smart phone owners who use their device to play games (including parents who allow their children to use their device for gaming) often where WiFi or 3G is restricted
    • Art-interested, Design-conscious and culturally-engaged

    Working in preselected groups of 4 or 5 students, your job is to come up with a game or ‘experience’ concept which achieves the aims above.

    • There is no formal assessment to this brief although you may choose to include the work in your final portfolio submission at the end of Term 2. In the presentation we will look for:
    1. Level of innovation, creative thought, and idea development
    2. Group coherence in production and presentation
    3. Ability to express ideas coherently using a range of media and within a specified time limit

  12. Advantages of eCommerce 3.0 (Mobile)
Dane Glasgow, eBay, “Future of eCommerce”
(Web 2.0, San Fran, 2011)

    Advantages of eCommerce 3.0 (Mobile)

    Dane Glasgow, eBay, “Future of eCommerce”

    (Web 2.0, San Fran, 2011)

  13. 'Let the leaf loose' BAN THE BAG Campaign poster design.

    'Let the leaf loose' BAN THE BAG Campaign poster design.

  14. eCommerce site (littlesparrow.com) home page.

    eCommerce site (littlesparrow.com) home page.

  15. ‘The Tea Leaf Challenge 2011’ on Facebook.

    ‘The Tea Leaf Challenge 2011’ on Facebook.