Life Update: Living in Lockdown
Hello and welcome back to the MJP blog! I’ve been neglecting this little part of my website for a while now and thought it was about time I dropped in with some updates as to what’s been going on over here - not much life wise, to be honest, as of course I’ve been in lockdown just like the rest of you! However, being confined to my house and therefore spending a whole lot more time with my laptop has meant I have managed to achieve a few cool things design wise…
I finished my degree!
After 4 years of hard work - including a whole year working in London - I’ve finally finished my degree! The end of my undergrad studies weren’t quite what I expected them to be, what with completing it from home and not getting to have a graduation. I didn’t know that the last time I visited my campus in March would be the last time ever - I didn’t get to say goodbye to my course mates, I didn’t get to hand in my final assignment and then head out to get boozy with my friends, and I won’t get to throw my mortarboard in the air in July, but at least I did it. The majority of my final year was spent working on my final year project, the design and development of a concept personalised planner product which you can read all about here. I’m still awaiting my final results, but thanks to my uni’s ‘no detriment’ policy preventing our grades from dropping below what we had obtained pre-coronavirus I’m pretty certain of how I’ve done - fingers crossed I got it right haha!
I started a ‘100 Days of Design’ challenge
After my final university hand-in left me feeling a little uninspired, I decided to embark on a self-imposed challenge to design something new every day for 100 days. I’m currently about a month in, and have designed all sorts from logos, brand patterns, print designs and user interfaces. You can see all of the designs and read about my experience with this challenge here.
I became a co-host on the Creative Waffle podcast!
Aimed at young and emerging creatives, the Creative Waffle podcast has been running for the last 3 years and is a really useful resource for anyone trying to break into the design industry. After attending the Creative Waffle Live design event last year (which you can read all about here) I kept in contact with the host, Mark Hirons, who during lockdown has hosted weekly community calls on Zoom - a great opportunity to talk to likeminded creatives, and both give and receive advice on all sorts of issues us designers face. Just last week he revealed that he was looking to expand the podcast and get some new co-hosts on the show, and asked me if I would like to get involved! I was - and still am - over the moon and have now recorded 4 podcasts with some amazing creatives. I can’t wait for the first episode to go live, as much as I hate the sound of my own voice, haha! Keep an eye out on my socials for news on when these new episodes go live.
I worked on my branding and strategy
It was about time the MJP brand had some time invested into it - which is why I took some time to work on a new brand pattern, highlight covers, blog headers, some information pages for my socials and also worked on my pricing strategy. If I get my own brand straight then I’m in a much better position to help other brands and small business owners! You may have also noticed that I’ve made a bit of a shift on my socials when it comes to balancing ‘MJP Multimedia’ and ‘The Doodle Mill’… I realised shortly after finishing my studies that the reason I struggled so much with social media was that I was constantly trying to balance multiple social media sites, including creating content, showing off my recent work and posting stories to keep everyone up to date with what I’m up to - believe me, my life is not interesting enough to do this on multiple social pages!! I’ve now restructured so that MJP Multimedia is my main design page, a key hub to find out all of the projects I’m currently working on (whether branding, UI/UX, websites, or illustration) while The Doodle Mill is simply my shop. Head over there to see all my most recent pet portraits and other print products!
I’ve worked with some fabulous clients
And of course, I’ve been doing client work alongside all of this, and had the opportunity to work some wonderful small businesses. Not all of the client projects I’ve been working on have been revealed yet, but I can’t wait to show you all!
No-one knows quite how long we’re gonna be stuck in lockdown, but with the ability to see our loved ones now (albeit from a distance, and usually only when the weather’s decent outside) it’s all a lot easier. Here’s hoping that everyone reading this is well, and fingers crossed life will be back to normal soon!