Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mijn Stage

Mijn = my
Stage = internship

See I'm learning Dutch!

So yes, my internship/job/place I go every day and design.
I am working at a graphic design firm, mostly designing identities (ie: logos and everything that goes along with it). It's quite interesting and different from what I've done before. Everything is heavily researched based to find what the company/topic is all about, then eventually that develops into some sort of visual identity.
My job, as intern, is to be a machine. First a research machine, next an idea/sketch generating machine. It's quite draining. But, for the most part, quite rewarding to see your ideas develop into something fun and unique.
It's been hard busting my ass for no pay, but there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. The project I'm working on now (to do with public transport transfer stations, more conceptual than graphics based) I will apparently be receiving some "compensation" for. I don't know when or how much, but hopefully I'll find that out soon. With this project I'm the only designer working on it so far, which I feel has really given me the opportunity to show my abilities, and the feedback has so far been positive. It's nice.
I've also been asked to go to Milan to help build a "paper cave" for a few days in February. Everything is paid for, although I don't know if I'm getting paid per se, but still, I don't have to pay anything so why not?

A big negative, or challenge, I should say, is the language barrier. I know some Dutch. Enough to buy groceries, order food in a restaurant, and few nouns and verbs here and there. I constantly ask how to say things. And everyone can hold a decent conversation in English as well. The tough part is lunch time. Everyone is speaking together, and in Dutch. So I have no chance in getting in on the conversation. And since I don't just stand around making a million sandwiches (more on the reason for that later in my next post) like everyone else, I just finish my crackers and cheese and veg and go back to my desk and check emails (that I usually don't have) or get back to work while everyone socializes. I feel like a bit of a loner at times. But on the other hand I am still making friends there and we hang out from time to time.

I had a nice conversation with my boss about a week ago. He wanted to know how I was doing. Not just work-performance wise, but life wise. How I was adjusting and managing to live in Eindhoven. I expressed my challenges and conflict about going back home. He said for the past few months he's been trying to figure me out, and that my work is quite different than the stuff in my portfolio. His perception of me was spot-on though. He said that I am quite intelligent and that is good in a world where everyone is trying to be trendy (I am aware that I'm not good at being trendy, I think), but I need some sort of push. Whether it be the right job or further schooling, I need to find something I feeling passionate about and pour myself into it. Which is so true.

I've found while I really enjoy designing and developing things, I don't really think I like typical product design. Most firms I see out there are not doing anything I am interested in, and it's a stretch for me to feel really excited about a great chair design or stuff like that. I think I'd really like to pursue more painting and illustration, at least for now. I feel happy doing it.

Well, that's it for now! Off to bed early so I can get up and run at 6am. Woo!


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