Professional Development

Reflective Evaluation

I had several ideas to start but not all have come to fruition. Mainly this has been a time-issue. With a household to run and two children to look after my time has been restricted. Also due to my husband’s working patterns I haven’t been able to attend some workshops/events I would have liked including several events run by the Sheffield Creative Guild and an illustration/sketch club workshop run by the Arthouse Sheffield which I also couldn’t attend.


I came up with ideas for some YCA and D & AD briefs I just never found the time to get them past the initial ideas stage. On reflection it may have be useful to create some designs for the briefs even if I didn’t enter the competitions. My design skills are rusty and these could have given me some practice which I need.


I have made several connections on LinkedIn, added my work to Twitter, Behance, Dribbble and Facebook Graphic Design groups.


I will be starting my ESCAL volunteering soon with Grenoside Primary, this will give me valuable school experience. Closer to the time of applying for my PGCE I will apply for a teacher training placement.

Having come on this course I have realised how hard it is to balance “working” and looking after two young children. Everything I have ever read or heard about a PGCE is that it is much more intense than a degree. This has made me re-evaluate the practicalities of studying for a PGCE. It is likely that I will wait for the children to be much older before embarking on it. The practicalities of looking after a house, children and working is a lot to juggle.


I have used my own photography in my research and also just for my own pleasure. I have had chance to discuss photographic techniques and cameras with Scott. I also had time in a photography studio with Scott and Sam Devine. I will continue to practice and I may embark on an evening photography course in the future in order to improve my skills and knowledge.

Graphic Design Placement/Job

In the end I did not contact any design agencies for a work placement as I wasn’t able to arrange childcare. My family aren’t able to look after my children every day all day and childminders/nursery is too expensive.

I have found the search for a part-time graphic design job difficult. Most part-time jobs tend to be low paid cleaning/shop/call centre work. Looking to the future I’m unlikely to pursue a Graphic Design job. Although I still enjoy it my heart isn’t in it like it use to be. Also my design skills are not what they were and although I think I have come a long way since I first applied for this course my skills are still not up to scratch. Back in March/April last year I had never used Illustrator and InDesign. I had also not designed anything in a very long time. I bought my self several design book and watched Youtube videos online to teach myself. I think on reflection I have done well to get to the level I have but I’m still a long way behind where I need to be in order to secure employment as a Graphic Designer.

Graphic Design jobs also cover a lot more digital/web/moving image work than what it used to when I graduated in 2003. Due to the convergent nature of the creative industries having a strong web/digital skill-set is important, something which I would need to work on in order to secure employment. Although I have heard of Adobe XD and After Effects I have never used them – this is something which I would need to change.


I got time to practice my illustration skills by designing some Christmas cards and some cards to sell on Etsy.

Selling on Etsy gives me the freedom to look after my children during the day and make items in the evening to sell.

Once this course is finished I plan to commit more time to the Etsy shop creating more items and promoting the shop through social media to create sales. I may also list items on other sites such as Folksy and eBay and maybe build my own e-commerce site eventually. I will draw on my previous skills from running my own business before I had children but I will also refresh my knowledge as this was some time ago. In particular the Crafty Business Sheffield group has been a useful resource so far for running my own business.

Even though I didn’t commit a lot of time to my Etsy shop I still sold items something which I believe bodes well for the future once I do commit time to it.

Freelance Work

I didn’t set out to do freelance work at the start of the course but sometimes things just come your way. Freelance work is more flexible which is easier for family life. However, due to my lack of experience in a design agency I don’t feel fully comfortable working freelance, I always worry that I will miss something or that I won’t know something because I haven’t worked as a Graphic Designer.


On reflection I think I have done well to achieve what I have so far especially with having limited time to do so. I do feel that I have let myself down in regards to improving my design skills and software knowledge, these are things which I should have worked on more.

Professional Development

Behance – Volunteer Job Opportunity

I received a message through Behance on 11/02/2018 about a volunteer job opportunity:

“Hi Ayshea,

I hope your well
I am writing to you, in regards to an opportunity with my magazine.

I am the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Music Geeks UK. We are seeking contributors for the second issue of our music industry magazine.

Although it is a voluntary role, we are looking for individuals who would be happy to be a part of our team. Opportunities include joining our editorial or art / graphic design team.

Our first issue was released in September 2017, based around Festivals featuring Scottish singer-songwriter Kat Healy. The digital mag is available to view via Issuu We are working hard on producing a print edition for issue 2.

If this opportunity is of interest to you, It would be great to discuss in more detail.

I look forward to hearing a response from you soon.


Nicole Alii
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
[email protected]

I emailed back asking for more information but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

UPDATE 05/03/2018

“Hi Ayshea,

Thank you for contacting us.

We require contributors remotely to create artwork that will accompany editorial. Work can be completed in 2-4 weeks depending on the artist/designer. Illustrators can choose their workload/ or work they are happy to be involved in. As each feature is different, artwork can be on a small or large scale (Double page spreads etc). We are curently working on the pre-production stages of the mag, brainstorming and assigning features to our writers. Unfortunately at this time, contributors will be on a voluntary basis.



I have asked Nicole to contact me when they have finalised what they are doing.

Professional Development

Twitter Re-tweets

I tweeted Let Toys Be Toys as their report into toy advertising was really useful for my essay, I thanked them and included the toy adverts I had designed. They re-tweeted them and several others have re-tweeted and commented. Shows the power of Social Media and getting your work out there. I’ve gained several followers because of this.

Professional Development

Etsy Shop

I opened by Etsy shop yesterday. I have moved away from “graphic design” and utilised a more “crafty” approach. However, I have used my illustration skills to draw a background. I created a vector from it so I can print it and use it on several cards.

It took a bit just to get 10 items up for sale. I could do with working on the banner and logo for the shop, it was done quickly as I means to get the shop up and running before Valentine’s day. From what I have read online I will need to have Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram account, etc in order to drive traffic to the site. However, I’m not sure I have the time to commit to this level of promotion until after I have finished my degree.

Shop Front
Product Page
Product Page

I’m part of a group of Facebook called Crafty Business Sheffield, here are what some of the members have said about selling on Etsy:

I use Etsy and I like it. There’s a really good Etsy sellers community in Sheffield who have started doing Etsy Made Local fairs and such, which have been really popular. You do have to do a lot of social media marketing to get sales, and that takes a long time to build up, but it’s the same with any platform you use. I’m thinking of trying Folksy this year, too.”

“I have an etsy shop and went a few months before I sold anything. You do have to market it yourself but I’m also getting traffic through etsy search results and I’ve started having more online sales since doing fares and making people know about me that way. There is lots you can do to optimise your etsy and google search results, there’s lots of advice out there and help in the etsy guidebook on their website.”

“It depends what you are selling. Set up is free and listings are inexpensive, but very few make much money on there. Where Etsy failed for me is in the promotion. You sped so much time promoting it is ridiculous.”

This comment was posted in January;

Not too bad to set up, but you need to drive traffic to your shop. As yet I haven’t sold anything been on since October. Still trying.”

The group has been really useful for networking and receiving advice. It’s been a good way to connect with other businesses/local crafters.

UPDATE: Even though I did not promote my Etsy page I still sold several valentine’s day cards.  I now feel working for myself selling online is the best route until the kids are older at which point I will do a PGCE (assuming I get a 2.1 from this degree).

Professional Development

Street Art – Graffiti

Don’t what is about Graffiti that I like, I think its probably the bright colours. Was out on a walk when I realised I could get onto the old Industrial site near Wooley Wood/Ecclesfield Road. Took a few photos and then I though I would search for other graffiti in Sheffield to see if others had taken photos. Came across this blog, He has photographed many pieces of street art around Sheffield and other places too,

“This website is a personal project, a place to share the photos of Sheffield’s varied street art that I’ve taken as I’ve been walking around the city.

My aim is to put the best grafitti, wall murals and specially commissioned works that I find on the map. I’m no photographer, the majority of the pictures have been snapped on my camera phone, but I hope to inspire people to come visit and seek out Sheffield’s creative street art.


Found out via Twitter than Andy works at Evoluted – a web development agency who have been around since 2006.

I also came across this artist,, she has worked with some big brands such as the BBC, Channel 4 and Ikea. She defines herself as “Artist, Painter, Graphic Designer”

Some of her work includes Illustration too:


Ben Moon


Blackburn Open Walls Stoke

Loving the use of colours, so vibrant and fresh. It’s inspiring me to work on my illustration/artwork side more. I have always enjoyed art/crafty things including drawing and painting. My work is nowhere near as good but with practice it could be better.

My images of some Graffiti near Wooley Wood/Ecclesfield Road. I’ve been along the road many times and noticed the tags. There was a gap in the fencing which allowed me to get into the area to take photos, which I didn’t know was there until I was walking past.

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-10

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-9

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-7

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-8

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-7

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-6

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-5

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-4

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-3

Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-1


Shiregreen/Ecclesfield graffiti-2






Professional Development


I tried working up some ideas for the Antalis Brief (D & AD) but I’m struggling to get a fully formed concept.

“The Challenge Create a physical experience for Conqueror that explores and celebrates the possibilities of paper as a physical, tactile, and creative material for design. Create the unexpected and the imaginative, the inspiring and the innovative – but create it using paper, in a way that brings the medium back to the forefront of creative minds.

It needs to be something that creatives can experience first hand, that inspires them to use paper, whilst challenging their understanding of its possibilities. “


I’ve had a few ideas but nothing I can envision as a fully formed idea. So I moved into a YCN brief,, and I’m hoping that might prove more fruitful.

The Grown Up Chocolate Company – YCN Brief

Was thinking along the lines of coming up with a Phrase to represent the new ranges, see quote below, of “dairy free”,”nut free” and “vegan”.

I like the idea of the slogan to represent each and then work on a visual/typography to match that. So far I have two slogans “nut to be”, “no moo for you” and not sure on the third for vegan. Struggling with that a bit, not sure if I can get a workable idea.

The Creative Challenge

We want you to design a tempting new identity for our new range. Please note, the range is currently in development, so we do not have recipes or variations finalised, but we’re keen to prepare the business for its launch next year.
As well as coming up with a name for the range, we want to see how your new identity will be executed as:

Packaging — create artwork that shows how the new identity will look on our packs (see the Project Pack for cutter guides)

A landing page for the new ‘free from’ range on our online store

Key visuals — these are icons for the range that appear on pack, in print and online. Each emphasises a different message about the product (see Project Pack for current examples). For the ‘free from’ range, we need three key visuals which communicate that the products are ‘dairy free’, ‘nut free’ and ‘vegan’.

As the recipes for these bars have not yet been finalised, we do not expect a fully formed idea, rather an example of how you would incorporate your name and identity for the range onto these different touchpoints. If you’d prefer, feel free to make up bars (EG. Naughty But Nice Nutty Nougat) for this challenge!”


Brand/Brand Competitor Research

I looked at several other brands of vegan/dairy free, luxury/adult brands, etc.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramelised Almonds, , hi-res
Dairy Free
Organic Fairtrade Alternative to Milk Chocolate Hearts
Dairy Free
The All Dark Vegan Chocolate Hamper Collection, , hi-res
Vegan Hamper
Vegan, Nut Free

Superb Salted Caramel Truffles

Chocolate Selection Tray

Chocolate Caramel Pumpkin Preorder

Heavenly Whole Hazelnut Cups

Professional Development

Dribbble Invites

Dribbble is an invitation only website that you can only post your work once you have received an invitation.

“Founded in 2009, Dribbble has grown to become a top global community for designers and creative professionals and an inspiration destination for tens of millions of people. Dribbble is on a mission to build the world’s best platform for designers and creative professionals to gain inspiration, feedback, education, community, and job opportunities.

We are a bootstrapped and profitable company helping the world’s design talent share their creations and get hired. Dribbble has become a go-to resource for discovering and connecting with designers and creative talent around the globe.” –

You can still join the site without an invite but you can’t post any of your design work. Some designers on there offer invites if you send them your best work, so I have been sending some emails to see if I can get an invite. Will have to see what happens.


UPDATE: 01/01/2018

I received a Dribbble invite today, I need to create a good first “shot” as your first shot gets featured on Debuts page.

Dribbble Invite on 01/01/2018

Professional Development

Siege Magazine – Requesting Submissions

A new magazine is being set up and were asking for submissions. I sent an email and included examples of my work.

I received a confirmation email “Hey Ayshea, Thanks for reaching out and sending us your submission! We’ll get back to you soon with more information about the publication. Don’t forget to spread the word amongst your friends!All the best, SIEGE”

Details about Siege from their Facebook:

“Based in Manchester but representing artists from all over the world; SIEGE is a new, glaringly obvious, platform for emerging artists to showcase their work amongst a plethora of other like minded creatives.

Spanning all creative plains, SIEGE promotes unity. Anyone featured will recommend another artist whom they know. Whether it be as influence or just because they like their work.

The aim is to bring attention to the next generation of artists, designers, illustrators and photographers. To celebrate our numbers rather than deplore them. SIEGEs plan of attack intends on recruiting the masses, slowly linking a web of creatives. Ready to siege the already established, famous, and recognised creatives of today.

First compendium intended for early 2018, we are now taking submissions for fine art, design, textiles, illustration, photography and 3D. Please email any high quality jpegs to [email protected] With your own details (name, instagram, website etc.) also some information about the work you have sent in. And, most importantly, details of someone you know and recommend to be featured alongside you in the magazine.


UPDATE: Unfortunately I did not get featured in the magazine, having seen some of their first publication it has a more art slant than design slant. Don’t think my work fits in with what they are looking for.

Professional Development

Morfitt – Freelance Work – Website

After designing a t-shirt and logo the band wanted a website. Another rush job has he had the domain name printed on the t-shirts for an upcoming gig but didn’t have a website (this delayed the printing of the t-shirts and mean’t another amendment to the back of the shirt). For the sake of speed I went through template options with the band’s founder. A few tweaks to the template plus colour changes were made to make sure the theme worked for the band.

He also wanted the website populating with a few posts linking to videos the band had put on Youtube. Links to their Youtube and Facebook profile was added. Unfortunately they were no good quality images of the band – all either low res phone images or stills from Youtube videos. I came up with the idea of adding a halftone effect to hide the poor quality and then converting to duo-tone. The duo-tone added a pop to the images that wasn’t there before. Although in an ideal world good quality images would be used – this is something I have fed back to the band.

Morfitt Website Homepage
Morfitt Blog Post Page


On reflection overall considering the time constraints I believe I did a good job of the site.

Professional Development

Iris Associates & Jaywing

Iris Associates is now part of Jaywing. Jaywing have offices around the world and work with some big brands such as Castrol: Jaywing created a storyboard for a 15 minute film for Castrol. Later they designed and built the set too.

Filming – The 15 minute film was set in New York

Jaywing have worked with other big brands such as Doritos, Ann Summers and First Direct amongst others.

However, back when they were Iris, they produced a promotional mailer in 2003 – which I have a copy of.  They showcased work for Iceland, University of Nottingham and LearnDirect amongst brands in the promo.

Very interesting contrasting and comparing how design has moved on. However, what I find more interesting is some of this design work was done today, over 10 years later I don’t think it would look out of place. Good design is still good design even after many years, likewise bad design is still bad design years later.