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contextual report

As previously mentioned in my project pitch, I have always had an interest in all things social and digital media. Through my years of involvement in the photo media field, I decided to curate a project that showcases my skills for future work. The project which I undertook not only served as my own personal digital portfolio but provided a utility to other university students as a collaborative editing service. Over the semester I have undergone the journey of starting up a portfolio, experimenting on both instagram and wordpress, whilst providing user generated content for others and the challenges that came along with it. One account in particular (@alieshapalermo) acted as the inspiration for the start up of my digital portfolio and I hope to further progress to this stage later. However there are many accounts behind the inspiration of my style of editing such as @sv.meet, @takeaway.psd, @by.annie.n, @syynstudios & many more amongst the countless photo media tiktok edits i’ve seen. 

important learnings

There have been a few important learning moments from my project all in which helped me figure out the next steps forward.

experimentation

I created a design for a celebrity that I liked (@olivianeill) that blew up early on in my project. It gained a lot of implicit feedback which can be seen through my analytics. I believe the attraction was from the fanbase of the popular youtuber so i tried again with another celebrity, @tatemcrae.

I ideated, defined and prototyped a few more designs and tested them on my page. Although they did attract fans none of them reached the same amount of exposure that my initial one did. Based on this feedback I decided to move into a slightly different avenue of user generated brand content.

First I started with a big brand, Princess Polly, where I created summer swim designs for them to showcase that this is the type of work I can provide. They actually saw the post and liked it in the DMS. From this I decided to target smaller businesses in order to gain recognition and possibly future work. I created edits for small businesses; @lanliv_co & @pixieplushies. Both brands reposted my edits to their stories and I received thankful comments from them. One brand in particular provided me with a lot of exposure as I had their followers (which were similar accounts) like that post they had reposted.

collaboration 

Collaboration didn’t come as easy as I thought it would in this project. I had to actively search on twitter for people in need of creative assistance and there weren’t many. In doing this, I found one BCM student who wanted help with their small business, here we collaborated to create jam labels for their DA. I found my next client in one of my classes seeking assistance in brand image. I showed them my portfolio and the types of work I could provide. In both the collaboration edits i worked on, i had to follow a similar process where the clients ideas were vague. The design thinking process would consist of; I would discuss with the client their vision, asking for colours, fonts, themes, etc., empathise by looking at their current project aesthetic and goals, together we would ideate and define designs, then I would prototype multiple designs for a variety of choice, test with clients to see what they did and didn’t like or what i could improve on, sometimes I would redesign based off this feedback, prototyping more copies and testing again with the client until they were satisfied with the final products. 

My account following had never been real high and the demand for service was low, however I found my instagram account had reached over 1.6k accounts within the first 30 days of starting up my project. This could largely be due to the initial post that blew up (as mentioned previously) or due to my constant tweeting and large exposure on twitter although I did promote my service on twitter and got no responses. As of now my account has had a 5.3k reach in the last 30 days and almost 6.5k since its start up.

future work

Another important project moment for me was when I went to apply for a content creation/social media job recently. I have always had photo media works but never a digital space to showcase them. The other day when applying for the job I realised I have this body of work to display my skill set for a company. I spent a while updating and perfecting my wordpress portfolio page,  adding client work, personal interest work and projects outside of uni to showcase more of what i can provide. I also now have feedback from both the BCM students I collaborated with (above) on the page, appearing more professional. I included both my wordpress and instagram to my application and sent it off. I felt very content that I can now display my skills through my body of works and based off that employers can reach out if I fit the criteria.

connection to modules

Throughout my project there are themes from Speculated Future Networks and Emergent Future Networks modules. Cyberpunk is explicitly shown in some of my works where I have used neon colours layering effects and others lay within the structure of my overall project without me even considering them.

Through one of my collaboration pieces, my digital artefact reflects cottagecore. I didn’t really realise this when producing the designs, however many of the reference pictures provided to me included fairies and gardens. The use of the dainty text, colour scheme and fruit elements reflect the old cooking books which would be used within this genre as it explores a more agricultural time period. These images were created for a baking digital artefact as jam jar labels which again fits right in with the cottagecore aesthetic.

‘In liquid life, the modern categories of production (work) and consumption (life) have converged’. Reflected in my digital artefact are the new ways in which we spread our time and attention to varying intensities across information technologies. The works in which I produced could be created and posted at any time from anywhere and when working with my clients I didn’t have to follow the traditional 9-5 work schedule. This type of labour is rapidly progressing within our society, especially with technological advancements and working from home, allowing more flexibility with work.

references

https://tayagregerson.wordpress.com/2022/08/11/project-pitch/

https://www.instagram.com/tayachloe/

https://tayagregerson.wordpress.com/portfolio-2/

https://www.instagram.com/alieshapalermo/#

https://www.instagram.com/sv.meet/#

https://www.instagram.com/takeaway.psd/#

https://www.instagram.com/by.annie.n/#

https://www.instagram.com/syynstudios/#

https://www.instagram.com/olivianeill/

https://www.instagram.com/tatemcrae/

https://www.instagram.com/princesspollyboutique/

https://www.instagram.com/lanliv_co/

https://www.instagram.com/pixieplushies/

https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3343

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Published by taya

Hi, I'm Taya and this is my blog which I will use to express my creative content. I am currently in my second year of University at Wollongong. I am studying a Bachelor of Communication and Media, majoring in Social & Digital Media and Marketing Communication & Advertising. In this space I am excited to share my thoughts and projects across my subjects. Welcome to my thoughts and ideas. I hope that I can create engaging content and develop through my course. Follow to keep up with this journey as I work my way into the communications & media industry!

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