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Over one year as an employee!!

Over one year as an employee now! Wohoo!!

And finally I start to feel like I'm getting up to speed to a level which I think is professional. To be productive in a creative profession 8 hours a day is not the easiest task and I'll probably never get there (can anyone?), but I'm slowly but surely starting to learn what I need to at least do the best I can. As long as I'm doing my best I don't really feel so much pressure, because how could I do more? But if I'm tired a week, have a hard time concentrating or have no inspiration I can really feel performance anxiety and that only makes me less creative and can easily lead into a negative spiral where it in the end starts affecting my self confidence, which makes it even worse. So I'm really trying to prioritize sleep and to make sure I have everything I need to be focused and have energy at work. That makes working as a designer a 1000 times more enjoyable!

My title at ÅF is industrial designer, or product designer, and I'm part of a team of around 20 product and interaction designers and surfacers from all over the world including Sweden, Italy, Turkey, India, Rumania, USA, Canada and Iran. ÅF also has a satellite design studio towards Volvo AB where around 50 partners and some employees work under ÅF's name. 

The international environment is great to work in and I get to do exciting Projects, which make me feel like I'm learning a lot and developing as a designer, which is the most important thing in this period of my professional career. A good salary really comes secondary even if I cannot complain on that either, considering that I started working directly after my bachelor and so far have little experience from working professionally as a designer. The autumn was quite tough for me because my hole situation drained my energy and I had a hard time delivering at work, but now I'm on my way up again and I feel that the passion and the energy is coming back more and more every week. Probably the nice spring weather is helping my progress as well.

Below are some sketches of mini-screwdrivers. I didn't try to brand it to some specific brand, but just played around with different ideas. Again I was lucky enough to get the possibility to do this on work time, in between projects, because my boss said she needed some sketches that we can use when presenting what we do outside of ÅF.

Work in progress...

Equipment: Black Biq ballpoint pen, Photoshop CC, Wacom Cintiq
Time: 2-20 min/handmade sketch + quite a lot of time in Photoshop colouring, touching up some sketches and arranging the sketches in a nice way.

Product Sketching Exercise

Doing some product sketching to practice my skills and to give ÅF some more sketch material that is not under secrecy so we can show it in presentations or to new customers. The idea was to try to design two different sorts of backpacks, which would belong to the same product family and have the same form language. For this project I did everything in the computer, actually only in Photoshop, because I think it is interesting to have some variations between each project. In one I might be working a lot with markers and/or ballpoint pen and in the next I'll work almost entirely in the computer. For me, this brings more variety to my work, which makes it more fun and ultimately makes me more creative. I strongly believe that you get different ideas when sketching in different mediums.

Equipment: Photoshop CC, Wacom Cintiq
Time: Hard to say since I spent much time experimenting and redoing to find the final design, but the quicker sketches was made within 10-20 min

ÅF Future Concept - Container Handler Teaser

At the moment I'm very lucky with exiting conceptual projects at work. One example is the vehicle on the sketch below, which is a future concept of an autonomous container handler, designed to lift containers (and other heavy stuff) in for example harbours. It might look small and almost reminding of an autonomous indoor vacuum cleaner, but with it's 4,5 meters in diameter it's slightly bigger, to say the least, and has some cool transformer inspired features and some other conceptual ideas that that hopefully will make the concept really interesting. I won't go into details now because the concept is very much work in progress, but I will post a more detailed presentation of the concept once it's finished. It might take some months since I'm only working on this when I don't have any other projects, which happens once in a while when working as a design consultant, but as long as I get to do fun things like this in between the projects I dont complain!

Equipment: Biq ballpoint pen, Photoshop CC (Liquify)
Time: 2-3 Hours (including a couple tries until I was happy with the sketch)

Retro F1 Car Sketch

A retro F1 car sketch that I found in my computer from probably the 2nd year in Umeå, when I used to do a lot of sketching in the evenings after school. One thing that is both good and bad with sketching on a checked paper is that it really limits what you can do afterwards in Photoshop because it will be very obvious if I would use for example Liquify to correct perspective errors. The good thing is that it makes the sketch more credible, that the picture is actually what the sketch really looked like on the paper, even though this also could be faked in Photoshop if someone really would like to do it...

I don't consider enhancing the sketch afterwards in Photoshop with tools like Liquify, or painting over some lines and dots with a white brush, cheating since it's just another tool that designers can use when designing. It's more effective to fix some small perspective error in a sketch than to do a whole new sketch, but of course the goal is always to make the sketch as good as possible already on the paper.

Equipment: Ballpoint pen
Time: 1 Hour