Fusion workshop – WINNERS!!

Today was my first day back after the Christmas break and I have to admit it was great! Few months ago I have signed up for a Fusion workshop, the university invited 3-4 different charities that came with a real life problem for us to solve. I always get ill when I move back to Cardiff and I spend a whole in my house yesterday so the thought of leaving my cosy, warm room wasn’t really appealing to me but I did sing up for it and felt like I had to go. So today morning I left my house with a hand bag full of tissues and cold tablets to get me through the day.

I got to the room few minutes early and on the door I was warmly welcomed and given a piece of paper with a sentence on it, which then turned out to be a song lyric. This is a great ice breaker activity and a fun way to find my team mates for the day. We were then introduced to each charity and their problem to solve. My team was working for New Link Wales which is a charity working with people who are addicted to drugs and also recently working with people with mental illness. I thought this was a perfect match for me as I am thinking of working in a mental illness sector in future.


Develop a plan to attract positive media attention to out upcoming fundraising events 

Things to think about:

-Ensure the proposal considers any constraints and consequences associated with the implementation of the solution

-Ensure the plan is realistic and practical for the charity

Sue, the charity representative explained that a lot of people who may be possible donors might chose a different charity because they think addicts do it to them self. She explained that the press only views the negative side of the issue and how they will not write about any of their good work and how much the charity is actually doing for the community. Drug related problems are mostly caused by something that has happened in a persons childhood. She did mentioned that the charity understands that not every person who takes drugs has a big psychological issue and that some do it for fun or to party.

The upcoming charity event was a Malpeet K9 biathlon which is a 3.5 mile race for dogs and their owner with around 27 optional obstacles including jumping, crawling and wading through water. This year will be their 3rd biathlon however in the past 2 years the event hasn’t received any media coverage, despite it being the first of its kind. In 2017 another charity advertised the same run as their own called Muddy Dog  Challenge.

Our response included a 3 minute presentation which we decided to do as a Power point presentation and a poster which we designed and drew our logo.

We worked in the same order as our Power Point presentation went.

We started of the presentation with me introducing the charity and our group and then asking everyone if they have a phone. Everyone put their hands up and then I’ve asked what if someone told you, you can’t use your phone for the next 48 hours. At this point we heard some ‘ohh’ and ‘ahh’ and saw some raised eyebrows and someone even screamed! I then went on to saying that I would probably feel really lost and asked why do you think that is. A lot of people’s answers involved addition. I then went on to saying that ‘when we are on our phones especially when we get a like or comment on social media out brain realises a chemical called DOPAMINE. The same chemical is realised when people take drugs. We backed up this information by various articles and research. We are so quick to judge but when we can understand why then we can begin to empathise and this is what the New Link Wales is trying to achieve, to spread awareness of understanding addiction’. Those short questions and facts gave out audience a change to interact and make them self more educated but also more understanding. We were the only group who has done that.

We started with brain storming some ideas of how we could attract positive attention through (this was out next slide) :

  • Activity days – getting service users, volunteers and staff to go to busy places such as the city centre and give people leaflets or freebies to raise awareness
  • Testimonials – ask some service users or their close ones to share their stories with others
  • Getting in touch with small newspapers or blogs to write about the issue and the charity, start small and climb up the media ladder
  • Going in to different local business and speaking about charity and possible donors or partnerships

We then explained what the biathlon was and went on to focus what we could do to attract positive media (our next slide)

  • changing the name – the name (Malpeet K9 Biathlon) did not speak to us at all so we decided to make it more customer appropriate – DOGIE DASH (we have also made a new logo that includes the Malpeet K9 logo and a new name)
  • family friendly – even the Facebook page looked to army like for us so we thought how we could make it more family friendly. We said we would have more stands or even novelty prizes for dogs to keep our customers busy
  • animal friendly companies – for different and more stands we would include more animal friendly companies such as the cat cafe or portable dog wash vans
  • social media – we need to access our most liked photo on Instagram or even different social media outlets and different profiles to see how to get people interested

Overall the presentation went well however there was few bumps. One of our team members had a tendency to rumble on and on about one thing and she did the same during out presentation so we went over our time massively. She also did the conclusion even though we previously discussed someone else would do it.

In the end we got our critique that in fact we did over run the time however our ideas were insightful and getting to interact with our audience was great and guess what!? WE WON THE CHALLENGE! We were all so shocked we didn’t know what to do really! We each won Amazon vouchers and in addition to that Sue, our charity representative has offered me to come along to the charity and help with interior design rebuilding! What a great ending to such a good day. I feel like I have learnt so much today but most importantly for me I have presented in from of about 40 strange people which is such an accomplishment for me. I only had to present in front of 4-5 people so this is huge. I would never be able to do this in 1st year but now even thought I was really nervous I managed to do it. In addition today’s workshop will be added to my diploma qualification! I wish there was more opportunities like this around university.



Today has come to the end which means the end of this consultancy project, and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed it. Working on a live brief was amazing and knowing that I was designing for a ‘real’ customer push me so much and have me go much inspiration.

After spending a summer in Malta doing an internship in a Bridal store and workshop my head was filled with so much inspiration for a destination wedding invitations or cards, however after we visited the Design Group studio Sarah stated that she doesn’t want to see any weeding invitations or baby shower project. This has battled me a little bit but I had few more ideas so in the end I decided to make a collection of interactive cards for young adults for birthdays.

I started of with few photoshoots of cupcakes and a lot of drawing and painting of things that I assosiate birthdays with such as cakes, cupcakes, alcohol, cocktails and many more.  I have mostly used acrylic and water colour paints as I am the most comfortable with that media. I then moved on to creating mark making as I thought that would treat the type I wanted to sue a little bit. I used many different brushes and paints in colour and then moved on to black ink to make sure the scanner picked up the colour well.

From hand drawn motifs I then moved on to creating my designs in Photoshop by manipulation of text and adding mark making. This idea then took me thorough a lot of different techniques such as stitch (hand, free-machine, digital) print (base colour, foils, flock) and laser cut (paper, plastic, fabric). I wanted to try out so many techniques because I wanted to make sure what will work with my collection.

Just in the right time in my process Sarah with consultants came from the Design Group. I wanted feedback on what techniques I should carry on doing. I was very stressed that day and had a lot of going on out side of uni and even though I prepared as well as I could and practised my presentation multiple times when it came to delivering it I mess up. I was really confusing the consultancy team and they didn’t quite understand what I was doing but said that they liked all the techniques but I needed to drop some as there was too much going on.

I decided to focus on laser cut and print. I then went on few weeks of measurements and working stuff out which took me longer then I expected. I would hand make paper prototypes for measurements and then putting that in to Illustrator to then laser cut. Some needed few more goes to get it just right. As this took a little more time then I expected I didn’t have time to work in print on my digital designs so I ended up just printing them which looked as good. I then moved on to creating my final outcomes in hand painted card in bright colours which I then laser cut in.

For my final presentation I have prepared a billet point script and printed it out so I won’t mess anything up this time and my presentation went to much better. Over all I have enjoyed this project and really stepped out my comfort zone as I never work in paper.

Tutorial with Keriene 

Today I have already had a tutorial with Anna but because Keriene haven’t seen me last week she wanted to touch base today. The tutorial was very quick as she also had other students to talk to.

She was happy with the improvement on the designs that I am making. After showing her my ideas and templates in the book she said that I could of have presented them better. It was all done in pencil by then and I was planing to go over with a fine liner.


I am a bit upset because I have worked quite hard to design those measurements for cards. I mentioned that they weren’t completed but Keriene  just simply dismissed them. We were never taught how to do them or to even do them this project so I thought that by doing this I will be showing inactive. She advised me to do new ones which I might do on a separate card and maybe digitally.

Tutorial with Anna

Today is our contact day. I was really ill last week and couldn’t come so it was my first tutorial in 2 weeks. Also I have never had Anna as a tutor and it was nice to speak to  someone who haven’t seen my project yet.

She said she got a party theme – graphic style from it which is exactly what I am going for.

Using the text as a pattern – consider the words and the font and really ask your self if they are working to effect.

Has a retro vibe? 60’70’s film posters? not 100% certain

Cocktail card design – try and use the mark-making for the stem instead of the text? Try a simpler cocktail stick with a cherry? Rather than the large scale one you have? Feels like the elements needs a bit of finessing? If using laser cut technique I do understand the scale.

If you are  hoping to laser cut the cards I think you need to do that ASAP to analyse the result – does it work or not? The graphic design are lovely enough? Can’t judge it yet.

Get the coloured card out and start cutting the elements.


Today’s tutorial was very helpful. Anna gave me some new stuff to research which will be quite helpful to pull up my designs. Also she told to me work on my designs and get on with working on the laser cutter as soon as possible so I can see if it works.

New Present Motif

So today I decided to make my present motif again. I decided to use a website called DaFont as I wanted my mark making and type to match. I had a rough idea of how I wanted my new motif to look like and chose the mark making. I chose the lines for the ribbon and a bow from the new marking making I have done. Then went on to matching up the font. I knew it had an ‘inky’ look to it so I just typed ink in to the search and loads came up. Those were my favourite picks.

I decided to go on with the Marcus Ink (top left corner) as it matched my inked mark making the best. I then went on to creating  my motif. I layered on the type and making making and started to experiment with colour. When I make the bow and ribbon in to one blue it didn’t look as effective so I have separated them a little bit. I also tried out making more lines to the ribbon so I added a horizontal line and I think that really helped my design. I then stretched out the type with the ribbon as the present seemed quite squashed.

I then decided to experiment with new colours and reversing them. I personally like the one on the left better.

I think this design works clearly on 2 layers so maybe I will try out lazor cutting the type on one layer of card and either leave they mark making printed or try lazor cutting that too.

Art Therapy and Psychotherapy as a career option

Today I attended another one of Es’es workshop, this week it was about art therapy. As I have mentioned before I am interested in working in a creative sector but not quite in designing. I am thinking about teaching and art therapy has crossed my mind but didn’t know much about it so this workshop was perfect for me.

What is art therapy?

Using creativity to help children, elderly or families.

It give patients relief when they can’t speak or find words about their issue, it gets out.

It helps them with their cognitive development.

Also consider music therapy? –> I can play on piano and guitar but I am not as confident to consider this as a future career.

Art Therapy courses

Credited postgraduate courses – HCPC

Art therapy / Psychotherapy ( courses may have different name but are at the same standard as long as they have the HCPC qualification)

The British Association Of Art Therapists

-list of participants

-lists of courses

-inductive courses (Barcelona, University of Darby)

-vacancy bulletin

Training is at Masters Level

Related work experience will help your application:

-adults, mental health in Witchurch hospital

-fostering and adoption

-young people with offenders problems and mental health

-CHS directors

-local schools

-consider to have some sessions yourself?

-special needs summer camps

Consider other job roles that are similar

-community arts

-play therapy

-occupation therapy

-special needs assistance teacher


Today sessions has proven to be quite interesting. I didn’t know much about art therapy before this session and managed to get a lot of information on it in such a short time. I will have to consider the finances as it will be another course that I am undertaking. Also I will be researching in to the introduction courses or foundations in to art therapy as this will probably ensure me if this is the path a would like to undertake. We have also done an interesting exercise at the end. All of us had to pick a photograph of a person from a pile that Es has already prepared for us. We then went around the room and spoke about what the person on the photograph might be thinking or representing and if we feel the same as that person. I thought that was an interesting activity to do.

Photographic Practise

Today we had a very short lecture from Tony Charles & Ian Clark. They are BA (Hons) Photography students doing a professional practise. They spoke to us about photographing our work for our post cards and business cards. I was planning to photograph my work anyway. I love Photography and have a portfolio already with photographed worked so this wasn’t news to me, however I might approach them to make them look more professional.

image1 (2)

They also had some interesting examples of photographic samples. They only used small samples that they put on a model’s shoulder and took closeups but made it look like a model is wearing a full garment. I found this very interesting and might be using techniques like that in future.