On dealing with digitalization as a design student
Rin A. (she/her), design student, May 2021
—How has work been for you over the past year?
—The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way I worked. It affected my work behaviour and creativity working from home. I wasn’t able to explore more things at school or beyond school. Instead, I just find inspiration through my laptop screen or books I have at home. Other times, due to alot of jobs and gigs being cancelled, I sometimes lack motivation to do a ton of things which eventually will lead to procrastination. I struggled a lot during school especially with online and remote learning as I cannot be together with friends, and collaborate on large scale projects. Graduating wasn’t as fulfilling as I thought it should have been, many of the exhibitions were downsized and minimized. Many of our projects were forced to consider a digitization route or to consider exhibiting online. The pandemic had really rushed the creatives to consider having works online as if it wasn’t a choice. In my design course, we had to learn ways to digitize everything. 

—Why do you continue to do what you do?
—I just like being surrounded by inspiring and creative things. I like how through graphic design, I am able to tackle communication between the viewer and the product through graphics and imagery. Other than doing design work, I enjoy doing a lot of other creative things like craft hobbies, recently I am into wax moulding and clay making. I find these things are really easy to pick up and you occupy your time rather than being stagnant.


—How has work affected your wellbeing?
—Working from home has made me feel less inspired and less motivated. It made me feel lazy to start doing things. Work feels like a chore because you are not in an environment to ‘learn’ but instead you are at home by your bed.
—How have you been able to care for yourself and your peers?
—Usually I tend to write down a paper on the things I need to do today while informing and reminding my peers what needs to be done too so that we are all on track to finish things on time. We usually have a group chat and alway check in one another. Beyond my school peers, I do tend to seek refuge to my closer friends from my previous polytechnic. Though we are all not going through the same thing and some of us are in different staged of our lives, I do feel much connected with them and I have been friends for the longest time. Because of social distancing, the least we can do to stay connected is through zoom calls, facetime and online games. I guess it keeps the friendship going too even if we talk once a week. Having a support system of friends is pretty important I feel especially during this trying period!

—What changes would you like to see within your creative industry?
—A lot of creatives are still new to working remotely and just getting familiar with reconnecting online. Many things are still disorganized. I also think that clients should care more for designers in terms of following through a project. Having sudden cancellations or even deliberate changes in decision making can be a very frustrating and stressful environment to work in. Since working from home is a new norm, there should be more engaging activities or workshops for school and work. I think it’s also important to check in with our mental health and wellbeing too.