Oh I did WORK as well!

Top Left Design

Fall 2018

Soho, London

Work

Top Left Design is a small design firm that was founded by my boss, Keren. She started the company about 15 years ago after she started successfully pursuing free-lance design work on websites. She turned it into a full-time business.

We had a small team of 4 designers (including Keren) and a couple of contracted coders. As a design intern, I was given a lot of design tasks.

Now, I am not a graphic design student, but that is the work that I did for Keren. Industrial Designers are absolutely required to have a good understanding of communication design concepts, and this was a great way for me to expand those skills.

I started off small, with internal content. Keren assigned me various signage around the office. I created branded content for TLD’s social media. Once I demonstrated sufficient skills, I moved on to client work. I got to design websites for 3 different clients and industries. Besides design, I also wrote blog posts, articles, and e-mails to various clients. Exercising my writing skills is something I really enjoy. I also was sometimes asked to create video content and animations that allowed me to utilize the electronic media skills that I have gained in pursuit of my minor.

The company culture was definitely a work hard/play hard mentality. We would crank through 8 hours of content entry to get a site up and running on time, and then go out to a movie and a glass of wine to celebrate. The local office only had me, Tamlyn, and Keren, and the three of us had to rely on each other for emotional support when days got busy. It was nice to know that the ladies sitting next to me absolutely had my back. Whether it was a client being rude or I felt like I was in over my head, Tam and Keren always supported me when I needed it. Our little office felt like a home away from home, and it was very nice to work from every day.

Compared to my US co-op experience, I felt more camaraderie. I never knew how important it really was in a business. I don’t know if that had to do with the size of the company or the fact that the culture is different in London, but I am glad I experienced it.

Pictures

En route to work…

I made Skyline for my co-workers!

Office Space.

Desk space!

The ever-important tea/coffee corner.

Fountains

The start of this project was a desire to create from clay, and a need to add a technical aspect. After a lot of thinking, I knew I was going to make a fountain series. I let the medium direct the subject matter. What interacts with water? Well, all of life: plants, animals humans. That was my starting point.

Animals

Buddy the dog is my nephew (so to speak). He is loving, energetic, and always hungry, as all dogs are. I used him as a starting point. Hence, the drooling dog named buddy. My dog fountain was so much fun to sculpt. I remember thinking it felt just like petting a dog once I got his form, and it helped to close my eyes and imagine I really was petting a dog to get proportions and shape. I can now say fairly confidently that when God was sculpting the first dogs, he probably had to pause to say, “Now THIS is gonna be a cute one.” 

Plants

I always see this article that ceramicists really know how to deal with failure. The author cites a ceramicist’s complete lack of control at certain stages of building, such as firing and firing after painting.

Here is another one: a cat in a studio. Piper, the cat, decided to lovingly rub against my Boy Watering Flowers, and it broke his poor little arm. Turns out, this gave me the flexibility I needed to install the “plumbing” for the fountain. Upsetting initially, then a success from a failure.

 Humans

For this installment, really considered how humans interact with water. I thought about the fact that we need it to survive. Then, I realized how uncomfortable we find it. That’s why this focuses on how we do our best to avoid it: a raincoat and an umbrella (also these pictures feature the cat that broke my boy’s arm).