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Business On The Go: Past, Present And Future

business on the go

Business on the go

In our office we tend to have some really random conversations, ranging from normal everyday topics to discussions that cannot and should not be ever repeated again.

The other day we were having a civil discussion, talking about the ‘good old’ days and this got me thinking because of the work we do with businesses here at Concept Cupboard. How has business on the go changed and what is likely to happen in the future?

For some of you reading this, it’ll be a fond trip down memory lane and for others you’ll probably wonder how the hell people got any business done. So lets roll back the years… Read more…

Creative Talk: A CG Arts and Animation graduate shares some top tips.

Have you ever considered studying computer graphics and animation at university? Simply curious about what it entails? Then read on below for some great advice from a recent graduate.

Tell us who you are and what you studied at university.

My name is Charlotte and I have recently graduated from the University for the Creative Arts at Rochester. The course I studied for three years was CG Arts and Animation. Within that course I learnt a verity of skills, such as animation, 3D modelling, texturing, skinning and rigging.

What first interested you about CG Arts and Animation?

Doctor Who. I’ve always been interested in the animation side of things, but it wasn’t until I started to like Doctor Who that I took interest in the ‘special effects’ side of things. What interested me in actually enrolling onto the CG course was the fact that it would get me a job working on Doctor Who, animating background elements and special effects.

What are the prerequisites and preparation that you need to enter a rather technical area?

The course I did took you through everything from scratch. In the first year you have lessons in Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro and Autodesk Maya. Everything you would need to learn is provided and no previous knowledge on how to use these programs were needed. However I used to learn 3D Studio Max at college and therefore had a rough idea of how such a complex program worked. This I felt gave me a slight advantage and made understanding everything else a lot easier.

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone going into the field of CG Arts and Animation?

Have a strong mind and will really. People always assume with CG that everything can be done by a click of a button and is created 99% by machine. However this is not the case. My animation which is featured took 15 weeks of work, starting from day one. Also what people don’t realize is that a lot of 2D work goes on behind the scenes. Before anything can be created in Maya a clear concept of what needs to be created needs to be sorted first. A new project starts off with a lot of sketching and brain storming as well as research. Then, once we have a strong concept do we go into Maya and start building. Once all of our animations and work is ready we export the footage from Maya and then composite it using After Effects and Premiere Pro.

What are your next steps now out of university?

To do some freelance work, using my skills as mentioned above to save up a little bit of money as I hope to eventually do a Masters at some point. I also hope to one day be able to work on the special effects team for Doctor Who. I will also be working on my portfolio which can be seen on my blog.

To find out more about Charlotte you can find her blog here and you should check out here showcase post here.

If you’re a creative looking to expand your portfolio and get paid for it at university then you should sign up for Concept Cupboard today. The exclusive platform for UK creative students and graduates. 

Image source

Creativity: Some highlights from Google’s latest Think Quarterly

Here at Concept Cupboard we love creativity, it drives what we do. We also love Google’s think quarterly publication. If you haven’t stumbled upon this gem before it basically brings together a varied and very forward thinking collection of articles from experts in the particular field that each quarterly release makes its focal point. We wholeheartedly recommend that you take a look at the content in full but these are some of our highlights from this particular issue. Enjoy!

Read more…

10 Principles of Good Design – Dieter Rams

Dieter-Rams-001

Dieter Rams has been one of my favourite designers for a long time now. Part of the reason for this was finding and appreciating his 10 principles for good design. Here Dieter outlines a number of guidelines, and I would always interpret them as guidelines, when striving to achieve not just good, but great design.
Read more…

Why desk space rental is becoming so popular amongst creative freelancers

desk space for creatives

While the thought of renting an office may be the furthest thing from your mind, a growing number of freelancers in creative professions are doing just that. So what is luring them back into the home of the nine-to-fivers?

The first thing to note is the old ways of leasing an office space are no longer the only options available to freelancers. Gone are the days of being forced into a long contract and having to furnish, secure and manage the entire operation.

Now practically all cities and towns in the UK, as well as many smaller locations, are awash with serviced and shared office opportunities. Contracts can be as flexible as month to month, you can book a single desk (or more if and when you may need them) and can get in almost straight away.

office space

You don’t even need to rent it full-time, as many ‘hot desking’ schemes are also in operation allowing you to use the desk when you need it on a far more flexible basis, perhaps just a few hours a week. And of course the place is furnished, with all the facilities you need such as broadband, kitchen etc ready to go.

Also, you should find you have access to a meeting room and if you pick the right place, perhaps a postal service and IT support. A business address and meeting facilities may not seem like an expense you want to pay, but they can give a freelancer a professional edge when meeting a client, or perspective one.

Helping the creative flow

Freelancers in creative professions can also really benefit from getting out of the home office and into a shared office in a number of other ways.

First, many freelancers find it hard to get going with a lot of distractions around them. The TV, a good book, the chores you need to do – anything can get in the way of hitting that deadline. Even simply getting out and on the move to the office can be the separation you need to kick into action.

Second there is the office buzz. You’ll tend to find other like-minded individuals in these kinds of shared or serviced office developments, which can really help the creative process. You can bounce ideas of off each other and maybe learn new techniques, opinions or solutions to your creative problems.

This can also lead to both friendships and work opportunities. Perhaps you’re a designer who needs a writer, an entrepreneur who needs a website or a product designer looking for the PR to push your ideas? These are all professionals who you’ll likely find sharing office space in desker communities.

Of course there can be downsides, most of which are the flip sides of points made above – one man’s meat, as they say.

The most obvious is price. Renting a desk will put a dent in your profits, which you may not feel you’ll make up with the benefits. Another is not having the choice of internet provider, décor and the like, or the choice of just who you’ll be sharing your new work space with.

But with such short contracts available, it almost seems foolhardy not to give it a try – a lesson more and more creative freelancers are learning and are often very glad they did.

About the author: Chris Marling writes on behalf of www.officegenie.co.uk, the UK’s first proper online marketplace for desk space and shared office space.

My first few weeks at EA Games by Craig Smith

EA Games

Hi there. I’m Craig Smith, and I was asked to write a short description of my first few weeks at EA Games in Guildford as I got the role via Concept Cupboard.

Firstly I should probably just mention that my current role is ‘Sims Asset Creator’. This involves me making promotional videos/parody video’s, screenshots for the game etc, all of which are made in the game. As a massive Sims fan, this is a fantastic job for me to have. I’ve been playing since I was about 11 way back on the original Sims and I would spend hours creating my own characters and the houses that they live in.
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The Sims 3

The Sims 3

 
Every project is different, and throws up a new challenge all the time. As the shots are created using the in-game animation and so a strong knowledge of the game is very important as I have to know how characters will act, or react towards other Sims.

My first few weeks at EA have been amazing! Following E3 in the US, we were joined by a variety of games labels to discuss future releases within EA. This was great for me to go and see as not only did it allow me to meet a lot more people within the EA ‘family’, but I was also able to get up to speed with many aspects of the company. Later that day the whole office was taken up to London to go on the London Eye before having dinner – which again was an amazing experience and a great way to get to know more people.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed since starting at EA is just how nice the people and company is. Of course there is a lot of hard work involved but it makes it a lot easier when I am able to work in such a friendly environment where everyone is welcoming.

There are a lot of exciting projects coming up that I will be working on within The Sims 3 and I can’t wait for you all to see the finished pieces. I’ve just also got back from 2 weeks training in Asset Creation at EA’s office in San Francisco. The trip was an incredible experience.
 

 

 

 

 
Hopefully this has given you a little insight into my first few weeks week at EA and I can’t wait to see what the months ahead have in store.

Thanks for reading.

Former BBC Dragon launches School for Creative Startups

School for Creative Startups

We had the chance to rub shoulders with a former BBC Dragon a few weeks ago at Artsmart run by University of the Arts London and got talking about a new programme that is being launched to help creatives start their own business.

School for Creative Startups Logo

School for Creative Startups is an innovative one-year programme for creative people, with unique ideas, wishing to start a successful new business. The aim of the programme is to teach the critical skills that new creative businesses need to succeed and to provide support throughout the vulnerable first year of business.

Led by Doug Richard, School for Creative Startups will provide accelerated business training that helps entrepreneurs launch more successful startups and run more successful businesses. Their face to face and online instruction covers topics like how to start a business, how to find investors, how to implement fast, cost-effective marketing strategies, and how to scale a business safely.

The aim is to increase the number of creative small businesses in the UK and provide them with access to world class business advice to help them succeed. If you want to find out more about the course, including the mentoring programme, an FAQ and the online application form here www.schoolforstartups.co.uk/creative.

You can also hear what Doug had to say as we sprung a camera on him at the Artsmart event:

School for Startups have also posted a project on Concept Cupboard that closes on Thursday. To take a look and submit your idea go to the main Concept Cupboard site.

StartUp Britain & Not On The High Street enter the Big Bus Challenge with the help of Concept Cupboard

bigbus

One competition. Six hours. Thirty students. Two live briefs. One basement.

Last week Concept Cupboard staged a lock-in of a different kind. From 6pm Concept Cupboard students took over Fallon’s basement and had six hours to come up with an idea that could be presented to the client the following morning. The end goal was to come up with work worthy of being entered into the Big Bus Challenge.

With the help of some Creative Directors, creative teams and a handful of other helpers the students outdid themselves and created some wonderful work. The two entries below (one for each brief) were the ones that made it through the review process and were entered into the competition.

To view the full designs click on the links below or to find out more about the event check out this post.

StartUp Britain entry by Sam Bevington & Tim Hawkins

StartUp Britain entry


Not On The High Street entry by Jac Morton

Not On The High Street Big Bus entry

Concept Cupboard creatives take over Fallon’s basement

TV features

It already seems like a lifetime ago but last week Concept Cupboard & a horde of talented creatives from across the UK took over Fallon’s basement for an evening to work on two live briefs. Startup Britain & Not On The High Street very kindly volunteered to let our student creatives loose on their brand with the aim of coming up with a winning entry for CBS Outdoor’s Big Bus Challenge. The winning entry won’t be announced until September, but we’ll be sure to update this post when the results are out.

In a six hour working session the creatives presented their work to our Creative Directors (Messrs Andy Ray & Dave Hobbs, shown below) with the aim of delivering final concepts that could be presented to the clients the following morning. It was a tall order, but everyone delivered and there was some truly stunning work.

Feedback from the Creative Directors, helpers and most importantly the clients was glowing. As you can see from the pictures below it was hard work, but everyone enjoyed themselves and it just goes to show what this next generation of creative talent are capable of if they are given the chance. That’s what Concept Cupboard is all about.

To see the final creative that was submitted into the Big Bus Challenge check out this post.

Big thank-yous need to go out to the following people for making the event such a success: Andy Ray, Dave Hobbs, Emma Jones, Jamie Williams, the Not On The high Street team, Gail Gallie & her team at Fallon including Kevin & Sophia, Paul Mann from Young Creative Council, Laila Milborrow, Paul Pearson, Andy O’Sullivan, Simon Devonshire, Julie Cheetham & Guy McConnell.

Andy Ray & Dave Hobbs smiling for the camera

Everyone hard at work

Still working hard

Guy, Julie & Dave

Still hard at work

Andy chatting to Emma & Jess

Emma Jones working with Jakob

Some of our creatives hard at work

Hobbsy doing the rounds

Andy & Laila posing for the camera

Kee taking a break

Andy hard at work

Concept Cupboard at Artsmart London

artsmart1

We’ve had an awesome few days at the Artsmart event in Pimlico. Organised by the University of the Arts London the event has been held over two days bringing together recruiters, exhibitors and experts giving talks on subjects like Intellectual Property protection and setting yourself up as a freelancer.

Artsmart logo

The overwhelming feeling from the two days is that there is a lot of top notch talent now entering the job market. It’s now up to UK businesses to make the most of this talent and not let it go to waste.

It’s also been great to meet other businesses like Cyclodelic (beautiful women’s bicycle apparel & accessories), BaseKit (self-build web design software) and School for Creative Startups (Doug Richard’s new venture – helping creatives startup themselves).

University of the Arts

Our stand / corner

Our banner stands

Food!

Market stalls

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