Pitching Competition

Pitching Competition

I have been working on the pitching presentation in the last week before the date of the pitching competition, on Wednesday 29th March. As the pitch was about my “Final Major Project”, I needed to show examples of current work I am working on, including the wallpaper design I made. As the my Final Major Project derived from the Design To Sell project, I did a couple of slides, demonstrating the link between the projects, as well as the ideas coming off from the Design To Sell project. I am using and developing further the pattern designs I was creating for my origami sweets pots in Design To Sell, into more complex math’s inspired pattern designs for interior decoration and textile design.

As well as showing examples of my work, I need to show the panel what skills I have to offer, so I made four slides, with each slide dedicated to a particular skill. My skills were in “The Adobe Suit”, “Illustration”, “Photography” and “Packaging, Origami & Paper Craft”. On my skill slides, I wrote down about my skills and how I use it in my work, alongside photographic evidence of my work and my skills at work.

I created a couple of slides based on my why I decided to go with patterns, as well as the inspiration behind the ideas, in particular, the “Fibonacci Sequence”. Finally, the last slides sums up why I want the position and how it would help me develop my professional conduct as a creative practitioner and give me the edge,when an employer is looking for potential candidates for a design apprenticeship or job, because I would have valuable work experience in a professional design environment.

I checked the presentation for spelling mistakes and practised my pitch to develop confidence and remember everything I want to say. I even print out the designs for the Origami Sweet Pots I made for “Design To Sell” and made them into origami pots to demonstrate my skills in origami and how it can be used in packaging design. The wallpaper I was working on for the Innovation Challenge was printed, printing out the individual tiles and positioning them together like a puzzle, to create a large piece of wallpaper. Four copies of the presentation was printed for the panel of four to keep to look at in the future to remind them of me.

On Wednesday 29th March, at 1:50 pm was my slot to pitch my idea and show my presentation. At first I was really nervous and found it hard to keep a consistent flow. However, when it got to talking about Design To Sell, I demonstrated my origami sweet pots, which the panel really liked and broke the ice. From them on I was far more excited and explained more passionately my ideas and the inspiration behind them. At the end of the pitch, they were all quite happy and ask me several questions about my inspiration for the project and how I intend to develop the idea further. After question time, they gave me feedback on my pitch, saying that they liked the fact that I was so passionate about the work I do and that my idea came across very comprehensive. However, they did say that I need to be aware of my spelling, as I accidentally missed a spelling mistake when proof reading the presentation. They also said that I need to make my designs more contemporary, as my “Fibonacci Sunflower” looked more retro with the orange yellow and beige colour schemes. They made me aware that I should hand out a copy of the presentation after the pitch to take away, rather than give them to the panel at the beginning. Furthermore, they believe that the effects on the presentation were more of a distraction, preferring that the information came up straight away.

When everyone had finished their pitch, they got us together and had a group chat, congratulating us on our pitches, saying we all did well and have made it difficult for them to choose. Their was five of us in total and three positions up for grabs. They said they would make us aware of the verdict by email on Friday 31st March. On Friday, I unfortunately found I was not given the internship, but granted me a one day work placement in the Agency, which at least is something that would benefit my CV. I was sad I was not chosen, but having that one day placement softened the blow. I was up against some amazing candidates, so it is no surprise that they would be chosen over me, however, life goes on and will continue to seek other opportunities.

Kamal’s Speech

I found Kamal’s pitch did show what the Agency was fully capable of, demonstrating high professionalism and success. He had strong visual evidence of work completed by their undergraduates and graduates employees, for big companies and organisations, including the more recent Sherford Development, designing the graphics for their logo and what they stand for. The only critique I have is that I wished he explained in more detail about what they do in the agency, including the three potential positions for the internship, elaborating on what roles would be given if we got the position and what would be expected of us, considering the fact that we are pre degree students, which do not necessarily have all the skills that some undergraduates and graduates have, yet. It was good that he showed the work his student employees produced, however, I was not keen on the fact that he spent most of the time in the session, showing us almost an overload of professional work. I would rather he had explained how he could get us to that professional standard that he has so clearly demonstrated and seeks, in the presentation.

Pitch Proposal

I intend to create a swatch book of different patterns that I will design, themed on nature, animal print and floral designs. Furthermore, mathematics will play a major role in the composition of my patterns, using both the Fibonacci Sequence, as well as geometry and the repetition of pattern. The Innovation Challenge is one of the competitions alongside the Pitching Competition, that I want to take part in, so I thought, as maths often can play a major role in pattern design, that I would make it my goal to use maths to influence the composition of my patterns designs. I want to connect nature, maths and pattern together, by studying and experimenting with ways of creating pattern from the shapes of nature, and therefore composing these shapes into patterns influenced by rules and methods in maths.

This concept for my Final Major Project “Connecting With Maths, Nature and Pattern”, derived from my “Design To Sell” project. There I developed designs for both the back and front of my own origami paper, specifically designed for the Origami Chinese Vase, which I used as a creative, original form of sweet container, which I sold at my pop up store. I believed that this concept would be something fun, yet challenging, coming up with different arrangements of patterns and colours, that would inspire and appear attractive to other people and creative practitioners. The inspiration for these designs was mainly paisley patterns found online, which I put into a mood board. Even in that project, I look at maths related artists, exploring the work of Escher, Bridget Riley and Victor Vassarely, who were fantastic Op artists. Furthermore, a lot of research was done into fractal art, which again is a maths related art, which at the time seem too complicated. However, my F.M.P. is an 18 week long project, so if I do want to l explore fractal art again for my swatch book, I shall have the time to dedicate to it. The Design to Sell project gave me a lot of joy, as it enabled me to explore what I am passionate about, which is pattern and colour. I created patterns in the form of mandalas, as a form of relaxation, deriving from Buddhism. I would start with a basic shape in the middle, then extending slowly outwards with more complex designs. My Final Major Project will enable me to extend from the Design to Sell project, embracing my passion for pattern and colour, putting this positive energy into developing new beautiful dynamic designs, to inspire other Creative Practitioners and brighten interiors of buildings. My ultimate goal is to have a professionally designed and printed swatch book, that can be sold in stores like Waterstones, Homebase and B&Q. Inspiring, budding home decorators, interior designers as well as, fashion, textile and print students. This is my dream and I will work hard to achieve this dream.

Pitching Competition – Workshop

Related imageOn the Friday 17th March, at 2:00 pm, I had a workshop with Rebecca Baker in the Thinking Space. In this workshop, me and rest of the group were shown a presentation on how to pitch. Rebecca mentioned the positive things that should be done when pitching, but also the bad things that should not be done during a pitch, including irritating habits. When it comes to pitching, we should consider “Preparation”, “What We Ware”, “Practising Your Pitch”, “Creativity”, “Passion”, “Breathe” and “Eye Contact”. In a group discussion, we highlighted that people should have personality when they pitch and should engage with the audience. we also highlighted, that they should be confident and know their subject. There also should be the “Right Balance”, which includes things like your passion for the subject, the quantity of visual and information on the slides. For example, if a person shows know enthusiasm for the subject he is pitching, the audience will find the pitch dull and forget about it. On the other hand, if the person doing the pitch is over excite about the subject, the audience could find the pitch overwhelming. The same applies to the presentation, if there is too much info, colour and visuals in the slides, the audience will get distracted by the slides and will not be able to give their full and undivided attention. Whilst, a presentation that is sparse, with lack of info, visuals and creativity, will make the presentation dull.

A presentation, should not have any more than 3 – 4 slides, unless more visuals are needed to be shown. I have between 4 – 8 minutes to pitch to my audience, leaving me in this scenario 2 minutes maximum per slide. Furthermore, I have up to 15 minutes max in Question and Answer time. The most important thing is that my pitch outlines my goals and objectives, with the simple fact being that I am doing this competition to get that placement in the Internship, in The Agency. I must evidence my skills and my strengths, elaborating on them and backing them up with visuals of my work and my proposed plans, showing them what I am fully capable of. Another important thing to consider is to be myself, because if I try to be a person I’m not, I and my message could appear false and it could potential have a impact on my confidence. When I address the audience and pitch, I should adjust my vocabulary to suit the audience. If I am pitching to a audience/client/clients and speak as if I have swallowed a thesaurus, the audience/client/clients may not be able to comprehend what I said and may feel excluded from the conversation.

We had a group discussion on what we feel are things that we should not do when pitching, which included  bad habits like, nail biting, knuckle cracking, fidgeting and finger clicking, which are all things that can distract and irritate the audience. Other issues included stuttering, mumbling, waffling, speaking too fast, hammering the audience with technical terminology and using fillers like, “Um”, “Like” and “OK”.

Towards the end of the workshop, we had to review speeches from four famous people, bullet pointing both good and bad points in their speeches:

Barack Obama – Early Speeches For The Presidency

  • Compliments the audience,
  • Ice breaker,
  • Associates with the people.
  • He did stutter and repeat his words a considerable few times.

Amy Childs – Essex Star

  • Showed personality.
  • Hand gestures.
  • Made eye contact with the audience.
  • Informal.
  • However, grating accent.
  • Not clear.
  • Felt uncomfortable.
  • Too many fill ins, said like 17 times.
  • Distanced herself.

George W Bush Junior – The King of Innuendos and Speech Mishaps

  • Lack of confidence.
  • Forgetting his speech,
  • King of speech mishaps and innuendos.
  • Bumbling.
  • However, he came back from his mistakes from adding a sense of humour to it.

The Queen – The Queen Speech

  • Read continuously from the sheet.
  • No eye contact.
  • No passion in what she is reading, reading simply the words from the government.
  • Very formal.

We spent the last 10 minutes, seeing Rebecca Baker individually, going through our proposals. When it was my turn, I presented Rebecca a hard copy of my proposal as well as the review on Kamal’s speech, from our introductory workshop on the Friday 10th March. I discussed my ideas with her, talking about the swatch book I intend to produce, as well as ideas spurred off the Design to Sell project I completed previously. My ideas had a good reception and shall hear soon from Rebecca about her review of my proposal by email.

Pitching Competition

On Friday 10th March, I had to join the other contestants in the Thinking Space, seven in all, where the pitching competition was set out. Kamal, from The Agency, based in Plymouth College of Art’s main building, explained to us the brief in detailed. He pitched to us with a power point presentation, showing professional standard pieces of work, completed by both under-graduate and graduates, for high end clients – including the more recent Sherford Development. He talked about what he would expect from us, if we were fortunate to get this opportunity, as well as explain how this experience would benefit us as creatives and that it will look good on our CV, giving us a better chance of getting into a potential job. There are three places available in The Agency, to complete potentially a four week unpaid internship, as a form of work experience in the creative industry. As there is seven of us applying, there is almost a 50% chance of winning that position, which is very fortunate.