An angle in studying in Helsinki Design School

helsinki design school logo

I’m gonna tell you a little about how it is to study in Helsinki Design School. First a bit about it. It’s a private school and it’s situated in the centre of Helsinki. In school, you can study e.g. fashion design, interior design, photography and graphic design (the one I study right now) I’ve also studied photography there so my angle of the educations is from experience. We meet twice a month (Friday and Saturday) and we get two assignment that needs to be finished until the next meeting. The teachers give professional feedback. The grades are from 1 to 5. The education language is Finnish.

There are different angles to look at it. I’ve read online about how someone thinks the school doesn’t give you a real diploma. Another one is, people shouldn’t waste time and money studying there. Go to a real school, they say. Well, Helsinki Design School is real. Just because it’s a private school, it doesn’t mean it’s fake. Private schools in Finland is not that common so people think only local schools have real educations. But that’s where they are wrong. So it’s isn’t cheap to study there but there are much more expensive schools in the world. Besides, here the teachers are professionals in their own field. They know how it is in the design business. You get to go to places you wouldn’t usually go. The school is under a year but you get to learn a lot. It really depends on how you look at things. If you look for instant success, you’re in the wrong school. If you’re not looking for a long education or you’re not really sure what you want to be, then this school is good for you.

So far the graphic design education has been interesting. Even if some of the subjects are familiar (like the Adobe programs) I still have learned new things. I always got the assignment ready in time. I’ve expected the grades would be the lowest which is 1 but I haven’t. It just proves I’m not that bad after all. My goal is not getting a 5 because grades are only numbers. It’s the feedback that counts. It’s a big plus that I know how to use the tools so I’m not totally novice. If I was a beginner the assignments would probably be more difficult to do. We are about 40 students so the class is quite full. But you can always ask your classmates if you need help. It’s always nice to go to school when the subjects are interesting and the atmosphere in the classroom is great. I didn’t regret the photography course and I don’t regret this one either. If your hopes are too high, it can disappoint. During the course, we’re making a portfolio of our best work and we’re gonna present it in front of the class the second last day. This Friday and Saturday it’s time to wake up early again but it’s worth it. I’m actually really excited to go back and learn new things.

Every school has its downsides and Helsinki Design School is no exception. I know a few who didn’t get what they wanted from the photography course. Some even quit because it disappointed them so much. In some things, it did disappoint me but that’s not really the school’s fault. The course was quite new then and it had its downside. It didn’t help me get a job or contacts. Some employers don’t really appreciate people who studied at this school which is a shame since you really do learn how the industry works. What I did get from this school was working in a photo studio, old school photography and visiting an advertising agency. It also ensured me that photography is not something I want to do for a living after all. I don’t remember much about what I learned there though. Some have found success after they went to this school so maybe the school isn’t as useless as someone might think.

I don’t look for success. I applied because I wanted to add another skill to my resume. I’m not satisfied with only one skill. I’m the happiest when I can do different things. Versatility is the key and that’s the reason why I want to learn different things. Helsinki Design School is perfect for me. I don’t have time to study for years. The length of the education is long enough and I can do other things too. That’s why I applied for the internship I wrote about in an earlier post. (FYI, I did get an interview) It would be a great addition to this education. In school, you learn the basics but you learn the best in a real life situation. Every person needs the motivation to continue with things they like the best and this is mine.

Anticipate the future is the hardest thing

anticipate
Made in Canva

Another new year is here. It’s 2019 and another opportunity to plan ahead. But to anticipate the future is the hardest thing. Don’t ask me what I do in 5 years because I don’t even know what I do next week. I can only wish things but they won’t become reality. Life should be full a surprises and not something you plan ahead. People make bucket lists or make new years resolutions. I don’t make neither of them. It’s a waste of time and they never come true anyway. I don’t hesitate with decisions. I just hate rushing things.

Having so many disappointments in life, you don’t expect much. You appreciate the things you got. People usually complain about things they don’t have. I don’t want to be one of those people who doesn’t see anything good in anything. I always try to see good things in everything. I didn’t plan my life to be in the state it is now. But the past is the past. I only want to look forward. I can look back at the past for a moment but then move on.

There is at least one thing to look forward to this year. A certain thing that really is going to happen. That is the graphic design course I’m on. It ends in June. There is still things to learn and things to do. One is a portfolio that we’ve gonna present in front of the class. I hope that goes well because I don’t like public speaking. I’m not as nervous about that as I was before. Of course, it’s easy to say it now. I can never anticipate how things like that will go. I know when I get there. I haven’t started planning the portfolio yet so I don’t know what I put in it. It’s not the first time I make a portfolio so there are no problems in that. The thing is what work to put in it. The other thing is what to tell about the assignments I’ve done. Finding what your strength is also difficult. The best thing about presenting your portfolio is straight feedback from the teacher. It’s a long way to the presentation day so no need to stress about it.

No school and no assigments

red christmas balls from ceiling
©Mia Salminen, Kamppi, Helsinki 2015

An overture that tells it all. Yesterday, it was the last day of Helsinki Design School this year. The best thing is, no assignments to do over Christmas. Next school meeting is January 25. Next time there is assignments to be done is in February. It’s good because doing the assignments are not that easy. If you don’t get assignments done until the next meeting, you won’t get any feedback from the teachers. Luckily, I have got all the assignments done on time even if I had a break a few days. The results have been OK. The rating system is from 1 to 5. I’ve got two’s and threes. One four which was kind of a surprise. Most of the feedback I’ve got I agree with. The feedback we get is just one opinion.

Subjects we had so far is about typography, colours, InDesign, illustrations and last about logos. It continues next year so we didn’t get any assignments. We use Adobe programs that I’m familiar with. But I don’t know if it shows in my work I’ve used them before. I never saw myself as inventive but so far I haven’t had problems finding ideas to the assignments. As soon as I know it, I get an idea. If not straight away, then a bit later. In graphic design, you need that kind of skill. I don’t if they’re good ideas though. It’s easier to find bad ideas than good. That’s what this education is about, to find out things you didn’t think of.

Now when half of the education is done, I haven’t regretted it for a moment. That’s better than doing nothing. You get to learn new things and get updated on the old ones. You also meet new people. Or in other words, you get out of the house once in a while. The conclusion is you get to know what you should improve and keep you motivated to practice. Cliché but true, the more you do, the better you get. Hopefully.