About Me

Ten key facts about me:

My name is Katie Townsend and I’m a first year Graphic Design student at Kingston University. I grew up in Harrow in North West London with an English dad and Polish mum. I’m bilingual along with my equally bilingual older brother. My dad is still trying to learn Polish after twenty-five years!

Snappy Snaps 4 set photos - Kingston 001

A boring one

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A not so boring one!

I love travelling for new experiences and inspiration and tend to go nowhere without my camera. I love the smell of countries I visit. I believe in waking up and making the most of my day and I also believe in all-nighters to meet a deadline and get something right. I care too much about what people think about me – I’m a nice person and I like sarcasm and making people laugh.

Algarve, Portugal, SUmmer 2013

Algarve, Portugal, SUmmer 2013

Hand picked berries, Poland, Summer 2013

Hand picked berries, Poland, Summer 2013

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Interesting floor pipes, Algarve, Portugal, Summer 2013

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Abstract painted wall, Algarve, Portugal, Summer 2013

I’m a foodie and if I’m in good shape physically, I feel good about myself and I’m a bit of a perfectionist which sometimes stops me from moving on as quickly as I would like. I particularly love typography and print design and I love combining film with music. I love discovering eclectic things as a means of securing memories of places and situations. This really makes me tick. I like making a space for myself, somewhere to be focused and make ideas develop and flourish. My happy place is anywhere with family and friends who bring out the best in me.

Things I won’t miss about home:

Amongst all the love for my house, there are things that won’t be missed! My mum’s OCD habits which affect me because they are impractical! The sound of the twenty year old washing machine when it’s spinning will surely not be missed, as it can be heard outside! The way the fridge squeaks every time someone opens, it sounds like an old door from a horror film. The sound of garden activity on the weekend turns out to be more than just wind blowers and lawn mowers which will hopefully mean longer sleeps in Kingston!

Maybe the garden animals have a bet on who they can annoy the most at night, but I won’t miss the squealing sounds of foxes! I won’t miss the moments when my parents disagree on things; it’s easier and healthier to make a joke about something upsetting! No longer having other people’s belongings in my room will make space for a better creative environment! Being free from heavy, uncool curtains in my bedroom which will surely not be missed! I won’t miss the impractical things left in front of draws which makes manoeuvring things around more difficult! Polish television is normality in my house but I won’t miss the sound of low budget Polish films from the 1970’s, the crackling loud noises are and cringe worthy acting!

Places/Situations I have had ideas in:

There’s nothing like the revelation and the inspiration of getting an idea. Even if it’s a bad one, it’s fun to play around with the possibilities of improving it. Ideas can flow (excuse the pun) from doing the most mundane things, this could be sitting on the loo or standing in the shower to more exotic things being intoxicated in a club, dancing to an oldie or dressed as a pirate!

Summer 2013 has had unforgettably hot weather in London, but I’ve been lucky to have travelled a bit and been surrounded by friends I call family in the Algarve, Portugal. I have also had a stint with my mum’s side of the family in Southern Poland – both countries are close to my heart as I’ve been visiting since I was a baby. Whilst in Poland, I visited Krakow which is a beautiful Medieval city and this provided an additional source of ideas for this Design Blog I’m writing now.

On road trips across Europe, sitting in the back seat of a car – or feeling the wind on my face when I’m walking to places makes me more intuitive to things I see around me. Being on the go and keeping a fast pace – walking up the station steps of the London underground, visiting exhibitions and galleries really focuses my thoughts – I find inspiration, soak it up and integrate new ideas with what I already know and what I see.

I love looking through old, nostalgic things which makes me question how to combine old with new. I relate to past experiences and combine it with the present time. Nothing beats smelling a familiar smell and tasting a familiar food. I get pleasure from food which makes me really passionate about translating my ideas. Simple routines like eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and cooking a meal for me and others is all good for me.

Portuguese Prawns and salad, Portugal, Summer 2013

Portuguese Prawns and salad, Portugal, Summer 2013

I also find inspiration and ideas by watching films and listening to music. By experiencing atmosphere, times, places and people and spying the world through the lens of my camera is a playful vision of what my photo will turn out to be. I find the Studio environment a place where I get ideas – I certainly did last year doing Art Foundation at Kingston! In my Halls bedroom I created doodles of patterned and textured surfaces and surrounded myself with these during the year.

'Polskie Sklep' on drive home, neon sign, Summer 2013

‘Polski Sklep’ on a drive home, neon sign, Summer 2013

Gas covers, Krakow, Poland

Gas covers, Krakow, Poland

'Street Heart' - love this play on words, Krakow, Poland, Summer 2013

‘Street Heart’ – love this play on words, Krakow, Poland, Summer 2013

Distorted wall, Krakow, Poland, Summer 2013

Distorted wall, Krakow, Poland, Summer 2013

The Future:

Pursuing a Graphic Design degree at Kingston University will hopefully set me en route to a successful and happy career as a designer of some kind – but of what I am not yet sure! In ten years time I will be 30 years of age and hope to have my own place and in the company of a funny guy who presses all my buttons. I hope to be organising my own business or working for a designer, changing the way Graphic Design is seen and improving it! I want to be part of a new kind of networking in the future – something more advanced than Facebook and Twitter which is communicating in new ways not yet discovered or tried! I want to be busy with hobbies and DIY and regularly reminding myself of my roots and culture as a happy way to live and appreciate life.

Street sign, Algarve, Portugal, Summer 2013

Street sign, Algarve, Portugal, Summer 2013

Packs of yogurt, Supermarket, Algarve, POrtugal, 2013

Packs of yogurt, Supermarket, Algarve, POrtugal, 2013

Frog, Algarve, Portugal, Summrt 2013

Frog, Algarve, Portugal, Summrt 2013

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