How Appraisium was born
I clearly remember the powerful influence visiting professional designers had when I was a graphic design student. The fact that these guys did what I wanted to do and could show me things and unlock the secrets. Which back then meant how to specify type with Browns index or how to mix gouache to a smooth consistency and prepare a Winsor & Newton Series 3a brush, graphic design has changed a lot. Don’t get me wrong the course lecturers were great and many had professional experience before getting into education. However, visiting professional designers seemed to bring the real world with them, and I knew that when they left it wouldn’t be long before they were back behind the drawing board.
Thirty plus years later my career as a designer has changed beyond anything I could have imagined. But, I’m as passionate and driven as I ever was and I’m still convinced that I can change the world. So when I come into contact with students I feel somehow connected to my student self and I want to share all my experience and knowledge. Which I’m sure to some students is a little overwhelming. But that thing I have, the desire to share, to connect with people who are just starting on the same journey as me, is the fundamental spark that led to The Apprasium Project. We all know that creative education is under terrific financial strain – budgets are being cut and courses shut down in favour of subjects deemed more important. So paying for visiting lecturers is difficult if not impossible and many students miss out on a vital part of their evolution. So I decided to do something about it.
Connecting with creative professionals
Most of the creative professionals that I know care about the future of their profession. So what if I could find a way that would allow students to connect with them. I’m not talking about a Facebook or Linkedin type of connect, it should be something more constructive, honest and private, and from someone they choose because they admire their work. If you work in the creative world time is precious so whatever I built had to recognise this. Professionals can’t spend hours giving feedback or engaging in lengthy discussions. So I set out some basic requirements;
1. The professional should be able to choose how many students they will help at any one time
2. They would simply give feedback and advice and not get involved in a discussion
3. What was said was between the professional and the student
4. The student can invite more than one professional and from different disciplines
5. Professionals won’t be able see each others comments
And the most important thing would be that the student would have the choice of who to invite to give them feedback. So it would be totally different from all the platforms that allow anyone to make comments whether they are qualified or not.
Where we are now?
The Appraisium system is built and we are recruiting creative professionals who want to help, we have 157 so far. We’re limiting the number of students so that we can iron out any bugs and the professionals don’t get overwhelmed. We also have nine Universities with courses registered. The feedback so far is very positive. The professionals are responding with some great feedback and the students are contacting us with comments like;
This site should be in all creative students learning kit IMO
I received some fantastic, salient and actionable points made on my work
The feedback was exactly what I needed, honest and helpful
If you’re a professional and want to get involved or a student who wants to use the platform, please visit Appraisium.org.