My experience within field this year have undoubtedly affected both me and my work. For both modules I decided to undertake work placement, which turned out to be the best part of the academic year for me.
For two months out of this year I was able to work with professionals, designing and collaborating on different projects. I was able to have quite significant input within both of my placements, which was thrilling, with the prospect that my designs could be featured with their own collections.
From these two experiences I have been able to learn new skills from these people that have affected my methods of creating/designing – I am now more proficient with Photoshop, which has played a great part in my workings. I have developed my hand drawings and paintings skills which an invaluable tool, helping me grow in my own abilities as well as helping me to grow in confidence.
Not only have I developed in my creative skills but I have also learnt about myself, my influences and the way in which I prefer to work.
My time with Richard Weston enabled me to learn more digital designs skills, and gain valuable knowledge on what it is like to design to specific client specification. It was very nerve-wracking and rewarding at the same time. I experienced what it was like to work on a real life brief, which included regular critiques — which has helped me to grow more confident in my abilities — along with learning how to conduct myself professionally.
It was also very challenging to work with someone whose taste different drastically from mine. I had to learn how to think more in terms of what they were looking for from my designs, instead of what I wanted to give in my designs.
My time at Sacha Pierre was very freeing. I was under a less strict brief and was left to find my own place within the designing of their collection. I was able to find my own inspiration from a wide range of ideas/themes that they were working with, letting me further develop my designing process. Again I had to learn how to conduct myself professionally, but in a different way from when I was working with Richard – I was part of the team in Sacha Pierre as opposed to working for a client.
With the freedom I was afforded within Sacha Pierre I gained confidence in my painting and designing skills — which I have been able to take forwards into different aspects of my work — and learnt what it is like to be in a real life working environment. I’ve also learnt that this is the kind of area, and atmosphere I want to work in.
During my first field term I looked into so many designers and completed so much research, trying to push myself to further my ideas; the only problem was that I wasn’t happy with the direction my collection was going in. However, I put this from my mind and tried to immerse myself in field, trying to get the best experience possible.
Working with Richard, I was able to see natural elements at such an intimate level; seeing inside stones and crystals and minerals, to find the wonders inside. They were beautiful, but I couldn’t figure out how I would be able to combine them with my collection. While at Richards, he received a book about the French sculptures Claude and Francois-Xavier Lalanne. It was while looking through this book that I decided, if I couldn’t fit this new, gorgeous inspiration into my current collection, then the collection needed to be changed. The natural influences that are so clearly evident in the work by Lalanne, were stunning. As soon as I saw them, I fell in love and wanted to create a collection that could be used alongside their cutlery set; this is how I came to be designing tableware. It wasn’t until my formative feedback that I swapped this into a wholly napkin collection.
My designs were now influenced by minerals, the structures, formation and colours; what could compliment cutlery inspired by nature more than nature inspired napkins? However, minerals are perfect as there are, so how would I be able to use these within my designs? I decided that my designs were going to be much more abstract that what I had been experimenting with already, the colours and shapes and layers would be evident, but the result would be a designs not trying to mimic a minerals, just utterly influenced by them.
My first field placement managed to change the influence and direction of my collection complete, to a point where I was enjoying the creation of the collection again. – My second placement, afforded me the skills to create these designs with much more ease. Using Photoshop became much easier, and I was confident in my drawing skills so I knew that I could draw up my own motifs when the inspiration struct. It was because of the freedom that I had while working in Sacha Pierre, that I was very free with my explorations of techniques during the creation of my final designs. I didn’t limit myself to any one process, instead chose to use multiple to try and show the many depth of the minerals I had found during my time with Richard. They way in which the team at Sacha Pierre laid out their ideas for their collection clearly, helped me to do the same without in my own collection, making the collection much more cohesive. My designs now complimented each other, and showed a range of skills and techniques that i wouldn’t have been able to experience if i hadn’t spent my time with Sacha Pierre.
Over the past four weeks I have been working with Sacha Pierre, a Home Textile Design Company, who has just started to develop their next collection. With the success of their first still hanging in the air, their next collection is full of excitement and fresh ideas which I got to be a part of.
At the beginning of my fours week I was quite nervous to be going into an established company, though this was unnecessary considering how accommodating the team at Sacha Pierre have been.
I came into the office at a great time, with the start of their new collection having just begun. I have been able to help develop the imagery within this new collection by completed many paintings that were either asked of me or that I thought would work well within the collection.
I was given the opportunity to learn about the style of Sacha Pierre and their influences for the next collection by creating their mood-boards; this helped me a lot in trying to understand the style and effect that they were reaching for in their next collection.
There were a few days when I was unhappy in what I was creating or designing, but having experienced this in my last work placement I was well equipped to stop what I was doing, save it and move onto something else. This enabled me to free myself of that certain piece of work, with the possibility of coming back to it or learning that that was the wrong direction, for which I am better off for having discovered.
I was still not as confident in my own work as I should be, I caught myself a few times waiting, before showing what I had creating, not yet ready to hear what they thought. In this aspect I have disappointed myself, I should have been confident or strong enough to say, this is what I have created, let me know how to improve. It’s better than I can learn to do this so that what I am creating doesn’t suffer from not having this critique experience.
As with my last placement I have really enjoyed creating designs. At first I found it a bit shocking when I was told to just play around, but I soon got over it and started to do indeed that. I was able to use my own motifs as well as the teams to create some really interesting designs that I think I linked well with the overall feel of the Sacha Pierre Company and how they represent themselves.
I was asked during the placement whether I was excited that my drawings could potentially end up being printed in the collection; this is when I had to spot myself from squealing with excitement. I am so beyond thrilled at the thought, and how this would look in my portfolio. Again I had the experience of being a designer, and this was brought home to me when I showed the team what I designer and they had liked it. That was a really good day for me, and such a confidence booster.
So my last week with Sacha Pierre came and went but I can honestly tell you that I am so happy for having completed this work placement. I have learnt not only new tools and tricks that will help with my career within textiles but I have learnt about myself also.
Before this placement I was loath to do any sort of drawing or painting. I hated how previously, any attempt at these two techniques has always been rushed and stressful, with myself thinking that I don’t actually have the ability to pull it off, but since being with Sacha Pierre, I’ve learn otherwise. I still don’t like feeling rushed to finish a painting but I no longer think that I can’t do it or that I don’t have the skill, because the work that I have done for Sacha Pierre proves otherwise.
I’m quite sad to be leaving, having spend the first month of the new collection helping out and helping to develop, I’m quite disappointed that I won’t be there to see how the rest of the collection pans out.
I have been invited back and I going to see if I can join them over the Easter break as well as during the summer. I have also been invited on the next photo shoot, which will be for the next collection, where I get to spend some time away learning about yet another different aspect of being a designer.
Today was the second day of my last week with Sacha Pierre. Or was it?
Ok it was in terms of my work experience but thankfully they’ve invited me back so that I can learn and experience even more interesting things. For their current collection, Sacha Pierre had a photoshoot in which they showcased their products to use for promotional purposes and to feature in their catalogue. They plan to do the same for the next collection; which I have been invited along to when the date is set. They need extra hands I would love the opportunity to be involved in something so importing within the design business. More than just designing, I will be able to learn the importance of how to set up and display designs which is almost, if not equally important.
This experience has been so very different from my last, I suppose it highlights the differences between freelance work and working for a company. I’m quite taken with the idea of working for a company, being in an environment with many creative people, having an important role within, and being able to share in all the different ideas and process that arise. While I imagine that both freelance and corporate work can be as hard as each other; being both restrictive and freeing, I prefer the structure of an organisation.
When I come to actually work within a textile company I may find that I was mistaken in impression, but from what I have seen and experienced within Sacha Pierre, I think that it is the way forward for me.
I have enjoyed my time with Sacha Pierre. I like that they day has been broken up into different sections, that I’m not spending all my time on a computer but that I have the ability to draw and paint as well as given the to research. I have been able to work at my own pace, with instruction from Fannie and Isie, which has also included critique, which is always a good thing to experience. I’m really pleased that the work that I have created, has been accepted by both members of the team, and will be helpful in the creation of their next collection.
Given the amount of time that I have spent with Sacha Pierre, which simulations feels like quite a long and a very short time, I have been given the freedom to come to understand their wants for their next collection. From this understanding I have been able to research accordingly, therefore enabling me to create drawings, paintings and designs that I hope, fill be very helpful to Sacha Pierre in the future.
Oh what a week.
Can you hear that noise? That little pounding in your ear? It’s the sound of the creative beat. It’s been playing all throughout my week, helping me to draw, paint and to develop patterns.
I started the week by completed more paintings for the team in Sacha Pierre, motifs for their upcoming collection and for a side project therein. I was free to drawn, paint and manipulate. And when I couldn’t think of how to do more within the side project, I returned my attention to the upcoming collection and the myriad of drawings and research that we had gathered for that.
The pattern that I has been making last week wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t getting a Sacha Pierre vibe from it, I wasn’t feeling it. So taking two different motifs, I started to work on a collection of designs similar to one that had already been created by Sacha Pierre, but different enough so that it was completely separate. I suppose a sort of ‘moving on’ collection that still keeps to the same framework as the last.
When I showed the team my initial design they really liked it, which thrilled me. I was really chuffed (and still am) at having these two established designers liking my pattern. From here, and taking my chuffed buzz with me, I started to make cushion designs that would complement my first pattern, then from there, I was lead on to creating a further design using just one motif. I was really inspired this week, as you can tell from my designs snowballing from the one before and so on.
I took this inspiration home with me, to my own ‘Mineral Spirit’ collection. I drew minerals, painted them and scanned them into my computer before manipulating and turning into a repeating pattern. I used information that I got of Fannie about all the different possible layouts for repeating patterns and tried them all before finding one I really liked. From here I plan to change this design so that it is four different colourways, exciting huh?
Throughout the week I was set a few tasks by the Sacha Pierre team, which was a pleasant side path along with the designing, the first was of course to create my motifs, but the second was really interesting and a bit frightening at the same time. Isie asked me to look over all the little blurbs that had been written about the company so far, and to condense it into one or two paragraphs so as to go onto their new catalogue design. I’m not naive enough to think that what I wrote was perfect and that Isie would keep it exactly the same, but I was again so thrilled to be this involved in their collection, that I really don’t mind.
One thing that I touched upon last year was creating a CAD visual, which I created a few really rudimentary version of; but today I was able to create more, again chuffed, thrilled, over the moon; you name it, I was it. Using a CAD visual that Fannie had already used before, I was able to change a few of the layers so that they featured my designs instead and ‘hey presto’ there were my designs, on bedding, on a bed, looking ridiculously exciting. (it’s been a really exciting week for me). I plan to take this re-established knowledge home with me so that I can use the designs of my collection with CAD visuals.
When I wake up, yeah you know I’m gona’ be, I’m going be the girl in Sacha Pierre.
It’s the halfway point already and what a great two weeks it’s been. As I’ve said previously, this work placement has been markedly different from my last. While with Richard I thought it was learning quite a bit about Photoshop and the designing process but, boy oh boy! I’ve learned so much more in Sacha Pierre that I’ve needed to start writing them down so as to remember it all.
When working with Richard, the atmosphere was much more relaxed, with the air of completing tasks at a leisurely pace; in Sacha Pierre however there are many deadlines and tasks that need to be completed, both for their current and next collection.
I feel that if I had known all these little Photoshop tricks and traits that I have picked up with Sacha Pierre, I would have been more of a service to Richard. My skill level would have been higher and as such I would have been able to create better work. This just proves to me the importance of having a skill like Photoshop, and as such I shall endeavoured to keep up with it.
With Sacha Pierre I am able to create my own motifs and designs, while still working to their theme, but I find that here, I have less restriction on what I can create than when I was with Richard. Also, I find that I don’t mind working digitally as much, because I have been able to take breaks, and concentrate on drawing or painting which I think helps to refresh my mind for when I go back to working with Photoshop.
While at Sacha Pierre I’ve had a lot of time to spend drawing and painting, and as such I have been able to learn the circumstances in which I can create work that I know I’m capable of. When in university I usually feel quite rushed to have my drawing/painting done by the end of the lesson or day which has not been productive for my drawings skills. Whereas at Sacha Pierre, I’ve been given the freedom of spreading a painting out over the course of a few hours, days or a week if I so wish. With the assistance of both Isie and Fannie I have learnt a lot of new tools and shortcuts to use within Photoshop. They have enabled me to scan in images into the computer, how to clean these images and then how to change them into layers of colours that still resemble the original painting but where the colours can be changed and can be made into patterns.
I have enjoyed paintings thoroughly. Being able to turn my motifs into digital renditions had been really exciting to learn and really beneficial to my practise. I have been able to create artwork that pertains to the theme that Sacha Pierre is working from for their new collection, what I found least enjoyable so far during this placement was being given free rein to start creating patterns. Even though I have been creating artwork, this is a long stretch away from creating a pattern that adheres to their theme. Again I feel this problem of design on a collection or project that isn’t mine and so I think and approach it differently from how the team will.
I want to be able to watch Fannie and Isie during this creative process, at least for a short while, so that I can see how they think, which motifs they join together and how they create a rolling repeating pattern that can be printed on a rotary printing, because these small issues are weighing on me because I feel so green in realisation to their business. I think that during the coming week I will be able to watch more the working of both Fannie and Isie and gain a greater understand of how they would approach pattern creating. I think that this will be very beneficial to me as a design myself, but I feel that I still need to gain more confidence in my own abilities.