Trip to International Greetings!

This morning we had a visit to the International Greetings office. We learnt that the company are global, and definitely not as small as I had first thought. They have businesses all over the world including Atlanta, Boston, Amsterdam and Australia. I hadn’t realised that the company provide greeting cards and gift wrap with pretty much every store on the high street minus only a couple. We discussed the brief and what the company were looking for. Sarah Barker expressed that she really wanted to see our textiles processes in the final designs and that the fact the designs needed to be on paper should be the very last consideration!

With this in mind, I was left feeling a little confused. When I originally read the brief I thought I had my idea secured. I had already started my research on my specific theme, drawing and even had ideas for designs. I think I definitely decided on this too early and wished I had waited until after the trip.

There was a lot of Christmas themed inspiration in the office and I instantly changed my mind on the summery floral theme which I had originally thought of. I was planning on creating floral designs using watercolours to give a painterly floral effect; this came from research from a previous project of a collection of Laura Ashley designs. My intention was to combine the watercolours with laser cut details and mylar foil.Though these are textiles processes, I feel I would prefer to work in a craft style more and focus on stitch processes like applique.

However, I have to start thinking about my final major project and florals is a potential theme I may want to incorporate, I don’t want all of my work to become too similar as I found this was the case with my projects last year in that I focussed predominantly on geometric patterns.

Another issue I’ve had with my original idea, is that I am not playing on my strengths, this was a key idea that Sarah Barker spoke about today. I have only ever experimented with laser cutting once and though I have enjoyed using water colours so far it is not my preferred form of drawing. So I feel that if I can draw in my usual style and be able to incorporate more stitch into my designs I will produce a better design overall.

Greeting cards have a wide range of themes and therefore inspiration can come from anywhere – I feel like you can have more freedom, some designs can work really well in greeting cards and wouldn’t work in the interior area I am usually more interested in.

For this reason, I came away from the International Greetings trip believing I would focus on Christmas as a theme. However, when I got home to start researching and narrowing down the theme further, I started to get less enthusiastic and felt that I couldn’t do what I wanted to with this theme either. I felt restricted by the cliché motifs and colours.

I began to feel a little deflated so I decided to research greeting cards in general and not specific occasions or themes. After researching for a while, I have decided to focus on New Home as an occasion. I feel this gives me the freedom I want to draw different motifs, use different colours and overall just experiment more.

The overall design aspects I have been drawn to in all my research is of a slightly vintage feel. I will build on these ideas by doing more research – HOPEFULLY my ideas wont change again!

.. As you can see, today I had a bit of a flap!

Constellation – Dissertation Tutorial

Today I had my first tutorial with Ashley since before summer. I was quite anxious for the tutorial as before summer I had really wanted to have completed a whole chapter before I returned back to university, unfortunately I didn’t manage this. Though I hadn’t reached my goals I realised after my tutorial that I had still accomplished a lot – and also that my first chapter is actually m longest! I have begun writing my first chapter – I am about half way through and I have also began writing my introduction. I have planned out my dissertation and know exactly what is going into each chapter. I also managed to get a lot of my reading and research done.

During the tutorial I discussed with Ashley a concept I was a little concerned about regarding my dissertation and one that I was considering changing. In my second chapter I will be using magazines as a case study to discuss my ideas regarding body image. However, whilst researching over the summer I realised that in todays issues of Glamour magazine (the glossy women’s magazines I am focussing on) the magazine itself does not necessarily promote a negative body image like it once did. However, the advertisements still present an idealistic image of a woman which is unattainable. It seems that the magazines have shifted yet the advertisements are still running behind regarding this issue. I was concerned that this part of my dissertation might contradict what I have been writing about so far in my first chapter, I had considered changing my focus to solely advertisements. Ashley was impressed with this idea and said it was fruitful and that she didn’t feel there was a need to change the idea.

After such a positive tutorial I felt relieved and also determined to carry on reading and writing. I feel more confident and if I can stick to working on my dissertation every week, hopefully I will produce something I am really proud of at the end!

Second Year 

I have thoroughly enjoyed this year, I have had some amazing experiences including my work experience module which really opened my eyes to a different area of the industry which I hadn’t looked into before and the trip to Marrakech which was an amazing opportunity and a place I deffinetly would like to revisit. As well as the amazing experiences outside of university I have really enjoyed the subject module which has been running all the way throughout the year. It has been nice to have such a long project and coming back to it after these field modules meant my work was influenced by what I had seen and done. I am really happy with the work I have produced this year especially my most recent work at the end of this term. I feel I am getting to become a more skilled designer and am beginning to realise what I do and do not like within the area of textiles. Though I am scared to be in the third year I am really excited for what is to come in my last year of university! 

Second Year Exhibition 

Today I put up my work for the formative assessment and end of year exhibition. I really liked being able to show my work at the end of the year. We didn’t do it at the end of last year and I feel it is a nice way to end the year seeing what everyone else has been working on. It also feels like preparation for next year! 

Here is my space, I have added three new designs to my collection which I actually prefer  a lot more to my older designs. 


Summative Subject – How did subject and field inform one another?

One of the main reasons I have enjoyed the second year so much is because we have had the opportunities of undertaking two different field modules. For my first module I chose work experience, this was very daunting but such an amazing experience for me. I worked for a month in Monsoon Accessorize Head Office with two different teams of buyers. This enabled me to experience a job role I had envisaged myself in in the future after university. The experience influenced my time at university as a whole because I felt like it gave me a drive, I feel university is a little bit overwhelming sometimes in that you are pressured to know what you are going to do at the end of the three years. This really gave me an aim and a kind of light at the end of the tunnel, Buying is definitely a career I would be happy in after university. Not only did it inform my practice in the bigger picture but it was also small things like professionalism and presentation. During my work experience I often had to  prepare moodboards and product boards for big meetings with buyers from other countries which had to be perfectly presented. This has influenced how I present my own work.  Working with buyers also made me focus on small details, one colour in a design can make or break it and this has influenced how I view my designs in term two and three in this module of Making Connections.

The second field module I chose was the Global Cultural Collaboration trip to Marrakech, this experience was a true eye opener. Everywhere you turned people on the streets were making amazing things with what little they had. This appreciation of the handcrafted made me realise that with a lot of my work was relying on machinery. I felt that if I could practice my hand skills, I could become a more skilled artist. This encouraged me to use more hand techniques which was evident in my samples I created. Both modules were impacted from my trip to Marrakech as I decided to base my subject project on geometric patterns found in northern African countries so I was able to use all my photographs, drawings and experiences gained in Marrakech for this project as well as in my field work. With this in mind it was hard for my projects not to inform one another. I did however take a different approach on both projects, using different colour palettes and I also decided to take less of a handcrafted approach for my final samples in my subject work. Though this was a concept I thoroughly enjoyed in my field I felt that my designs did not look as professional as what I could have created and I was designing for a higher end company in my hypothetical brief. The handcrafted element has influenced my thoughts in my practice overall and it is still something I would like to practice more in the future.

Illustrator Designs

I’ve been working on some designs using Illustrator over the past few weeks. I have recreated some from previous designs using Photoshop and also created brand new designs. I have created alternative colour palettes for a few of the designs. I will be working with some of these to create some more CAD Visuals before the hand in on Monday. Here are a few examples :

Circle-illustrator-designnonopacity-differnet-background Geometric-design Geometric-design-different-background Geometric-design-with-overlay Hamsa-middle-design-outline-design Hamsa-middle-design-outline-design-colourway-2 Hamsa-middle-design-outline-design-colourway-3 Hamsa-middle-design-outline-design-diff-background Hamsa-middle-design-outline-design-diff-background2

Personal Critique of Textile Degree Show

At the end of this module we had to complete a personal critique of the degree show in order to acknowledge what it was we liked about the show to give us ideas for our own final major project next year. (SCARY!!) Two of my favourite shows were Ceris Butterworth’s (maybe a little bit biased) and Alice Logue’s. 

With Ceris show I liked that each family of designs did not necessarily have a different theme or motif to them but were designed for different reasons, Day, Evening and Workwear. I also liked the collection overall because I felt they could be used for anything not just fashion as they were displayed, they would work well for stationary and interiors as well. Ceris had chosen the materials she used carefully, this was evident in her choice of fabrics for the Devore samples and scarves which worked well with the more delicate fabrics. I liked the range of techniques which she used in the collection from digital stitch, screen printing, Devore and digital print. The overall presentation of the exhibition worked well and the space did not look cluttered. Your eye moves around the space fluidly. 

Alice Logue was the second third year student I decided to focus on for the critique. Alice’s collection had a clear concept and inspirational theme taken from geometric designs from Rajasthan. The theme has been modernised and would therefore work well for the home interior market it was designed for. The choice of materials worked well in a collection together and there was a strong colour palette which stays throughout all the designs. Her space was very clean and proffessional. 


Walking round the degree show it was amazing to see how different every exhibition space was and how individuals had taken inspiration from all different areas. All of the shows were very proffessional and showed skill in a variety of areas. Three things that I have learnt from the experience is that presentation is key, having a clear colour palette makes the collection work well together and small things such as headers and labels can effect the overall presentation. 


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