As your entire final year of study builds up to New Designers we thought we should dedicate a blog post to this fantastic event. So, New Designers is just two weeks away and most of you are probably prepared (hopefully) for the show. If you need some last minute tips and advice then read on...
We chatted with Faith Bland from UCA who is exhibiting at ND17. She will be showcasing her project 'Cheeseplants & Pineapples' which was inspired by a trip to Kew Gardens, London. Her project is bright, bold and energetic & we love it! Brighten up your kitchen with her colourful tropical prints that translate the beautiful colours of the tropics in an everyday environment. Taking inspiration from her photography of Kew Gardens, Faith has interpreted the vibrant colours through her digital drawings of plants and flowers. Faiths project really stood out to us as she has taken a modern approach to quite a classic theme. Her mix of drawing and geometric shapes creates a collection of unique, modern prints.
What are you most looking forward to? I am extremely excited to network with people in the industry and to have the opportunity to talk to many experienced people that can give me advice and some insight on what it is like to work in the Textiles industry. Also I am looking forward to visiting all of the stands there and seeing such a beautiful variety of designs. I love looking at other people's work, as each designer has a different approach when creating prints, whether it be the different drawing styles, or the different colour ways that have been chosen, it makes each individuals work unique.
Is anything worrying you in particular? Hmm, no not really! I wouldn't say that there is anything worrying me in particular, however, one concern I did have previously was that as mentioned I will be exhibiting amongst other students in my class, so I was worried that my work might not get as much attention as my peers. Hopefully my work can offer something different that will catch people's eyes. Apart from that, New Designers is a fun and exciting place to be so I can't wait!
What are you hoping to gain from exhibiting at the show? I am hoping to build relationships with like-minded people that share the same interests and passion for print design as me. Obviously a career would be the best possible outcome from this, however, I would be extremely grateful for an internship or any kind of work experience. After New Designers I have a couple of internships lined up which I am very excited for! I can't wait to get some experience in the industry. After I've completed a few internships, I'd love to become part of a print design team. I love creating prints for all products whether that's accessories, stationery, fashion or interior, so to work for an established design team would be amazing!
Do you have any questions for someone who has already experienced ND? Yeah definitely! I would love to know what their best bit of advice would be for how to prepare for the week? Also I have spoken to so many different people about New Designers and it seems that New Designers benefits people in all different ways. So, I'd love to know how New Designers benefited them and were any opportunities opened to them? Also, what should I aim to take away from New Designers in order to make sure the experience is utilised to its full potential?
Here to answer all of Faiths questions is an experienced New Designers exhibitor, exceptional knitter & textile designer. Introducing Harriett Grist... Harriett exhibited at ND16 and found it very rewarding. Since the show she has built up her own business which includes two ranges which we adore! The 'hg.' range is beautifully designed with a soft neutral palette combined with very exciting accents of brighter colours. Each bespoke product crafted by hand using a variety of knitted techniques to create contrast and texture to create a unique products. Harrietts second brand, 'CHICKPEA' will modernise and bring luxurious comfort to any home. This collection of knitted home-ware products have a real sumptuous feel, the soft colour palette combined with the lambswool quality really accentuates this.
What is the importance of prepping for the show? What should you take with you? It is important to prepare your work and decide how you would like it to look and what story you want it to tell. As there are so many other graduates exhibiting their work as well, you need to put serious thought into your display to make sure yours stands out from the crowd. Come prepared, produce a press pack, portfolio of your best work, business cards, CVs and descriptions about yourself and your work for any potential businesses etc. that might want to work with you. As the days can be super long, and depending on the weather it can get particularly hot, make sure you wear presentable but comfortable clothing and footwear, as well as taking lots of water with you to keep hydrated.
Do you have any advice for this years exhibitors? Exhibiting at New Designers gave me the experience in self promotion and the confidence to help my set up my own business. Talking to an array of people and expressing my passion about my work at the exhibition helped convince me that I should go ahead and do it! The help, lectures and awards the New Designers offer are a great launch pad into the real world and it also really helped with networking. My main bit of advice would be to be yourself, be confident, talk to everyone and always smile! Be sure to check out One Year On and talk to alumni as it could be you standing there next year! This was my first time exhibiting and I found the experience really invaluable as it was great practice for exhibitions I went on to do afterwards. I was selected to exhibit at the National Centre of Craft and Design as part of the graduates of 2016, as well as being a part of the Launch Pad section at MoOD in Brussels. Those two opportunities came about as a result of the right people viewing my work and picking up a business card at New Designers, so you never know what opportunities will be afforded to you!
Good Luck to all the new & upcoming textile designers exhibiting at this years New Designers show. Remember to use our hashtag #ExposeMeND17 on Instagram for exposure throughout the show.