Professional Practice VII – Press Pack

What to have in the press pack? and why?

To have exposure in the industry for employment. It is a way to express your work and who you are. You could be the best at it but if you don’t show your work in a professional way to sell yourself it is difficult to get out there. The main purpose is employment.

What to put in it:

  • Business Card
  • CV (wither folded or of the size of the presentation pack to fit in)
  • Portfolio (Usb) but it is better to showcase them online on a professional website. It is better to give low res pictures and watermark them.
  • Fabric Swatch (if it is a bis cale have a cd visual attached)
  • A Statement (maybe with a picture and who you are)
  • A token, a little pencil, sticker, key-ring to insert or attach to the envelop
  • Envelops (better plastic free)
  • Presentation pack with pockets to keep all the rest inside

Consider:

  • The size of the press pack in order to post it
  • If it is worth sending it out to the industry, paper based or nowadays is it better digital? Both? Tangible samples it is also important

We have to provide 3 press packs for the Exposure Module (1 for the presentation, 1 for the external examiner and 1 for )

Group Press Pack:

  • name
  • catalog book with the post cards and pictures or statements
  • pictures
  • videos (of technical practice like digital embroidery and other activities)
  • Slideshow
  • A Pack for the work to go in

Look Book:

  • different page sizes
  • different paper
  • mood boards
  • work in progress
  • samples
  • colour chips
  • statements
  • cad visuals

80% of the mark is about the collection

20% is about Professional Practice, presentation and Press Pack

Video Editing Workshop

Anna Bress, a TV Journalist was invited by the Center of Entrepreneurship to host a workshop here in Cardiff Met teaching us video editing and some basic rules to make interesting content to post on social network. She worked for BBS and also with freelancer journalist teaching them digital skills. 18 months ago she started her own business teaching video editing, to create content, to companies, to make them more independent in creating their own professional content. Four hours of workshop very well spent. When I signed up for it, it kind of scared me the amount of time but I could have listened to her way more. I loved her professionalism and engagement and how she made every aspect of it interesting, I could have listened to her for hours and hours. I will definitely be using all these skills in my practice. This is a summary I managed to write down while listening and learning:

Motional hooks work very well with engagement. The traditional way of leaflets doesn’t work anymore as it used to be. Nowadays 70% of the population is on Facebook. People are more and more attracted and to videos than photographs and these can be done now by common people without the need of expensive equipment. The quality of the phones today is very high and professional. From 2011 when phones started to have high video standards, journalists started self shooting their own pieces getting rid of the camera men. Another interesting data is that 85% of videos on social are watched with the sound off, therefore the text in association with video has become very important. Have relevant background behind the subject when filming or interviewing.

Recommend investing in:

  • MICROPHONE. there are 2 types. A lepall (boya 14:99) The more expensive one (49:99 smart tlav+). A hand held microphone, chenifec 23£ is good already (better is around 200£). Stay far 20 cm away.
  • Stabilization such as selfie stick or a TRIPOD if the interview is too long. Cheepest amazon basics 18£ and works perfectly, it has an extension and a hook down to put wait on it not to tramble on an unsteady floor (wooden) especially with a lot of people walking on it. Newer brand is 36£ and more stable for higher budgets.
  • Tripod for phone or tablet that can be attached on the tripod. There are 1.99 on amazon, very basic but serve the purpose.
  • LIGHT – always go for natural, 1 meter from the source of light for example a window. The light always on the subject, never behind him. If the situation requires artificial light adjust accordingly.

Video: open the camera, click on the screen to focus on a point, if you click longer on it it will block on it and get everything else blurry. Normally the camera picks up a face but if there are more that one in the room it is good to lock it there so it doesn’t get confused.

Resolution: Standard Hd – 1080px works great, the 4k is 40.000px. and much higher. Filming in 4k is not necessary but it has to be at least Hd and it can be transformed after. If i film far away and i want to crop it afterwords it should be 4k otherwise cropping an Hd would get too blurry. Not many people watch in 4k neither on tv nor on socials but it has to be considered when filming in distance in order to crop it and for the future.

Frame the subject in the picture. You don’t move around with the camera while filming, it is very amateur. You take the wide for 3 or 4 seconds, the mid, close ups and even more close ups. After that, Kine Master will help with editing. Every project has to be then saved or moved to the cloud,  the app doesn’t perform very well when it has too many videos to deal with at once. You have to chose your edit format first.1:1 works more and best for social. In the app go to: Media —> All –> chose the 3 videos (wide, mid and close up). Click and drag the videos after to change their order if necessary. If a video is upside down, select it and flip it with the Rotate/Mirror setting. To cut, stretch out the video if necessary to understand where to cut, a light touch on it, and go to trim, trim to left or right depending on what is needed. Go to volume to reduce the volume accordingly if I have to talk over it and be careful that the volume level is green, under the mid lines. You just need 2 to 3 seconds of the same image or video, it is the necessary time for the brain to register the information and not get bored.

Careful when using imagery. Pexels and Pixebay are some of the websites that provide free images. I Movie (for Ios) is similar to Kine Master as setup and it s free but after learning Kine Master she wouldn’t go back to I Movie.

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Recording the screen is another important tool. Screen Record is an app used by Apple and it only registers what is on the screen. Call Recorder is an app to record phone calls but you need the approval to use it. You can record what you see on the screen. AZ Screen Recorder, however records external sounds too and it is an app for Android.

For the interview: strong introduction, 4 questions and strong ending. You can hear people talk for 10-20 sec and then start layering with photos. Layer –> Media –> pull it out or do split screen while muting down the new layer’s sound. 5-8 words when doing voice transcription in words for videos. If its 30 sec long it is doable, if longer than 1 minute it will take time to be able to split the video every 5-8 words.

There are other useful apps such as: Microsoft Hyperlaps for timelaps. Record 5 min at the start, 5 in the middle and 5 at the end for long processes such as decorating a christmas tree for example. BIGVU is an app that allows to transcript on screen what is needed to say and can be easily readable when filming oneself.

External Examiner Presentation

The presentation that I initially imagined accompanied with some amount of anxiety resulted in a very pleasant conversation which I have really enjoyed. Getting to meet her before the presentation relaxed me quite a bit. The pressure of deadlines in general has the ability to push forward my professionalism, which I think has to be always the basis for whatever professional interaction, even the friendlier. This meetings were the case. I have looked up Professor Eiluned Edwards and saw the vast experience she has in the textiles and fashion industry and was amazed by her friendly approach towards us both in the collective meeting and my personal presentation. She put us at ease immediately.

I started my presentation with my theme, talking about critically endangered species  which she seemed to like. She actually mentioned a couple of artists she knew that were studying the bees in their practice and I am waiting curiously now for their contact details to know more.

I went on talking about the style of my designs and client. I mentioned that I want to design mainly for interior but bring in some fashion elements too. Since there isn’t enough time or certain skills to make a garment she proposed something simple as a scarf or as a live mock up, exactly what I did for the previous collection that I didn’t consider for my final one. I will definitely go with it.

I shared why I have considered WGSN during my research and it is because 3 key points: sustainability in the process where digital printing is less damaging for the environment, gender neutral and transseasonal considerations. In fact I have chosen to design for the transseason SS20-and AW20/21. I did ask her if it wasn’t to bold of a move since I have never listened to a choice like this, but as WGSN also Eiluned agreed in how seasons are merging and also fashion and interior. I am very happy with the fact that she confirmed my choices and seemed to like it too.

Finally I shared my next steps that is to divide my collection equally, roughly in 10 primary, 10 secondary and 10 blenders and form these mini collections of 3 that might also be 4 or 5.

She asked me what will she see in my space at the summer show and I answered a wallpaper, possibly a one paneled room divider and some cushions. As well as the scarf or live mockup of a garment.

She finally asked me about my intentions once I finish my course. In the last year I have seriously considered to apply for the Inc. Space and there is a high possibility I might do that because I have an idea for a business. I will also start searching for a part time job and send out CV already before graduation either for part time or full time jobs depending if I will get a space in the Inc Space or not.

Since there wasn’t much time or space for all of us to add comments at the group meeting with Eiluned I would like to share some of my objective experience of these 2 and a half years in Cardiff Met:

  • I have done multiple workshops during my time in Cardiff Met, related to different other courses which were not Textiles. I didn’t sign up for all of them because some were full online and some I have just decided that day I wanted to do them. As suggested by the school and other students I contacted the relevant tutor and got in all of them besides one. In most workshops there is always somebody who doesn’t show up living space for somebody else but you have to be there to take it.
  • The interdisciplinary activities are multiple, they were a great experience where I have learned that I am not only a surface pattern designer but also a maker. For me it was invaluable.
  • Some Tutors and technicians even outside my course have gone the extra mile to help me. Somebody had their lunch while explaining to me what I needed and have done the same with some other students.
  • Constellation has opened my mind and made me do connections I didn’t imagine before. I have studied city architectures and philosophy and learned about curating and art gallery/museum where I ended up writing an essay about a hypothetical but doable futuristic experience for people that got me a first and enjoyed fully. This last study group wasn’t even my first choice.

I did an internship last year with a pleating company. It was great and I have learned so much among friendly people that taught me everything I asked for. The same experience was very negative for some of other people that I know. The school system, as every other is made of people and it is the interaction with them and mainly your professionalism, curiosity and personality that will make a difference in the end. Cardiff Met gives so many opportunities that one degree isn’t enough to take advantage of all even if you plan ahead the 3 years. It is up to each individual to take a step and use them.

 

Professional Practice VI – Online Portfolio

It is important and professional in the digital age to have an online portfolio. It is also easier for industry to see who you are and what you do. What I didn’t understand until now it is that an online portfolio it is actually a website and such, it has different sections to consider. The first is an ‘About me’ section with photographs, to show who is behind the designs, part of our personality and other details. At all time be careful that the website doesn’t have any grammar error so always double check, maybe even with somebody else.

ABOUT ME PAGE:

  • Section about background, designs and processes (people love to see a story behind all these points)
  • Awards and competitions, or been nominated for shortlists etc. Every little achievement counts
  • Featured on magazines, blogs and books (when confident with a certain style or amount of work, contact bloggers and ask to be featured on their websites)
  • Any collaborations of clients that we worked with

CONTACT PAGE

Single page, include eventually an online form, an email address, faqs and make it interesting as well

PORTFOLIO PAGE

It can be the home page or a section of the website where to upload all or part of our designs.

PRIVATE PAGES

We can make some online pages private. They are password protected and you can give the password to selected customers from the industry that have shown a real interest in the designs and want to see the entire collection. This mainly happens especially in a later stage where the big load of new work can be hidden from the competition.

YOUR OWN URL

Buying one means that we take our design career seriously. It won’t look as professional otherwise. The best option is to name it after ourselves, or anyway the brand name we chose to be recognized by, so it is easier to find it in the Google research. There are several companies where to buy the domain name and it only costs around 10£ per year: 34sp.com, Go daddy, Squarespce, 123-reg.co.uk. For example I bought mine some months ago from GoDaddy.com .

SOCIAL MEDIA

Preferably it would have the same name as the brand and all social media so it is easier to find. Consistency of name looks professional.

PROTECT WORK

Watermark images with own name so whoever decides to spread our designs through internet people can always see the name of the Designer. It is also important to put the copyright in the website.

FREE WEBSITES:

  1. Adobe Spark, the simplest one, one page that allows to add multiple photographs. It probably doesn’t allow to have a personal url but it is a great place to start;
  2. Wix has a simple layout, but we don’t need too much and too complex, the work should speak for itself;
  3. WordPress: The sketch theme is quite appropriate for work like ours. It can be used easily just by copying and pasting some lines of code to create a more personal layout. It can also be used by programmers to create a more complex website;
  4. Squarespace is 10£/m, more complex
  5. Format is specialized in portfolios, seems to be photographers choice, more sophisticated.
  6. Spark is very simple to use. It has limited options but it does the job: click on the plus button to add a template, than add titles, subtitles and images.

Researching your competitors to see what they are doing and how we can take elements that work out better for us.

 

First Critique on Work Development

From my Consultancy presentation I have learned to better time myself in what I have to say and I think I have improved and showed that today. There isn’t enough time in three minutes to talk about all the aspects of a collection but overall I am happy with how it went. I named my collection ‘Nature in Extinction’ based on 5 Critically Endangered species that I decided to bring together, together with elements from their natural habitat. I will construct my designs mainly through the exploration of the Damask style but I will also consider other classic layouts such as Art Deco, Toile de Jouy etc.

Tutors were pleased with the layout of my work, this aspect has been part of my practice since my first year and improved with each collection. I like my work to be displayed in a neat and professional way, it shows dedication and highlights the way I approach my work. I am very pleased with my research, it has been thorough and continues alongside my work. I have researched into the WWF and IUCN list of critically endangered animals and selected 5 species among those with an important ecological, symbolic and spiritual value and their habitat: the Sumatran Tiger, Hawksbill Turtle, Giant Ibis, Primates such as the Cross River Gorilla and the Honeybee. My Moodboards reflect my research, however I might reconsider a few of my colors to find the right balance between the transeasonal look I am looking for in regard to SS20 and AW20/21 and a bold and sophisticated look. My sketchbook depicts the animals I chose to represent and each plant associated with them. From the critique it came out the need to experiment more with different combinations of motifs.

Some of my sketches are incomplete such the Ibis where I omitted to finish the legs for the curiosity of starting soon my design development to have an understanding of the outcome. This has shown an unfinished look in my experimental designs that I need to correct. Same applies for my half ibis design where the ibis also have a too obvious look while I am aiming to give an overall impact of the design where my motifs are identifiable at a closer look.

One of my damask designs was already quite complex therefore it came out in the discussion that the single tiles need more space to breath, which I agree with. I will also need to reduce the amount of the black area which gives a very dark feel while I am only looking for a Gothic touch. It need refinement for a more harmonious balance.

horizontalTutors were very pleased with my large scale damask both for the layout and the colors and I am very happy about it because I have also found it successful.

The digital stitch sample was a bit too simplistic, in fact this was just a first sample and I am considering to bring more colours and interest to it by adding further embellishment.

Ibis digital stitch attempt

My next steps are:

  • Experimenting with different combinations of my flora and fauna motifs and different layouts and scale.
  • to select a few samples and digitally print them to see the real look of how my design look on my chosen fabrics and that the colours are the ones I have actually chosen.
  • Organizing my final samples in main, secondary and blenders where the main will depict all or most of the animals and elements of their natural habitat, the secondary will see a more simple combination of less and single species. The blender will be created by choosing single elements of either animals or plants in a simple layout to complete and balance the busiest main and secondary designs.

Research V – Animals and Natural Habitat

Giant Ibis – Thaumatibis gigantea

As described by IUCN, the giant ibis lives alone, in pairs or small parties. Their natural habitat occur in marshes, pools, wide rivers and seasonal water-meadows. They prefer predominantly deciduous (that loses its leaves in autumn and grows new ones in the spring) dipterocarp lowland forest, although it seems to be dependent on soft mud around seasonal pools (trapaengs). It also nests in these trees, in fact studies show that around 90% of nesting trees are common deciduous dipterocarp species and females almost always lay two eggs per clutch in the wet season (IUCN). Based on my research I decided to associate the giant ibis with the dipterocarpus tree and its seeds, that also represents part of its diet among  invertebrates, crustaceans, eels, small amphibians and reptiles. I will experiment sketching it both with foliage and without. I especially like its winding branches that gives a more dramatic look in the winter.

Ibis natural habitat.jpg

Hawksbill TurtleEretmochelys imbricata

Hawksbill Turtles are found mainly in tropical oceans, predominantly in coral reefs. They eat mainly sponges by using their narrow pointed beaks to extract them from crevices on the reef, but also eat sea anemones and jellyfish. I decided to associate the sea sponge with my sea turtle since it is the main element of its natural habitat and main food. There is a vast amount of sea sponges, generally colorful and with interesting shapes that I believe will integrate my turtle pattern very well.

Hawksbill Turtle Natural Habitat

Sumatran TigerPanthera tigris sumatrae

The Sumatran tiger is only found in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its natural habitat comprises evergreen tropical forests, freshwater swamp forests and peat swamps. Since its habitat is varied I decided to investigate further through the Unesco website that has a detailed article about the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra. I instantly fell in love with one of the typical Sumatran plants, the Cyrtostachys renda endemic in Sumatra, Borneo, Malaya and Thailand. It grows in the lowland swamp forests, especially in coastal areas. It has a bright red stem in opposition of the natural greens of its leaves. It is a tropical plant, topic that designers have focused on a lot these years. However this plant is not very well known and I believe it would fit very well within my original collection considering that I intend to keep part of its aspect as they are while turn others into a more abstract aesthetics.

Sumatran Tiger and Habitat

Bee

There are around 20.00 species of bees but not even 2% of these are honey bees and bumble bees. The remaining 98% are solitary bees. Some have a different aspect than the ‘normal’ black and orange coloured that we are used to identify as bees. There are around 270 species recorded in UK only. On the first days of sun this spring I went for bee hunting around Cardiff and luckily I found a few to inspire my sketches. They were buzzing around these beautiful winter blooming Camellias which I have never noticed before. It attracted me the evergreen foliage of this very tall tree full of pink/red flowers especially in February when most of the trees are still naked.

Bee and habitat.jpg

 

Bee and habitat.jpg

Research Part IV – Primary and Secondary

For the nature of my theme, I am limited in my primary research due to the rarity of the species I intend to bring together for my final collection.

There is the possibility for a closure with some of these animals such as the Sumatran Tiger within the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), however I am personally against captivity for whatever reason. I consider most Zoos to have a hypocritical attitude today, when they bring up the comfortable excuse of “conservational” reasons for endangered species when it comes to justify their caged choices. According to several articles such as Euronews and BBC, two critically endangered Tigers were killed in captivity this February within a week, the second one in the London Zoo. Criticism from Wildlife Organisations arrived immediately. Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, Dr Chris Draper claimed that “Both tragic incidents demonstrate just how unnatural captivity is for these wild animals,”  and that “They are denied the opportunity to choose their mates, have no control over their environment, and are unable to escape conflict.”

I intend to use mainly the WWF and IUCN database and archive as well as the Smithsonian one which I find to be the more detailed and updated and also rich in imagery of all animal species and their natural habitat.

We also have a very good imagery database in University, the Bridgeman Education.