Exhibition Space

After learning about the dimensions of my actual space I had to make some changes compared to what I imagined it would be in the beginning. However, I managed to integrate all the elements I wanted and I am very pleased with the result. I also love where I am in the room since my exhibition will be the first one everybody will see walking by the door.

Initial idea:

Final Exhibition Space

Setting up plan:

Space Division

Final Show Statement

‘Nature in Extinction’ is a collection that aims to give a voice to critically endangered species. It is a response to a growing need for designs that are meaningful, gender neutral and transseasonal, therefore able to convey an important message while also being less tied to a particular season or gender. The idea was born from my love for nature and an in depth research related to environmental issues and concept trend reports. I have brought together a selected number of species at high risk of extinction that have an important ecological, symbolic and spiritual value such as the Honey Bee, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Giant Ibis and the Sumatran Tiger. They are depicted in their natural environment, through a bold and sophisticated aesthetics that is both illustrative and abstract. The collection is aimed for a high end interior and fashion clientele that love a Gothic twist. All designs are digitally printed in order to limit the harmful effect on the environment.

Press Pack

For my press pack I want to have a plain colour paper envelop with pockets and a paper ring around it to hold it together. It will contain my CV, Statement with reference to my website where there can be viewed the full portfolio, Business Card and fabric samples. I believe that having a few samples for people to be able to touch and in the meantime see the designs printed is an added value.Press Pack.jpg

My pocketfold bought online and for which I intend to create a paper ring with my main designs. I believe that my blue and green with some hints of red will give it the appropriate high end look I am looking for:


For the group press pack we had to somewhat limit ourselves in the amount of details to add because there are many of us. We decided to do a slideshow with our name, photograph of ourselves and one of our designs and a little statement. We also did a sample book by collecting all our postcards and binding them on a corner with a screw to be able to rotate them individually 360 degrees.

Sample Book and Look Book

Besides being a Surface Pattern Designer, I also consider myself to be a maker. This is why I decided to make my own Sample Book. The idea is to use it for my final collection of 30 designs but if I chose to display them on a rail instead I will use it as my Technical File. It was very exciting to put it together and even though it can definitely be improved I am very pleased with the result. I chose the colour red for the binding because it balances the whole collection where I have used it in a limited amount. I digitally stitched the binding fabric that was a little tricky, in fact it took me half a day to sort it out properly instead of the half an hour I anticipated. However the binding of the book took me less time than predicted so I managed to finish it in the time I have planed.

Sample Book

For my Look Book I decided to go with something very simple but effective. I used my designs as Cad Visuals to showcase examples of how they would be placed in an Interior environment and on Fashion items. The cover reflects my brand identity and it is the same design, font and overall layout I used for my stickers, business cards and CV.

LookBook 22x20 Mockups.jpg

Look Book 9 Mockups 60.9 X 68 cm


Professional Practice VII – Press Pack

What to have in the press pack? and why is it important having one?

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:

  • Business Card
  • CV (wider folded or of the size of the presentation pack to fit in)
  • Portfolio on Usb but it is better to showcase them online on a professional website. In order to protect your work, have low res pictures and watermark them.
  • Fabric Swatch (if the designs are in big scale it is better to maybe have a cad 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


  • The size of the press pack, to be able to post it
  • Is it worth sending it out to the industry paper based or nowadays is it better digital? Both? To have tangible samples is also an important consideration.

We have to provide 3 press packs for the Exposure Module

For the group Press Pack provide some of the following:

  • 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

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.


  • 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


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


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


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.


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 .


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.


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.


  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.

I bought my domain name as http://www.miladyanda.com on GoDaddy and connected it for now with WordPress. I am planning in having my About page, portfolio, contact and blog as the main menu and relevant filters for the portfolio and blog articles.



Professional Practice V – Self Promotion

Self promotion is very important when it comes to either work for somebody or running your own business, especially in out era.

There are 2 types of people: the ones that have an Internal Locus of control, which means that they feel in control of their opportunities and future and make things happen. The second type, believe that things just happen to them and there is nothing they can do about it.

Exercise 1:

  • Work on your own
  • Write down every step you took (so that we can replicate what you did).
  • Write down how you ‘validated’ that you would like to work with the person. Ie how did they build your trust.
  • Find an individual who you would like to collaborate with on your next project. Must be someone who you have not physically met (yet).

This exercise was really interesting. When done, we were asked: where did you start? who did you dismiss along the way and why? how did the person build trust?. The answers that kept popping up were social media, professional website, positive reviews etc. To led us realize how important it is to have social proof and how this can influence other people’s decision in wanting to work with us or not.

Exercise 2:

  • Work in pairs.
  • List what is good, what is bad, what can be improved.
  • Use different platforms, google, linkedin, Instagram, twitter etc
  • Imagine you are either an employer or a potential collaborator, what can you find out about the other person based on their name and knowing that they are a textile designer/surface pattern designer.

It was very interesting to see how some of us had some difficulties finding the other on social media or how the different social media were not coherent to one another almost as if there were different people, not one.

Exercise 3:

3 things to improve your profile: (three things by the end of the day) 3 things before i leave uni, 3 things to change yourself on. After the previous exercises I found it much easier to understand the things I had to change to improve my social presence:

  • Instagram: Change photograph on main page
  • post regularly to create more trust
  • Post more work in progress images, especially or carousels of photographs
  • Post short videos of what you do, these seems more captivating and have better rate of succes in bringing new people to the profile

Today, people search people online. If they don’t find you they’ll dismiss you, if they find you and don’t like what they see they will dismiss you as well. I personally use on a daily/weekly basis Instagram that is connected to my Facebook page so every time I post something, it goes to my page as well. I have also set a profile on LinkedIn that I keep up to date, it is the most important social presence to have when looking for a job. Blogging have become almost routine for me, and knowing how important it is to give content to people, I plan on having a dedicated blog space in my website where I can write relevant content for my customers.

Next step: I will participate to Countdown to Launch from 10-14 June with the Centre of Entrepreneurship. It is a great opportunity to do a 5 day intensive workshop going through many different aspects of running and expanding a business. There will be the chance for pitching to get 1000£ that I am very excited about. I remember how scary talking was for me when I started my first year. Now, even though it still doesn’t come natural to me, I feel confident in saying I will definitely do it.

Professional Practice IV – Angela Gidden

Angela Gidden was born in 1960 in Cardiff and has become a highly established and renowned U.K designer. She is a creative entrepreneur and turned what she loved in multiple businesses, working as a design consultant and creative director. She awarded the Member Of The British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s New Years Honours list in 2007 and is testimony to her commitment to design and business in Wales.

Ange Header jpeg

‘A Creative Journey of Romance and Risk’. The romance is part of the things she loves, the risk is something she have never tough before but it is part of the journey. she is a consultant designer and payed as such plus royalty.

She has a variety of role models. They tend to be outside the design world. One of them is Maya Anjelou, an American poet, singer, memoirist, and civil rights activist. One of her favourite quotes that she relates to: ‘If you always try to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be”.

Angela Gidden is an award winning designer and owner of 3 brands/businesses. As she tells us, she made loads of mistakes but some great decisions, one of them was to be a consultant creative director. She also got a medal from the Queen.

She had 4 role models in her life: A ballerina, her mom. A footballer, George. Angela used to draw him and sell the portraits to every person she knew at the age of 7. A singer, she was fascinated by him, dressed in color and patterns and at the age of 12 she knew she wanted to pursue the arts. A technician, her dad. He has been her jury from the moment she shared to manifest a desire to pursue a career in design. The lesson here is that there is always someone to questions you an to whom you have to prove wrong to and this can either stop you from the start or it can be a a good motivator to push you to do better.

1979 – Cardiff art college foundation course

1980 London College of Art

1984 Masters that she failed together with half of her class

What makes you get that far is both passion and luck. However, all sorts of luck can come your way but its up to you to grab it

Her first job was working for Christie Tyler where she got promoted to design director after only 2 years. Back then it was a male director dominated industry where she had to prove herself. She was tough and worked hard and grow them and succeed!

She ended up designing for different companies such as IKEA, the Heinz beans tin for Tesco etc. She was always the name behind some other brand’s products and started to feel limited. She then decided to take the risk and break free, as her personality a free spirited, unconventional and a natural risk taker.

‘You have to have the passion and conviction to be very good, damn good!’

She always has been told that designers do not make good business people. In 1993 she started looking for loans, and even with a good business plan she’s been repeatedly rejected. The same happened with Barclays that said no to her just because it wasn’t common for a woman to be a businesswoman. In the furniture market there is a limited time that goes from designing to manufacturing and to the market. To keep up and be profitable she created her design studio with an integrated production department to create her own prototypes. She advertised herself and Habitat and other brands commissioned her immediately the Pacino sofa. With Habitat she had a 1.34£ per sofa for an amount of about 340.000£ in 9 years with a 60 mil turnover.

Exposure and reputation is very powerful. Good exposure increases your reputation. the more the more, repeat and repeat. Build a positive reputation from the beginning and build on it, without it you are not considered. She has been commissioned to design the furniture for the Welsh. They wanted her to commit that the product would last 100 years.

She designs for Orange Box, for the retail, hospitality. She thinks about innovation as well and works today with a german company for a 360 degree seat rotation. She also worked for a ‘seat’ for disables for the outdoor, she took inspiration from the automotive industry and designed something that could blend with the owner, like a piece of clothing where the chair would disappear regaining the attention on the person: Nomad chair.

During production they had much waste from leather and decided to create a second and third company to reuse these materials, first in fashion accessories such as bags and with that waste created smaller products such as wallets, and key fobs.

She loves collaborating, it is inspiring and makes a change. ‘Change is a damn good thing.’

She worked for Camira, a big company, as a consultant. They were very proud of their secret method in creating their fabrics. She had to work hard in molding their point of view to change strategy and share this secret with the world instead. Times have changed, today sharing means bringing more customers because by seeing the process and gain more trust and visibility, therefore clients.

One of her life principle is  ‘Making Life Better by Design’. The process of design should be a process that allows to create the best designs but as a solution to a problem/need.

She had a church congregation as client, the Citychurch. She sat down with them to understand what they want (clients not always know). The place needed to be an open space for 1000 people and reflect spirituality. She chose woven textiles, recycled yarn from a Danish company and also considered acoustics. The one person that gave her more satisfaction in the end was an old lady from the congregation that admitted to have bir reserves about the space but in the end she transformed in her bigger fan.

She worked with some very skillful technical from the knitting division. Knit to fit, an interesting concept with a zero waste process. Nike fly net new shoes just came on the market so she asked why not use the same technique for furniture. It was a difficult work but she wanted to see her inspiration from those shoes becoming reality for furniture and made it happen.

It is never about one single idea but an evolution of many. when clients say they want a chair they wont get just a chair. clients often do not have the vision of what they want, often you have to show them

She will launch this year MadeFine&co, a retail brand that says it all in the name, fine, long lasting, attention to detail and co not with a big c for company but small for collaboration. she is not only designing the furniture but she is searching for all the accessories as well such as lamps etc. they crafted the brand and the makers mark.

Typical question she got from from people: Love the Idea but why do it?

All businesses start with an idea. The why can be vast and has to be analysed in order to understand the potential success. It has to be an original idea, it has to have a competitive edge for the client to compete in the market, there might be a gap in the market, but always ask why? ( in fact Nike designed pink football boots because there was a gap in the market but they didn’t sell), can it make money?, will it make profit to give possibility for expanding and innovation?, can you see and create opportunities?, can you maximize contacts?, are there resources and support to tap into? (role models, mentors and somebody to lean on), is there potential for dynamic collaboration?, will it add value to what you do?, is there a desire to be in control? are you a risk taker and willing to go for it?, passsion?

A crucial aspect and consideration is that:

  • client is for life, but it is challenging keeping them. She starts her collaboration with this in mind.
  • Exceed clients expectation or at the very least delight, don’t disappoint! Don’t oversell yourself
  • You will be copied, be prepared. It is robbery because our best ideas are our greatest assets
  • Don’t get comfy in your creative world, there are always others able to beat you
  • Never think you designed your best piece or you will settle. She always says to herself after every project that ‘The best is yet to come’.
  • Balance life and work. The older she gets, the better she understands its importance. Too much work can take you away from a healthy emotional lifestyle
  • Be Yourself (Her dream while growing has been to ‘become a rock chick’)


How important it was working in industry before setting your own business? With her first job she learned everything she needed to be in the front line for a business. To become a director she had to prove to know design, costing, finance, how to manage people, sales marketing, how to run a board meeting etc. The recommendation is to get the industry experience for both contacts and connections.

She selects fabrics from Camira (leaders in sustainability) they grow their own nettles. They weave using hemp that they plant here in Uk, and they also used it with wool. They have a mill of the size of 3 football camps. They produce 133 thousand of meters per week. They use recycled products, silk woven with wool. The technical knitting uses zero waste.

Is there a possibility for collaborations with textile designers? Her approach to design is Scandinavian, minimalist but there might be in the future for textile designers.

studio@angelagidden.com for cv



Profesional Practice III – IDot Competition II

The time has come to choose the category. print design and send the roll to I-Dott. Deadline is on the 30th of  March. We decided to have everything done by the 20th. I chose to enter the Damask and Geometric category. During my time in Cardiff Metropolitan I discovered to have a more natural tendency in designing for both damasks and geometrical layouts. Organic and structure define my stile as a surface pattern designer.

damask i-dott

I decided to use one of the elements of my final major project, the Giant Ibis and the plant I associated it with from its natural habitat. I love the fact that the design has to have big scale. Here’s my entry:

I dott entry damask ibis

my third entry in the damask category is a damask totem from my second year collection:

Damask tileIDOT 140x100 cm

Geo I-dott

For the Geo category I decided to submit one of the designs I have done for the Consultancy module. I feel it is fresh and appealing.

Anda Avramescu - Geo - Sky Triangles Tile 53x53 cm 300dpi.jpg

There are 2 forms to be filled and send together with the artwork

Important: Consider the dimentions, the form has the dimentions of one tile

(53×64 cm for screen printing) 300dpi resolution, max 10mg, max 10,000px, Cmyk, file jpeg format

Tutorial to create a seamless repeat on Photoshop:

Professional Practice II – Post-Graduate Studies

There are currently 85 masters students, 50 research students currently on campus. Doing a post grad study is like stepping into a different world. Interviews are necessary to get accepted just to make sure you chose the right course. The offer is for 2:1, if you get 2:2 there will be a conversation about it, not many chances for 3.

There are less funds for Wales now than it used to be, however there is still in place student Finance even though it is not sure for how long due to the recent issues with Brexit.

Research is important for Universities, 25% of school income comes from research money.

Some students say that one year in masters have more or same value as 3 years in undergraduate. You have the time to focus on this one project and make your own schedule. One of the points in doing a masters is to decide where your industry is going in the next 20 years, textiles or any other. The second is do some experimental practice, it doesn’t have to be commercial but can push boundaries. It is important to look ahead. Some things are commercial now but 10 years ago were only hypothesis of a few. The aim is to start to become a manager, predict where the industry is going to be ahead in the years ahead.

There are 10s and 100s of potential topics. 2 ex textiles graduates are currently enrolled for post grad studies. Emma for example, looks at how we owe things and Alice studies about art therapy through textiles.

Why a masters?

To become highly employable, become masters of their craft, for the opportunity to think and explore freely, develop a research, develop a sustainable business, to focus on their practice or an idea, to learn art&design or to apply it to their practice.

What do you get from it?

More confidence, better informed and talk with authority, confidently talk about their ideas, have a deeper knowledge in their specific area, get good at one thing, work confident outside of Uni, learn your value and learn what you are good at in specific, a good portfolio of work, find something to pass on as a teacher etc.

What do master students say?

Everybody that chooses a masters wants to be there for different reasons but mainly for the enhanced salary and be among smart and like minded people.

You can have cutting edge ideas and you have Septembe

It is about focusing and refining your expertise or want to learn something new or do a speculative exploration. You can actually end up in a masters that is based on your passion rather than your undergraduate studies, as well as focusing on a specific aspect of what studied before. Sky’s the limit in the choice.

Adam Davies Design.co.uk Adam got ill but continued to do his masters, he took some time off and returned back in his home city and realized the plastics on the beach. He also found s high amount of see weed and tried for the rest of his maters to make natural plastic out of sea weed. He saw a research degree in Oslo for a research degree. In the meantime he met somebody from Latva and now he’s a phd student while also being a director of the company that produces this new plastic he created. This is what a masters student does, brings together things that are apparently not related.

There are 8 post grad masters programmes and 2 doctorate programmes in Cardiff Met nex year:

  • MA Ceramics and maker, MA fashion design, MFA fine art, MDes global design (for a sustainable project that can act globally to make a change), MA illustration and animation, MSc product design
  • MA enterprise & innovation (Inc Space with credits attached, skills training), MRes research in art&designs (if you clearly have an idea, it is more like a doctorate without the stress)
  • Phd Research Doctorate, DProf Professional Doctorate
  • UK/EU Students: 9000  (4000 with finance), non Uk students 18.000£
  • 60% of Eu students do a port graduate studies
  • There is a book for student funding in the library, funds for children of people who worked in haberdashery industry. There are many wired funds. start funds that are around for 10s of years. There are also websites that help for a fee. It is better to write a letter asking Am I eligible to apply?