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.
Setting up plan:
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- catalog book with the post cards and pictures or statements
- videos (of technical practice like digital embroidery and other activities)
- A Pack for the work to go in
- different page sizes
- different paper
- mood boards
- work in progress
- colour chips
- cad visuals
80% of the mark is about the collection
20% is about Professional Practice, presentation and Press Pack
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
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.
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 .
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.
- 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;
- Wix has a simple layout, but we don’t need too much and too complex, the work should speak for itself;
- 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;
- Squarespace is 10£/m, more complex
- Format is specialized in portfolios, seems to be photographers choice, more sophisticated.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.