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

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.

 

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

Honeybee

There are many species of bees, some produce honey, and these are the most well known, others don’t and even have a different aspect from the ‘normal’ black and orange coloured that we are used to.

 

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.

 

MoodBoards

My Moodboard is the result of the research I have been doing regarding my theme and the layout of my designs. It represents the critically endangered animals I decided to focus on and the nature they live in, where the man has trespassed, contributing with deforestation, to the extinction of these and thousands of other species. Even though my focus is even among the 5 species, the Giant Ibis, Hawksbill Turtle, Primates, Honeybee and the Sumatran Tiger, I decided to highlight only one, the tiger, in order for my moodboard not to get too busy but mainly to be almost surprised when discovering the other animals while watching the board more closely. This is the feel I also want to give through my designs. I have researched into several designers, illustrators and companies and found some designs that better reflect the nature and animals in a damask inspired layout.

Mood Board 2

My Colourboard reflects the concepts I have been reading about in WGSN through several reports. As explained in my previous blog regarding WGSN I have been looking at it from a totally different perspective than I did until last term. While it has been mostly about colours and a certain theme, this time I went way deeper, trying to get to the core of the why of certain colours and themes. I discovered how a growing number of people are more inclined now to look at sustainability in many different ways, regarding fabric but also colour. Neutral and earthy colours means less artificial pigments while digital is preferred to screen printing because more environmental friendly. A few reports talk about inclusiveness and how seasons are overlapping. Cool colours flow into summer while brights in winter. Brights are not only for teenagers anymore while gender neutral colours are becoming more requested, reflecting the society we live in. Transseasonal is another important terminology that keeps popping up in different reports. All this has brought me to chose a colour palette that reflects nature, neutrals and gender neutral tones for a transseasonal look with a touch of red and orange bright. Something that might appeal to both women and men, both for Summer 20 and winter 20/21. Black has also aquired a more natural and worm tone, in fact total black it is really hard to find in nature and while using it in all of my previous collection I felt it needed refinement. White has been also part of all my previous collections while now I have decided to worm it up with some orange, the same as the black. I also liked the idea of the Nature facing Humanity.

Colour Board.jpg

The Clientboard represents my client which is both male and female over 30 years old with a bold and sophisticated aesthetics. They are professionals who own their homes, therefore are willing to spend more in order to decorate it with own taste reflecting their personality. They love to travel and being in contact with nature. They bring their laptops everywhere they go, to never miss the chance to enjoy their surroundings while keeping up to date with their work.

Client Board.jpg

Learning to Draw

In an interview, Paul Simmons and Alistair Mcaulei, that form the Timorous Beasties team, said that nowadays there aren’t many artists capable to draw. This made me realize how little time I have spent on developing my drawing skills and that I was actually part of that category that they described. However it was after a discussion with the talented Jenny Evans, 2018 Textile graduate from Cardiff Met, at a Mingle event held by the Centre of Entrepreneurship, that I truly realized how important that was. In fact she told me how companies approached her for interviews during New Designers, because of her sketchbooks. This happened last year and in that same moment I decided that I had to start learning to sketch and draw and so I did. I found lists of artists that gave free tutorials, on different websites. You Tube is a very useful place to learn drawing while hearing about best materials and tips. Instagram has many short videos of work in progress that I find extremely useful.

These are just a couple of tutorials I have been studying with great results. Especially the first one really helped me to start fast sketching with a few initial lines the shape that defines the bird and how to continue with the details.

 

 

 

This has helped me to understand more the perspective and lighting and also to notice those little details that characterizes the subject of my drawing. I used a mix of flowers and birds I did to construct the first hand repeated pattern with Sian that has proved to be very useful.