Reflection FMP

When I was in second year helping last years’ graduates set up their degree show, I’d thought about how I doubted I’d ever get to the standard that their work seemed to be. However, at the end of my third year, 2 days until my deadline, I’m amazed at how far I’ve come in terms of design this year. I’m confident in saying this is the best collection of work that I’ve ever submitted, throughout uni, foundation and school. This is the work I’m most proud of.

Most people will be thinking to themselves ‘well yeah, end of third year, it should be the highest standard of work to date’, which is true. However this is not only the highest standard of work that I’ve ever produced, but it’s also the work that I’m most proud of. I feel as though I finally found myself as a designer, and realised I didn’t have to compromise my love of fine art, for my love of textiles.

Having focused on fashion textiles last year, I decided for my final Major to focus on the interiors market. Having visited mid and North Wales over Christmas, and Northern Ireland in January, I decided to use these areas as the inspiration for my project. Both Wales and Northern Ireland pride themselves on being naturally beautiful. I wanted to capture this beauty in my designs. However, rather than focusing on conventional landscapes I decided to go more eyecatching and modern, and turn these conventional landscapes into abstract textiles. I did this by experimenting with watercolour paints and inks, then photographing these paintings and digitally manipulating them into large scale, bold designs. Though, previously my work has been more dye, I decided to go more digital with this work as I was getting some really lovely effects with the watercolour paints. However it must not go unsaid that I have  spent a few weeks in the dye lab, experimenting with various techniques, dyes and ways of getting the watercolour effect on fabric. After analysing what was best for my work, and what was working the most effectively, it made sense to stick to what was working, and what was giving my work the atmosphere that I wanted it to have.

The colour Pallette has developed naturally due to the nature of my work. Each individual family is based on a different British Landscape, and the colours are representing the different ares, from the dark greys and blues of the giants causeway, the greens and browns of Slieve Donard, the greens, whites and blues of Snowdonia, and the dark purples and navies of Twilight hours, and landscapes after dark.

For this project I’ve done something that not many people thought to do, and aim it at the contractual market, allowing me to work oon a bigger scale. Mainly aiming at hotels and bars, that would typically have large scale drapes hanging from the ceiling, and large luxurious cushions spread throughout the furniture.

Initially I was concerned with whether or not my idea and thought process behind my work was too simple, or that my approach to my theme wasn’t the right way to go, but looking at my work today I’m convinced that I made the right decisions in heading down the path that I did. Though I’m a textile designer, I wanted my designs to have the same effect that looking at a large painting would have. The bold, eye catching paintings that would hang proudly in a gallery, is what I want my designs to be for the interior market. Though I’ve hit certain obstacles, especially within the last couple of weeks, I’m confident in saying I’ve managed to overcome the majority of them. Such as what designs work the best together as a display, the best way to display my work ready for exhibition, and these past few weeks have shown me that if you stick to yourself as a designer, and stay true to what you want your work to represent, then you can’t go wrong.

It’s also safe to say these past couple of months have tested my adversity, in overcoming obstacles, testing my patience, and sticking with what I firmly believed to be the most successful way of producing my pieces. As a result of this, I’m even more proud knowing that I’ve produced the work that I have at the end of third year. And I’m sure the same could be said for everyone.

I believe my three years at university have lead me up to where I am today, and it’s afe to say I could not be more proud, and happy with what  I have produced. From my press packs, to my samples and onto my products. However, the work has definitely developed since the beginning of this project, for the better, that is. Making the decision to print my work on larger scale prints than everyone else, though costly, was absolutely worth it. Looking back, my designs wouldn’t be as effective on a small scale, which I believe proves I’ve made the right deicision in terms of market and client. I’m absolutely thrilled that my work has turned out the way it has, and couldn’t be leaving university on a lighter note.

A great way to finish off my time at university.

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