Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Worcester. As an only child I would happily spend hours drawing and colouring. My dad said I was never happier than when I was drawing. As a child, I often spent school holidays with my grandparents in the suburbs of London and would take a tube ride into the city where I was fascinated by the beautiful and grand buildings such as The Victoria and Albert Museum.
Did you always love designing?
Yes, definitely! I cannot remember a time in my life when I have not wanted to just sit down and create, it’s what I’ve always loved doing.
What / who are your influences?
I am greatly influenced by architecture and love to take inspiration for my drawings from the buildings I see when travelling to different towns, cities and countries. I keep an A5 sketchbook in my bag for when I travel and also keep photographs that I have taken to create colour palettes.
What are your passions?
I have a keen interest in environmental issues which play a big role in my designs. I think it’s so important that we take a look at how we can improve the way we live to ensure we protect the world for future generations. As designers, we have the ability not only to create beautiful designs but designs that can create a healthier and greener world. Sustainability should be at the forefront of every designer’s work.
How did you hear about HCA?
The first time I heard about HCA was when I was thinking about my next stage in education. My GCSE Art teacher mentioned the Extended Diploma in Art and Design offered at HCA. I wanted to find out more so I went for an open day and fell in love with the place! It was so different from a mainstream sixth form college and I loved that I would be amongst creative people.
Why did you decide to study Textile Design?
I have always enjoyed drawing, painting and all things creative. At the time, I did not think that my future would be in Textile Design having not studied it at GCSE. However, during my last year of studying for my Extended Diploma in Art and Design, I had to choose a specialism and Textile Design afforded me the ability to use techniques such as drawing and collaging and applying them to fabric outcomes.
Why did you apply to study Textile Design at HCA?
Having already studied my Extended Diploma at HCA I chose to have a look at the degree courses. By this time, Textiles had already become the route for me. The best thing about studying my degree at HCA was that it was a familiar environment. Making the transition from the Folly Lane campus to the College Road campus was natural.
What were your experiences of the Textile Design course?
The best thing about the Textile Design course was the range of processes we were able to explore. Being a smaller group than on many other university courses we had more equipment available to us. We were able to have a knitting machine and weaving loom each which meant we could learn techniques as a group. We were also very fortunate to be involved with industry partners. We had live briefs set by design companies and we had the ability to present our work to them. This allowed us to get great feedback from people already in the design industry.
Tell us about your role at Roger Oates.
I am a Sampling Assistant at Roger Oates Design, based at the head office in Eastnor, Herefordshire. My role involves sending samples of our flatweave designs and brochures to customers. We are the first point of contact our customers have to the company and this means all our samples we send have to be at a very high standard. We see all the new designs coming into production which is really exciting! We are currently coming up to our new launch and so we are getting to see the designs which will be out very soon.
Which parts of the course do you think were most beneficial in helping you find your job?
I would have to say the work experience module. In the second year of my degree, I was lucky enough to complete part of my work experience at Roger Oates Design. This gave me a great insight into what working in this industry might be like after graduating. I would definitely say this was very beneficial to me when I had my interview for my current role.
Do you have any advice/top tips for people wanting to study and work in the arts?
Create a portfolio of which you are proud of. Make sure the portfolio shows who you are both as a person and a designer. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment within your work. Your time at art college is the best time to find your artistic voice. Don’t be afraid to work outside of your comfort zone, to challenge yourself and to try new techniques.