Kimberley Evans, studied BA (Hons) Textile Design graduating in 2019
Tell us about where you are working now and how that came about?
I have joined the Colour and Material Design team at Jaguar Land Rover, which I’m so excited about! A couple of months after graduating, I came across JLR’s Graduate scheme and applied.
What were your experiences of the Textile Design course? What did you like about it/ get out of it?
Honestly, I didn’t expect that I would enjoy studying a degree as much as I did. I think that was for the most part down to where I choose to study, and the course tutors. Like I mentioned above there was no pressure on which direction you should take, and the course really encourages multidisciplinary processes, and spirit of inquiry.
The course was also really well structured and organised, so it never felt overwhelming. The tutors were so supportive throughout, and still continue to support me even a year since graduating. Also, because HCA is a smaller institution, it means you get a lot more contact time with the tutors, which isn’t always the case elsewhere.
Which parts of the Textile Design course do you think were most beneficial in helping you find your job?
Over the three years we had several live briefs with top industry professionals including Seetal Solanki author of Why Materials Matter, and Envisage who have previously worked with Bentley, Jaguar Land Rover to name a few. These projects prepared me for a career after university. They helped me gain experience and confidence in presenting projects and prepare my professional portfolio. Also having 1-1 tutorials with these industry professionals gave me an insight into what to expect in potential interviews and professional situations.
Before leaving HCA, we also had a mock interview with a panel of designers from industry, one of which included Celia Birtwell. This is where we presented our final major project and our professional portfolio. Having this experience and feedback gave me a lot of confidence for future interviews after graduating.
Why did you decide to study Textile Design?
In college, I enjoyed all aspects of Art and Design, but I was more drawn to Textiles. I liked its openness as virtually anything can be a textile. I also enjoyed Fashion and photography, so I knew that if I choose Textile Design, I could revisit these areas too. I remember one of the very first lectures I attended in my first year, which was led by CMF designer Emma Sheldon. Emma presented her work and described working for companies such as Audi and Jaguar, I never considered textiles within those industries before, it was a real turning point for me.
Why did you apply to study at HCA?
I loved the feeling I got from the college as a whole. I felt very comfortable and at ease at HCA, compared to all the other bigger institutions I visited, which could be quite intimidating. I knew I wanted to do Textile Design; however, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to specialise in, or if I wanted to specialise at all. A lot of textile design courses get you to choose what to focus on, early on in the course. However, I liked that the Textile Design course at HCA was very broad and gave you the option to choose if, and when you want to specialise during the course.
Do you have any advice or top tips for people wanting to study and work in the arts?
Grab every opportunity you can! Whether it’s learning a new skill, taking part in competitions or just going to a lecture. Even if you think it might not be relevant at the moment, it may well be later on down the line. It only takes one little bit of information to inspire a whole project, I found this a lot during my degree.
I would also say just keep going and put yourself out there! I found after finishing my degree it’s quite easy to get a bit lost in the design world. I visited quite a few different design events and studios as well as chatting with other designers, it really helps re-connect you. I also kept updating my website and Instagram with my own little projects and ideas.
Explore Kimberley’s work @kimberleyanndesign