When and why did you want to become a textile designer?
I became a printed textile designer, truly during my 3rd year at University. During this final year I really found my own sense of style and my confidence grew dramatically in my work during this time.
I wanted to become a printed textile designer as soon as I realised my passion for art, fashion and fabrics. Studying printed textiles was a way in which I could combine these interests, without restricting myself to just art or just fashion.
It’s exciting that your scarves are now stocked at Jarrold, especially as you are stocked around the world at places such as Anthropologie London, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and Galleries Lafayette France. How do you go about selecting stockists for your designs – and how did you get stocked at Jarrold?
I collaborated very closely with a company called 'Front Row Society' Berlin, the year I graduated, which is how a lot of my scarves have been stocked in various premium department stores and museums. I also met 'Anthropologie' after exhibiting at 'New Designers' London, who I collaborated with on two occasions, with a collection of dish towels being sold in Selfridges, London. The majority of my work has been achieved through networking at exhibitions, collaborating and having an online presence/ portfolio.
With Jarrold being so keen to support local talent and creativity I feel truly excited that they have chosen to work with me. I am fortunate to currently be working within Jarrold, surrounded by extremely supportive colleagues and management team, who have shown a great interest in my career as a printed textile designer. It was through their encouragement that I was offered a meeting with Sara the fashion accessories buyer.
Why printed scarves?
It started with a project I was working on in my second year at University called "The Norwich Scarf" It was my first real piece of work that I had created, which I could use/ wear and truly felt proud of. Being an Artist i see 'scarves' as my way into the fashion industry as an artist- treating the scarf/ fabric as my canvas and a way in which I can bring movement into my artwork - truly seeing my works of art come to life on fabric.
What techniques do you use to create your scarves?
If my artwork is not created by hand using a mixture of mediums such as Acrylic/ watercolour paints, oil pastels and various hand printed techniques I will be using my film photography as a way to develop my creations. I love analogue photography and using my photos as ways to layer textures and colours in my development process.
Your inspiration for your designs come from the Norfolk coast where you grew up, what else inspires you?
Yes, I am extremely inspired by the Norfolk Coastline. I am inspired by anywhere, where there is an ocean/ sea/ water. I spend a lot of my time by the coast, it's the only place I can truly escape my busy work life. I am also inspired by the impressionism movement, modern art, places in which I have traveled and the emotions they provoke. You will also see a lot of 'nature' in my work including florals/ botanicals created in an abstract form.
As a graduate from the Norwich University of the Arts, what advice can you give to current students (what do you wish you knew then that you know now)? And what advice can you give those who want to make money out of their designs?
The advice I would give to current students at Norwich University of the Arts is that; Yes, your first and second year DO matter, don't just rely on your third year. Make the most of every opportunity you're given and say yes to new ones. Make the most of the incredible facilities/ tutors and don't hold back on any ideas you want to explore. Attend as many exhibitions & competitions as possible, networking is key, believe in yourself, be confident and enjoy it!