Thursday, 11 August 2016

Textiles and Surface Design Class of 2016 - Graduation

After a long, long three years, I have finally graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design with a BA (hons) in Textiles and Surface Design. This was a day I had been looking forward to for a very long time and I can safely say it was the proudest day of my life so far. To finally feel that I have completed my degree was overwhelming and I was so happy my closest family could be there to watch it all happen. I feel that there is a lot of misconception around design degrees, I often find people asking what a Textiles and Surface Design degree actually entails and presuming it isn't a 'real' degree. The final year of my degree concentrated on a Final Major Project - 60% in fact - the rest of my results were based upon my dissertation, Minor Project and Professional Studies module. This was a lot of work which seemed overwhelming at the beginning of the year and I still find myself looking back now and wondering how on earth I managed to complete it all.

"It always seems impossible until its done." - Nelson Mandela 

"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."

A passion I have discovered from completing this degree is blogging and social media, I feel that now I'm at the end of my degree I can say for certain that I have found my strengths, weaknesses and what I'm passionate about. One of my strengths/passions that developed throughout my degree, particularly in my final year, is blogging and social media and I really want to now focus on spreading the word about my designs. A dream of mine is to set up my own business, as part of my third year professional studies module we had to create our own business which was graded, and I would love to take this further and give it my full attention now that I have finally graduated. As a 22 year old still living at home with no major responsibilities I feel now would be the perfect time to give it a go, especially with everything I learnt at university still fresh in my mind. Please let me know in the comments if you have your own business or have any tips for a business just starting up.

Words of advice before deciding to study a Textiles and Surface Design degree

  • Be prepared for 'constructive criticism', this happens on a daily basis and you will be told frequently to change your work. Try not to take this to heart.
  • Be ready to work for free, internships are so important so that you can get a real idea of what being a designer is like in a real working environment - the hours are long and most are unpaid but I can't express how helpful and informative my work placements were (I completed work placements in Paris and London).
  • Make sure you make copies of all of your work, emailing it to yourself each time you make a change - you will thank me in the long run.
  • Time management is so important, if you let one assignment slip, they soon all hoard up very easily and you will find yourself drowning in work!
  • Be prepared to spend most of your student loan on paper.
  • Self promotion is key, you have to spread the word about your work because no one else is going to!

"Let go of the past and go for the future. Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined."

Please feel free to leave any comments, especially if you have just graduated too!

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