In June 2015 I showcased my graduate collection at New Designers, London, which gave me great exposure to the design industry as well as introducing me to career paths that I had never previously considered.
Off the back of this, in August I was offered an internship with Amtico, a world leader within flooring design, and moved down to the West Midlands to start working on the content creation team.
The studio was a creative hub, pushing the boundaries of design, manufacturing and post-production development. I worked closely with the team to develop photoshoot concepts, trend and lifestyle forecasts, product copywriting and conceptual research for future collections. My experience at Amtico opened my eyes to the vast amount of career opportunities that a degree in textile design could offer.
While at Amtico, I began working on a freelance basis for the up and coming craft beer brewery, Carbon Smith. I am now a freelance art worker and brand developer for the brewery, developing their bottled label collection and marketing materials. I was lucky enough to be given full creative freedom, and I've worked closely with the master brewer, Ollie Shorley Smith, to develop artistic designs that have given both the brewery and myself recognition within the market. From my exposure with Carbon Smith I've also done work on one-off label designs for smaller breweries across the UK.
I missed my print bed and dye lab, though. And I disliked working 9-5. I also discovered that location is key for me. So I returned to my hometown of Glasgow, where I have continued to work with Carbon Smith. I learnt more than I could ever have imagined when I was working at Amtico, but I just found that I thrive under personal direction and development within my design work.
The largest lesson I have taken from my time at Edinburgh College Art (ECA) is to embrace every opportunity and greet the unexpected with open arms; their collaborative approach and my international exchange to the US have truly shaped my life as a designer. I have always had a passion for travel, and so in April embarked on a one-way flight to South East Asia on a mission to find my path within the vast forking roads that the design industry presents to you as a new graduate. I have been taking part in art-based community projects, and have taken up a job at Vin Space, an art studio in Ho Chi Minh City.
As of now I don't know exactly what my future within textiles will hold. And although walking into the unexpected is scary, it’s also exciting.