Just over a year ago I was sat at my desk at uni preparing for the assessment of my final project in second year. It was our first self negotiated project and everyone had really taken it up a notch in their creativity and development of their personal style. Mine had gone along the lines of hard surface experimentation and I had been introduced to the laser cutter, which I knew would potentially feature heavily in my future work. I really loved what I was doing, but I was surrounded by beautiful fabrics and stationary and just felt out of my depth.
The third years at the time had just found which 16 students had been selected to exhibit at New Designers in London and I began to feel disheartened. Looking at the talent in our group I was pretty certain that I was sitting at the bottom of the pile & could not see myself ever being selected for such an opportunity.
This bizarrely gave me a real freedom. I found myself embracing the experience of designing far more, as there was no overwhelming expectation to win anything. I entered competitions more for the design brief and the experience than with any thought that I would come out on top. Don’t get me wrong, it would be lovely to have the recognition, but to be content in just participating is something that I have never been good at and it was actually quite refreshing.
So this is the mindset that I took going into my final year, no ridiculously high expectations, just making the most of every opportunity, developing my style and enjoying the journey that I was on. With the diversity in our particular year, comparison was almost irrelevant with each creative working in an entirely different way. And so it began…