The term designer maker means lot more than just, I design stuff and make it. A lot of thinking, hate and love goes into it.
I have rattled on about the fact I need to make and research. My practice is without a doubt research led.
Over the course of New Designer I learnt, even more so, how important that is to my work as a designer maker and as an artist.
My previous post was a small round up of June, easily my busiest month of the year so far. Within that post I touched upon my experience exhibiting at New Designers, but this post is going to be a developmental focused post. Learning is about amending and growing. Reflecting upon feedback and experience, I find, is the best way to ensure I am always learning.
For the purposes of my brain and its own information digestive system, I will bullet point the most important things I learnt from ND.
- SEPARATE IT.
I received some great feedback over the course of the exhibition, most of those I spoke to totally got why I recently launched a small stationery and print collection as well as continue to work on my practice and research. However they only really ‘got it’ and why when I started to nag their ears off. I am very lucky to have found a topic of research which excites and motivates me to create but it can get so heavy. My research is and will be my lifes work, I am committed to it and I totally get it’s a slow burn. Sometimes, like any creative relationship, you need a little ‘you’ time. Time to play and create without always questioning why? This was the birth place of my stationery brand and I am so glad it happened.
In my head it works perfectly together but as an outsider looking in, it does not. By combining both my research and stationery, it devalues both. My research is too imporant to me to just slap onto product. That being said, my stationery and design work deserves the light of day without the big trees stealing all of limelight. I am not sure yet my plan, but I know they need to be separated. Whether this is just different tabs on my website or different websites all together. If anyone has any thoughts, please do let me know!
- YOU NEED THIS.
Ah this is so stupidly obvious but necessary. It is not until you have an event or exhibition to work towards that you realise you need it. I need deadlines, working alone at home (alongside my part time job) can get a little disheartening. Working for work sake? Questioning why do you even do this? Are you just spending rather than earning? Regardless to the result I make because I need to create and that’s totally normal for creatives. I am not making for the sake of it, I am not making to have something to show people, I am not making to ‘make it’. I make because it is part of me and always will be.
- PROMOTE YO’ SELF
It is necessary so I had to get over my attitude towards it. I do not like talking about myself (shock horror). I love making bad puns and keeping my practice very close to my heart. That’s not helping anyone, especially not me. Setting aside a couple of hours to plan my working week is normal for me, now I just need to plan my social media too. Planning in advance helps me to let go of the ‘ah no one wants to see this rubbish’. As long as I am sharing content I am proud of, that is all that matters.
- YOU ACTUALLY LIKE PEOPLE.
Years of ‘eh I hate people’ becomes ingrained into memory and mannerisms. Turns out people are great.
My goals for the rest of the year are to surround myself with more creative types, move into a shared studio space and confidently talk about my practice. Talking aloud to someone, even if they do not say word and give you a blank stare, is so productive.
- YOU ARE DOING OKAY
I think this is extremely important to remember. New Designers marks my fourth exhibition since September 2016/leaving my Masters Degree. Along side working two part time jobs, writing research proposal after proposal and an artist residency. I am working towards living the most creative life. I am getting there.
Although all five points seem pretty basic, I need to acknowledge them and act upon them. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to exhibit as part of One Year On at New Designers this year.
If you would like to read a little more about my ND experience, I wrote a short post about it all here: