Wednesday, 14 May 2008

A Few Thoughts

One question which seems to arise on a regular basis when chatting to new people is 'What do you study at uni?' When I reply printed textiles and surface pattern design the response is normally 'what's that then'.... To be honest, when I finally decided to study something art based at degree level, the courses I initially looked at were Fine Art and Contemporary Art Practise. I had no background in textiles whatsoever and it was only when looking through prospectus's that I discovered more about what it is and it began to look appealing. Looking back on it, I did well in my fine art A level at school but my work never really demonstarted any out of the box or shocking ideas. It repeatedly lacked any political messages or feminist views which are two topics that seem to be everywhere in fine art today; for example in the work of Tracey Emin. Instead, I looked at producing work that was aesthetically pleasing, made use of patterns, and colour was important to me. When I discovered there was a course that suited all of these traits I think thats when I decided textile design was the one for me. I'm into fashion and love beautiful design work and the thought of being known myself for producing a successful collection of wallpapers or next seasons must have print is something very exciting. Textile and surface pattern is so up to the minute which is thrilling and it's seen by everyone everywhere, from clothes to wallcoverings to soft furnishings to gift wrap and cards, the list is endless. I feel the potential for getting a job in the design field when I graduate from this degree is favourable and this particular area of design is so fast paced there is always the need for something new and exciting and a new way of working.

Another frequently asked question is 'why do a degree at all?' I think this is a valid question to ask and I think sometimes the answer lies in what subject you are taking. I'm doing a degree because there is no way I could get the experience anywhere else. It is very unlikely I would be able to have access to any of the facilities we are lucky enough to use on a day to day basis anywhere else as they are too expensive. The advice we get on our work is invaluable and gives the student the chance to explore countless ways of working and hopefully develop a personal style. A degree also helps you to refine your skills and then go onto specialise in a certain area. However, I don't think a degree is necessary, for example if you want to work in a job that is labour intensive such as building the only real way to get into the business is to actually do it. Sitting in a lecture theatre wouldn't be the most effective way of teaching. On the other hand, a doctor couldn't simply learn how to cure patients as they went along. A huge academic grounding is necessary which can only be gained from an intensive degree.