Don't Tell Me What To Do

Textile Graduate collection

After twenty four weeks, an average of three (the last few weeks has been about five) coffees a day, 3 pads of A2 cartridge paper, nine presentations too many, a 5000 word research proposal, 3 stress cries or so, and countless meltdowns, this year is over. And lucky for me, I have designed a print collection chronicling the whole journey. Titled ’Don’t Tell Me What to Do,’ my final collection is a cheeky, illustrative, meta collection exploring the creative process and the journey through my final year of textile design. Inspired by Dr Seuss’s ‘Oh the Places you’ll go” and driven by a key quote by John Hegarty:

Creativity is all about exploration and going where no one has gone before. Just like an explorer, you’re about to head into unchartered territories.
Photographed by Anna Briggs

Photographed by Anna Briggs

I have always enjoyed reading about how artists, writers, designers etc come up with their ideas, their process and story behind their work.

As a design student going into my final year, a personal project exploring the creative process seemed perfect for me, as so many of us are still trying to find our own identities as designers. There are a lot of things I have learnt about myself as a designer over the years, however the way I work and the processes I use to get from an idea to a final outcome are varied, and something I have not reflected upon until recently- although the creative process has been throughly documented, there is very little in the way of showing how the process affects the designer, which is often much more messy than we are led to believe.

Photographed by Anna Briggs

Photographed by Anna Briggs

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Creativity as a journey

With the idea of the creative process as a journey in mind I considered all the items I use on a daily basis as a design student, and have designed a tote bag, laptop case, and pencil case as items to take on the ‘journey’ of creativity.

Post it note diaries is an ongoing series from my workbook, and visually represents my whole year in the chaos of layers of post it notes with scribbles on them all over the place. I have designed a pattern from this, focussing on the layering, worn, chaotic aesthetic that lots of post it notes hints at.

This illustration is a little play on blending the academic with the personal- by illustrating the theorists they seems less unappealing, and by cutting and pasting information I have picked out from them I can re construct their words in a playful way, filtering these theories through my own lens. 

A technique I used to start visualising when I was feeling a bit stuck creatively, was interpreting words through either cut paper, quick scribbles, or expressive mediums like paint. In this print I have elaborated on the beginning brainstorming stage of creativity, using chance collage and working into it with fluid paint brush strokes and analytical motifs to illustrate how ideas start to form and connect through this process.

Throughout this project, I’ve learned a lot about myself, my own creative process-  By taking this project in a personal direction, from what other people say about creativity to what I think about it, has allowed me to take more ownership over my work and grow confident in my identity as a designer. As a personal project about my own journey through the creative process, I aimed to make it honest, a little bit humorous, tell a story, be all about me, and have some fun with a subject matter that really isn’t so serious.

I blogged about this project too: here's the first post, here's the second post, and the third is a work in progress.

Photographed by Anna Briggs

Photographed by Anna Briggs

Photographed by Anna Briggs

Photographed by Anna Briggs