Hello! I’m Victoria and I am a recent graduate printed textile designer. I have just finished four years studying Textiles: Innovation and Design at Loughborough University which included a year out in Industry, and therefore also graduated with a Diploma in professional studies. Having the year out to trial different career paths was an amazing opportunity and I managed to gain experience with five separate companies.
I began the year as an Intern at Monsoon Head Office in Notting Hill where I was based in the Home and Licensing department where I was involved in supplier meetings, design development and was lucky enough to have a cushion and a throw I designed put into production and up for sale on the website.
From then I went over to Chelsea Harbour Design Centre and gained client based experience in one of the interior design show rooms – Pierre Frey. Here I dealt with clients on a regular day to day basis and helped interior designers find the correct fabric and wallpaper samples for their schemes. As I was there during September Design Week I was able to sit in on talks and presentations on future design trends.
Halfway through the year I moved over to Marks and Spencer Head Office, based in Paddington and spent time in two different departments. The first was the Home department where I took on the role of Design Assistant. I assisted print designers in creating prints for Autumn Winter 2018 as well as Christmas 2018 and Spring 2019. I learnt lots of new techniques here and developed my skills with Photoshop and InDesign and learnt new skills and ways of putting designs into repeat. As well as this I helped designers and buyers with mood boards, comp shops, re-colouring prints and designed a set of alphabetical tote bags which were put into production and in stores for Christmas 2018. After this I moved departments and spent time in the Womenswear fabric sourcing team. This was a very hands on experience that involved a lot of admin work and supplier meetings.
The final company I completed work experience at was an independent Interior Design Studio in Cambridge – Sara Slade Interiors. This experience was completely different from the rest as it gave me an insight into a independent company as opposed to a bigger brand. As it was such a smaller environment to work in I was able to be more hands on and worked on several residential projects including an entire show home – design and installation, as well as commercial such as a restaurant design. I was also involved in the design of a room-set for Grand Designs Live.
All of the skills and techniques that I learnt over the year helped to enhance my studio practise in my final year of University. As I specialised in printed textiles, screen printing was a huge part of my degree. In order to get imagery to print onto fabric a lot of drawing and mark making was involved. I liked to bring other creative aspects into my studio practise so I focused on lino printing and photography – especially photograms. This brought together a series of photograms and lino prints that I am now happy to share with you and I hope you love them as much as I do!