Exhibiting as part of One Year On was a wonderful and eye opening experience. New Designers is known for celebrating emerging creatives and One Year On is completely a product of this nurturing event. From start to end, I have continued to learn more and more about my practice, the design industry and myself. One Year On has been far more than the ‘confidence boost’ I initially sought.
The combination of pre-show planning from Rheanna Lingham, mentoring by Patricia Van Den Akker – Director of The Design Trust, and exhibiting alongside so many engaging makers has been invaluable to my own personal development and professionalism as a creative.
It would be an understatement to say I am very grateful for this wonderful experience, if I had to describe it in a few words I would have to say, energising, clarifying and encouraging.
Each and every conversation I had has undoubtedly enhanced the approach to my practice, as well as the way I present it. I had personal reservations about sharing some of my more researched heavy pieces, but the overwhelmingly positive response they have received have changed that. I have never felt more able to express my ideas to others or inspire to continue. One thing I will take away from New Designers is the clarity I've gained about my own practice and my need to be surrounded by other makers. Until the exhibition I totally took for granted the impact other creative individuals have on me.
I can not speak more highly of the ‘One Year On’ team, especially curator Rheanna Lingham, who somehow managed to make sense of my rambling. To anyone toying with the idea of exhibiting, i would say go for it. I found OYO to be the best deadline imaginable to work to following my Masters Degree. Since being selected I have seen a dramatic development in my work and in the way I promote it. As with all things, I have an issue with running away with myself, if I was going to do OYO again, I would have focused less on product and what people can buy, and more on my ideas and research. What a better audience to talk to about ideas than those visiting and exhibiting at New Designers.
I am working on a series of new projects currently including a collaboration with a stationery brand which is in its final stages. I am also seeking studio space, acting upon the need to be around other working creatives. I am really proud to say I exhibited alongside all the wonderfully talented makers/designers and artists as part of One Year On 2017. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, it changed me for the better and I loved it all.