We caught up with Lucy Grainge, an image maker who exhibited as a part of One Year In this year.
Tell us about your ND experience?
Initially I didn’t think I fitted into the One Year In box very well as I found it hard to consider myself to be a business. Since graduating I’d been doing some freelance design work, which was mainly graphic design and was trying to get my books about Dyslexia published. Bethany approached me from OYI to exhibit. I thought it was an exciting opportunity not to miss and thought it would act as a good deadline to create a new body of work.
There was plenty of support throughout the whole process leading up to the show. The web seminars were great when the show seemed a while away to keep you motivated and to realise the scale of the undertaking. Patrica from the Design Trust gave very thorough advice covering everything from a preparation timeline to follow, to getting the pricing right. Rheanna Lingham who curated the show was extremely supportive and answered any questions, no matter how silly they seemed. It was a great team to work with and pretty exciting to see how such a huge and diverse event was executed.
It was a long but very rewarding week. My books are about starting a conversation and sharing experiences. There’s an abundance of dyslexics in the creative industries so my work was very relevant to many exhibitors and visitors, who were keen to chat about dyslexia. The week I exhibited included product design and furniture so the link with heightened 3D spatial awareness in dyslexics meant a lot of them were wondering about. The show was a very ideal place to receive feedback about my work and I felt privileged to talk to so many people about it. Making the transition from university to the creative world is a really tough one. I think New Designers can create a platform or even a springboard for designers to get a way in. Just chatting to professionals and sharing experiences of navigating the world of freelance or post art school is invaluable. Also pretty exciting meeting creatives from a variety of disciplines from all over the country and further afield. I made some great pals and I’m sure future collaborators. It was super exciting to win the One Year In award and I’m looking forward to working with the judges to see where my project can go. Exhibiting at ND was a big undertaking but definitely worth it.
What are your hopes and aspirations for the future?
I’d love to get my books published about Dyslexia and continue developing the workshops I’ve started which are about informing people about Dyslexia in a practical and hands on way. Educating people about Dyslexia needs to start early on before children are made to feel stupid, or different for the wrong reasons. There are so many myths and pre-conceptions about Dyslexia, like many of the other neurodiveristies. If these neurodiveristies continue to be misunderstood, there will continue to be a lot of unfulfilled potential. I would like to develop the skill sets to approach projects in a multi-disciplinary way and to question the definition of what illustration is and what its role can play within visual communication. Within my work I like to engage with people and collaborate. I work in community arts, which I really believe in. I think there’s a place in the arts for everyone and that everyone can benefit from it, whatever age, background or education. I’d like to work on a diverse range of projects, from collaborative projects to commissioned pieces. I currently sell prints and tote bags, but long term I would like to explore the surfaces my illustrations could sit.
Why should emerging designers apply for One Year In?
As a small business or after leaving university it can be hard to find a network of people doing a similar thing to you. OYI can help ease this transition and open up opportunities, which are otherwise hard to access. The ND organisers are all very approachable with lots of advice and experience behind them. There is also endorsement from companies who might want to employ you and there are great prizes at New Designers, which genuinely help you out. I have been given support from the Design Trust to help me set up Dyslexia workshops and I am very excited to exhibit at the National Centre for Craft and Design next year with Design Nation, which is part of my award. But regardless of these prizes, gaining the experience of preparing for a huge show, creating a collection of cohesive commercial work, and the people I met was the most valuable experience. One Year In was a brilliant experience for me, I’d highly recommend!
Applications are now open for One Year In 2019.