Here we go!

Hello!

This last month has been crazy. There’s so much to do to get The Uniform off the ground. So many emails to send, a stall to plan, patterns to create and far too much else to list. It’s been quite stressful actually. But a positive kind of stress. Y’know, the type where you feel your heart beating in your chest. With all this in mind, I’ve had to put the blog to one side for a few weeks whilst I got other balls, like the Instagram and applications, fully  rolling.

Breakfast

I’m now all systems go now though, so prepare to see a lot more of me from now on. I’m officially commencing blogging as of today – I’m going to aim for a few times a week.

The last eight days has been spent in the beautiful Welsh countryside with my family. It’s been a real treat for several reasons (not least spending some real quality time with people who I spend most months of the year seeing only on a Skype screen). It was a real chance for me to focus solely on getting as much photography as possible. I always push to gather as much material as possible in the initial phase of any project, I’m definitely a ‘the more the merrier’ kind of worker. Consequently I did a lot of squinting through the view finder, shortly followed by a lot of Photoshop fun (and headaches).

I got more material than I could have hoped for and seeing all this come together on my Instagram and in my sketchbooks has shown me that I actually already have a style – something I genuinely didn’t realise. (There was me thinking I’d have to sit down and come up with one!) That’s the great thing about collating work as you go; when you look back over everything you see patterns emerging.

 

Leaves(reflection)

 

The thing I’ve found most rewarding so far about setting up The Uniform is the organic nature with which it has grown. I want to keep it that way, nice and natural. I’ve got four years before I finish my course, the way I see it that’s plenty of time; especially if I keep the pace up.

 

Brecon2

 

As much as I really like these digital patterns I don’t think they give me enough identity as a brand. For me these are just the starting point. When I’m back in Edinburgh I’m going to start working with paper cut techniques to chop up and change these patterns into something else more exciting and original.

 

Brecon

The most important news to share this week is that I’ve found a wonderful establishment called Edinburgh Design School who are enrolling me on their evening silk-screen textiles course! Things really are looking up (FINALLY). It just goes to show doesn’t it? Sometimes being told you can’t do something is all you need to spur you on. I’m suddenly feeling like this is going to be the best thing that’s happened to me in terms of my career trajectory. So what if I’m primarily self taught?? So what if I’m not a textiles student? So what if I was told I couldn’t access textiles facilities? Surely that just makes me more individual. Perhaps being a Fine Art with Art History student will make The Uniform more exciting than if I’d been enrolled on a Textiles degrees. That way I won’t conform to current trends in the same way.

I know I’ve only just started out but I’d already say the best advice I could give is if you want something, do it yourself. I promise you, I’m already reaping the rewards. I hate corny stuff, but I’ve never meant anything more – IT’S BLOODY BRILLIANT.

 

Brecon5

I can finally see the wood for the trees. More to follow soon… x

Here Goes Nothing

So the moments finally here, do I look like a blogger yet?

It’s equally liberating and terrifying to publish my thoughts online. There’s clearly a massive community out there but sat here, behind the computer screen, I’m struggling to see how anyone will care what I have to say. I’ve considered blogging in the past but the thought of it always made me a little uncomfortable. In some instances, writers reek of desperate pleas for validation. In others all I read are unsubstantiated, pretentious claims. It seems tricky to achieve a middle ground. However when a blog is considered, personal and authentic it’s nothing short of a delight to read. So I’m letting go of my fears and joining the club.

As you’ll read in my ‘about’ section this blog is intended to document The Uniform Project. I thought in this first post it might be worth explaining how all of this came about.

blog2My first year of art school has been somewhat of a transitional period, though not in the way I might’ve expected. For several reasons, including an eight-week, appendicitis induced disruption; my first semester of university was more or less non-existent. Having experienced what can only be described as my first dance on death’s doorstep I felt compelled to make some proactive steps. Take the bull by the metaphorical horns, if you like.

Though I’d found my feet and was in constant attendance for the second semester (I had to justify that £9,000 loan somehow) there were still difficulties that were a struggle to iron out. It seems, from my experience, that to attend an institution such as Edinburgh College of Art means accepting that magnificent heritage goes hand in hand with somewhat archaic, out-dated policies surrounding the access and use of technical facilities. As a student, I am enrolled on the MA Fine Art programme. I study both the History of Art and Art Practice degrees simultaneously over five years. My art practice sits within the realms of costume, fashion and textiles whilst drawing on historical and social ideas. Despite these facts, there are underlying tensions in some departments that have allowed me to feel that, though I may have gained entry to a prestigious course, it doesn’t mean I should gain access to “design” facilities e.g. silkscreen printing onto fabric, pattern cutting tutorials or anything else I might require. As someone who spent a year studying an art foundation where the use of facilities was not only available to me but encouraged, and as someone who knows of other people who are given free reign over facilities within their universities, I’ve found the ordeal highly frustrating.

IMG_4752.JPGThough I’ve had some really hopeful, positive conversations with staff as a consequence of this, it is fair to say I ended the year with a slightly bitter taste in my mouth at the apparent disconnect between the Art and Design school. Though the protocol must have been made for valid reasons, it’s been hard to not view the situation as a personal attack on my way of working as well as interdisciplinary ideals in general. Frankly the whole experience made me mourn the intravenous drip and beige hospital food of the previous semester. I’m not a fashion student; therefore it would seem I might struggle to have my cake and eat it.

But, the thing is, I really like cake.

So here we are, I’m taking it upon myself to solve the issue by creating my own personal project. And what better way to document it?

So, here goes nothing, I suppose.