I haven’t updated for a while because we have been on holiday for just over 2 weeks; both my husband and I were exhausted and were extremely glad of the break. Sitting by a pool in the Florida sunshine was exactly what the doctor ordered. I can’t say that I’m glad to be home either – it’s so cold here!
The opening of the AD11 show went very well. The university had invited a special guest to open the show. The Special guest was Eric Leong who is the Malaysian Lawrence Llewellyn Bowen (although Eric likens his approach and attitude to Jamie Oliver). Eric gave us a Master class about the international language of design and suggested that we, the graduates, shouldn’t limit ourselves to working in the UK – there is a massive amount of design work in developing markets such as China and India.
After the Master class but before opening the show, Eric came around and looked at our work. This was an opportunity to get advice from a practising designer of celebrity status so we were all asked to give him an ‘elevator pitch’ about our work. Eric was continually being filmed, so we were too, this filming will be edited and shown on Malaysian television and uploaded onto YouTube! - there is nothing like a little extra pressure. In fact, Eric is a delightful gentleman; he is always friendly, polite and encouraging – and I had an advantage over everybody else because my work related most closely to Eric’s because he is an interior designer. Eric seemed to like my work, particularly my wallpapers and cushion covers; he spoke about them in a very positive manner and told me that they were already marketable :D
The day after the show opening I received a phone call asking if I would be willing to take part in a radio interview with Eric! Initially I panicked and said no – but after calming down a little bit I rethought and accepted this opportunity. The interview was on BBC Tees and my stomach was churning by the time we got there for the interview. Fortunately another student, Magdalena, and also Paul Denison, from the university, were there too, which made me feel a little better. Anyway, the interview went ok, everybody was really kind and it only lasted for 5 minutes, with Eric doing most of the talking. I didn’t sound totally stupid but I didn’t manage to communicate as well as I would have wished either – but it was my first time, next time will be so much better!
Another exciting opportunity has been offered to me by Norma Kyle, who wears several different career hats, but whilst wearing her ‘19 Marketing’ hat has offered me the chance to put my exhibition stock in an empty shop window in Darlington town centre – this will allow a whole different section of the community to look at my design work and will, hopefully, lead to further positive feedback. Norma wants my work in the window as quickly as possible (preferably this week!), but now I have to get hold of Michael, at uni, because the exhibition was taken down whilst I was away and I don’t know where everything is…
Oh - and more news... we got the results for our Masters whilst I was away on holiday. I was surprised and thrilled by getting a Master of Art with Distinction! How cool is that? My particular thanks go to Michael Hall and Mike McLean and my lovely husband Tim for their support, advice and encouragement throughout.
In the meantime I am working on my Christmas card designs, I really need to get a move on because at this rate it will be January and too late!
Will update again soon, but must be getting on (and making contact with Michael) in the meantime.