Last week I was invited to give a talk to the students on the Surface Pattern Design degree at Staffordshire University. I had such a lovely day with them.
I spoke to all three year groups in the morning and told them my story. From dropping out of art college, having my kids really young and then finding my own way into my creative career baby step by baby step. Some of these students are about to leave uni and all of them want to find a way of carrying on doing what they love but are worried about the challenges ahead. How will they make it work in the big wide world? I loved showing them my photo's and taking them on a virtual tour of the wallpaper factory. I liked openly sharing the ins and outs of a product based design business like mine and how I make it work for me.
I spent the afternoon in the studio's with the students and some of them showed me their work and told me about their dreams for the future. I'm gutted I didn't take my proper camera (why oh why?) but I took a few snaps on my phone. They have so many great facilities and it was a buzz with experimentation and ideas. I just LOVE work spaces. The mess, the organisation, the possibilities, the works in progress...
This is the desk of second year student Katie Hughes. We had a nice chat about being inspired by nature and the way it can calm you down and how, when you're calm you start to notice it's lovely details and colours.
I watched Rhiannon Roberts hand tufting her lovely rug. Doesn't this look fun? I wanted to have a go.
It made me want to go back to college and PLAY.
Sarah Pearse was having a great time freely splashing dyes on a huge table and taking prints....finding those interesting details.
I loved the pretty printing and paper folding going on at Joanna Mathias's desk. She is hoping to create some sculptural hangings and lights.
This third year students Hayley Murphy is working on a wallpaper collection so we had a lot to talk about - in fact she's asked if she can come and intern for a while next year so we will be seeing more of her :).
I wish I had taken loads more photo's so I could really share the buzz of the place with you. It was lovely to spend the day there and to be able to inspire a few people. The world needs more people doing what they love and I hope all these enthusiastic young people find their way to living super successful creative lives.