The Start of My Professional Career

The time has come. I am now on my own professional journey to the career I have always wanted.

Today marks the day. Work hard, listen and take advantage of every single opportunity.

Introduction to the course leaders and staff:

KEIREINE CANAVAN – Programme Director/Principal Lecturer/Constructed Textiles

HELEN WATKINS – Level 4 Director/Senior Lecturer/Print/Dye Textiles

SASCHA KINGSTON – Associate Tutor/Paper Artist



Was told that there are to be 3 main areas of study within my BA TEXTILE DESIGN Degree.

SUBJECT, FIELD & CONSTELLATION. The tutors gave their best attempt to try and break down what each subject area would entail, but the information was so broad I could only vaguely get to grips with a few aspects of each.

SUBJECT – My Discipline/Own area of study

FIELD – Coming into contact with other artists/disciplines within the creative industry. Assimilate. Accommodate. Transform.

CONSTELLATION – Theory/Research/Contextual studies. Learning to look. Learning to know. Learning to do.

How do I find more information about all these 3 areas of study? Martin Woodward gave a welcome lecture to discuss ways to manage and comprehend each area. The information that we would require to familiarise ourselves with each of the 3 areas of study could be found on MOODLE. Moodle is an online an interactive hub of information related to all studies for the upcoming 3 years; timetables, briefs, technical information and Library resources can all be found here. I must admit, the prospect of having to manage and become proficient in all my creative work, essays, disciplines and navigating a new and unfamiliar online hub is extremely daunting. Nevertheless, I will do my best.

I did manage to hear some exciting news today, I am able to see the Library 24/7! It is open to students as and when needed. I think this will be fantastic in the coming months/years, especially when I’d dire need of research material. Keireine strongly urged my year group to come in early and take advantage of all tools readily available to us; coming in early to appropriate these tools would put us in good stead for future endeavors.


ESYLLT GEORGE – Careers Advisor/Support.                                                                                                                                                Student Facebook: Es Creative Exchange                                                                                       Set up a LinkedIn account


My first attempt at looking at Moodle, I really thought an extremely important to document the core objective of my creative journey. Breaking down, long and often confusing briefs, into more poignant, manageable and bite-size pieces really helps me to comprehend the task at hand.

I will begin my contextual and research journals within the next 2 weeks. Having a broad knowledge bank of interests, hobbies and pastimes will influence heavily towards my choice of creative artists/designers I wish to reference and Use as inspiration. I have previously mentioned a few artists/designers that I am currently/due to work/working with and will make a visual diary to gain a bank full of creative wealth and knowledge.



This was the brief set by Kereine & Helen. The brief was devised to take the group back to basics. Drawing is fundamental to any designer. I was encouraged to be as experimental and creative as possible , but to make sure that the brief and it’s core was adhered to.



I thought a map of St Fagans would come in extremely handy, knowing where to go and sites of interest could cut down wasted time. A group of us decided to check out the Chapel


I absolutely loved the wonderful shapes and angles within the chapel, I decided that I would incorporate a few quick linear drawings of specific areas of interest. I especially liked the small square window within the Chapel and completed  one of my six mandatory 5 minute sketches.




I absolutely love Trees! They are so beautiful and full of rich shapes, textures and tone. I really enjoy looking at the trunk and have tried to sketch an interpretation of it using line and collage.



I thoroughly enjoyed these 6 x 5minute descriptive sketches. Looking over my work, it is evident to see I really enjoy working within a simple and effective colour scheme, namely black, brown, green, yellow and blue. The purpose of this exercise was to build a selection of monotone drawings that focused on close-up, detail, line, scale, tone and shadow. I had quite forgotten how wonderful drawing is using fine liner pens, the visual handwriting produced could be exploited extremely successfully within Embroidery. Free Machine Embroidery could be an incredible way to describe these images. This is something I will be learning within the next couple of weeks.


More descriptive sketches of natural and found objects within St Fagans’ grounds. (Left) Shows very experimental/observational sketches of Sycamore ‘helicopter’ seed pods, incorporating scanned/drawn images. Learning that a simple line/mark made can be far more effective than spending more time over complicating an idea. (Right) 20 minute sketch of a wondrous tree in the foreground and the Stryd Lydan Barn behind a tree in the mid ground/documenting marks views within the overall scene.


Experimenting with ink, charcoal and direct leaf printing. I learnt a valuable lesson whilst printing direct from the leaf; surface pattern and texture is vital to create a detailed and wildly imaginative print. It is no good using a flat and uninspired type of leaf/flower, the print will result in a flat and description less image.


45 minute composition of Y-Garreg Fawr Farmhouse, incorporating texture, collage, perspective, line, surface quality and tone. Really pleased with this drawing, although I could continue to work on more studies utilising the textural and tonal qualities of slate walls. This could then be interpreted into stitch, possible hand stitch or machine embroidery. Drawn with Stitch; which brings me back to an artist I have recently discovered. DRAWN TO STITCHGwen Hedley (Using as one of my influences/Research), contains some of the most incredibly imaginative and tactile images I have had the fortune to discover. As previously mentioned in my blog, I have at times over burdened myself with way too much information stimulus. Her book strips back the preconceptions of not being able to draw and starts with the basics of line and mark making, something I am keen to explore much further.


Whilst on the trip at St. Fagans, I began documenting, by photograph, visual stimulus for further study. Looking at specific areas of items/materials/forms has always been a favourite hobby of mine. One can gain such information from such a small observation. I was reminded of one of my first notes I made when entering Room B1.06 (My First Year Study Room), I came across a ‘leaflet’ created by a Professor @ Cardiff Met University. The ‘leaflet’ introduced me to a few images of substances/materials under magnification, the research material named as ‘MICROSCOPE IN WAITING’ – Professor Richard Weston. I have e-mailed Professor Weston and am currently awaiting a response.




Module Briefing. Keareine and Helen introduced the group to the Module – MATERIAL MATTERS.

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I won’t go into too much detail, on my blog, with regards to how I will begin to break all of this information down (there is so much of it!!), I will begin  specific folders/sketchbooks that will deal with contextual/research element of my course.

My group was given a wonderful introduction, by Martha Lee (Academic Librarian), into how we can access the Academic Library/Library Resources. I can access the Library Resources through the Student Portal and gaining admittance via MetSearch. The process to source a book, journal or article is extremely simple, the best way to get to grips with the site is simple trial and error. There are important aspects to look out for when sourcing research material; GET IT = Location & Availability, when found the research material can then be saved to the eShelf for a later date, should it be required.

An A-Z Database search would access focused collections of key publications for specific subjects. Publications such as:

ACADEMIC COMPLETE, ART FULL TEXT, ART BIBLIOGRAPHIES MODERN/HUMANITIES FULL TEXT, CAMBRIDGE UNI PRESS, DESIGN & APPLIED ARTS INDEX, INTERNATIONAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF ART, JSTOR, OUP JOURNALS, VOGUE ARCHIVE and WGSN, should all be heavily utilised. Image Databases hold a treasure trove of high definition imagery for research and dissertation purposes; something I will arrange explore with Martha. It is of paramount importance that ALL images are to be referenced. If WGSN is to be utilised, they will not allow images to be referenced, but rather a link to the image is to be adopted. CITE THEM RIGHT online is another fantastic website to use.

Academic Skills workshops  are run on a Wednesday between 12-1pm, I am scheduled for workshops on a Wednesday morning every other week, so I will most definitely attend when I am free. All knowledge is power.

Martha mentioned that it could be useful to subscribe to a few magazines and journals of my own volition. I already subscribe to SELVEDGE, ELLE DECORATION and WALLPAPER.  Books that have come highly recommended for the course are as follows:

Clark, S, 2011, Textile Design, Laurence King Publishing, London

Colchester, C., 2009, The New Textiles, & Textiles Today, Thames and Hudson

Dunnewold, J. (1996), Complex Cloth: A Comprehensive Guide to Surface design, Martingale & Co.

Fish, J., 2005, Designing and Printing Textiles, The Crowood Press

Quinn, B, 2009, Textile Designers: At the Cutting Edge, Laurence King Publishing Ltd, London.

Steed, J. & Stevenson, 2012, Basics: Sourcing Ideas, ava. publishing

Wells, K, 2000, Fabric Dyeing and Printing, Conran Octopus Ltd

Wado, Y., 2012: Memory on Cloth: Shibori Now, Kodansha, America.


Drawing from the Modern 1975 – 2005, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Vitamin D, 2005, New Perspectives in Drawing,

Riegelman, N, 2006, 9 Heads, a guide to fashion drawing, 9 heads media.

Kuky Drudi/Tiziana Paci, 2012, The Pepin Press, Amsterdam.

Downs Marshall et al, 2009, Drawing Now, between the lines of Contemporary Art, I.B Tauris&Co Ltd, London.

Stobart, J. 2006, Drawing Matters, A&C Black, London

Kaupelis, S, 1980, Experimental Drawing, Guptil Publication, New York

Martin, R & Thurstan, M. 2008. Contemporary Botanical Illustration with the Eden Project, Batsford, London

Szabo, Z, 1987, Painting Nature’s Hidden Treasures, Advanced Techniques in Watercolour, Watsill-Guphil Publication, NYC

Evans, J, 1987, Chinese Brush Painting, William Collins Sons, Glasgow






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