I happened to come across a fantastic online article from HOUSE BEAUTIFUL (I subscribe to the magazine) documenting the power of pattern, and the ability to convey its own language, to benefit our mood. This is especially relevant to someone like me, living with a chronic health condition. Even when ill, I am able to see the beauty in the world around me.


Murray, A & Winteringham, G. (2018) Patternity. Available at: (Accessed 25th October 2019)

The line was created specifically for JOHN LEWIS. This got me thinking about how important individual elements such as mark making and motifs will be within my own collection. Not only do I want to convey a sense of kineticism within my work, but I would also like to create a sense of gender neutrality for my potential client.

Granted, the designs of ANNA MURRAY and GRACE WINTERINGHAM are monochromatic, but I feel that pattern is universal and can communicate within any colour.


How do I go about being as prepared as I possibly can before starting my degree @ Nottingham Trent Univesity?

Having a knowledge of a good range of sources to draw inspiration from is essential! Core sources:





Not only that, I will endeavour to take my camera everywhere I go. Taking photographs as part of my ongoing visual research will allow an organic emersion of all things related to my creative practice.

Feed findings throughout visual and contextual research. As I subscribe to SElvedge, Elle Decoration, and Wallpaper, I will make it a primary task to reference any artists, designers, and trends that relate to my ongoing learning.

Could this visual research by uploaded digitally? Whilst undertaking research, I will try my best to maintain a research method that incorporates design responsibility.

This blog will allow me to reflect upon my time @ NTU. Although my Visual Research will be primarily within my sketchbook, and Contextual Research will be created and uploaded digitally, my thoughts and feelings over the greater umbrella of research will be annotated here.


Before starting the 1st Year of my degree I was set a pre-arrival task, which was designed to stimulate ideas and begin a concept generation.

Pre-arrival activities


We would like you to complete some tasks before you come to University to help you prepare for your course. These pre-arrival activities are a set of tasks aimed at selecting and initiating ideas and research, which will then feed into your work during the first few weeks of term on the course. You will need to collect some objects and materials from which to draw when you arrive and develop some starting points that inspire you. We encourage you to get out and about to help to stimulate your textile design practice and feed your concept development ideas. This will give you some material to kick-start your design projects, whilst helping you to develop your research skills.


Task 1: select and explore a theme

In order to initiate an individual concept, choose one of the theme strands below:

  • Cuddling: freckled, domestic, cute, shaggy, unruly, butter
  • Constructive: loss, rhythm, sharing, cubist, layer, energizing
  • Graphic: wild, loud, fragments, primitive, pebbles, joy
  • Archaic: composted, stained, brutal, planet, geometric, mend
  • Earth: veiled, acidic, weird, clouds, scraps, reveal
  • Sepia: faded, blurred, dense, historical, emotional, transparent
  • Worker: padded, functional, washed, age, farming, outlines

These are from Trend Union: Autumn/Winter 2020/2021 (available to view in the library when you arrive). See also TrendTablet and Edelkoort for trend information and inspiration.

Mind mapping your idea development

Think about what these words mean to you, and look them up to research their wider meanings, and synonyms. Consider them separately and together. Do some mind mapping to consider related ideas, words, and connotations.

I decided to choose the theme of WORKER.

Why? I was instantly drawn to the sub-themes of AGE, WASHED, and OUTLINES. Having an extensive amount of artists to cherry-pick from as influences allowed me to begin both my visual and contextual research in equal measure.

EGON SCHIELE> (Age) The master of line, form, and washes. Observational studies will concentrate primarily on colour, line, and overall tone.

HENRI MATISSE> (Paint) The master of bold outlines, colour, and the decorative. Collage will allow a more abstract interpretation from observational studies.

GIACOMO BALLA> (Mechanical) A Futurist: interpreting movement via the mechanical/machine. Sharp, rough, and metallic facets will create an antithesis to the organic structures explored within Schiele’s influence.


How will I tackle translating the words into actual visual research?

  1. Exhibitions> Get out and explore other artists’ work
  2. Observational drawing> Begin to describe theme through visual research.
  3. Contextual Research> Cross-reference theory and influence of other designers.
  4. Collecting items linked to theme> Stockpile interesting artefacts to draw upon.
  5. Scrapbooking journal articles> Broaden research skills to develop through practice.