Monday, 31 January 2011

Well the day is finally here, I am finished maths FOREVER!!!!!! (well you know, as far as school work goes) Today was my first full day back at school since I finished my maths A Level, I was at a Ravensbourne interview and a Central Saint Martins portfolio review last Thursday and Friday (more of that in a bit), and I loved it! I didn't realize not having to go to a maths lesson for the first time in 14 years would be so liberating! It feels so good to have 2/3 of my lessons being creative! I have so much more time to spend on my art and textiles now so hopefully I can actually get my coursework done, well that's easier said than done, watch this space.

So, I went for my interview at Ravensbourne on Thursday, I think it went alright, felt pretty painless, actually not as bad as I thought it would. It's now definitely my top choice, but I'm not too sure on the practicalities of getting their, the journey to North Greenwhich via the Picadilly line was a nightmare; try squeezing yourself onto an already jam packed train with two massive art folders and a lady with a suitcase complaining at you because you have the ignorance to think you'll get on this train! I got on though and made it just in time. Luckily, the Jubilee line was a lot less crowded and this is the line I would be using if I went there. I am making no further comment on the interview itself because I have no idea how it actually went as the lady interviewing me gave me absolutely no signs as to whether she liked my work, unlike the last interview. The student ambassador on the other hand said I would make a great textiles student though! Note to self: must not get my hopes up!

Then, the next day I had my portfolio review at Central Saint Martins. Apart from missing the train I originally intended to get due to the extremely irregular traffic Slough suffered that morning, Murphy's law of course, and arriving 20 minutes late and then having to lug my work up 4 flights of stairs, almost killing myself in the process, it was an extremely easy day. The fact that I was late turned out to pose no problems at all and I got to browse around London whilst they decided my fate. You could say it was a pretty good day; I bought some of my favorite Meron Pan from the Japan center, I got to look in all the shops with practically no-one in them, I ate my lunch in Covent Garden whilst watching a street performer (I think it was called the Tom show?), albeit in the freezing cold, and I bought a bag that I have had my eye on for aaages in Irregular Choice that was reduced from £45 to £18! And the best part? I only went and bumped into Dom from Muse, my favorite band!

This is how it happened: I was starting to get a little bored (you'll be suprised how bored you can get in London when you know you have to spend a certain amount of time there and you're on your own) so I didn't really know what to do so I just started walking down Oxford street, I was by the Tottenham Court Road end. Then what happens? A taxi pulls up next to me and who gets out and walks right in front of me? Only flipping Dom from Muse! I literally stopped in my tracks! And this was no Harry McVeigh moment, this was definitely the real deal! I could not believe my luck! Dazed and starstruck I continued to walk in the direction I was going, no real point to where I was going. About 3 minutes later I thought to myself, "What if he's going to meet the rest of the band? I must follow him!" Yeah, an obsessive shot in the dark thought to have but I had nothing better to do. So, despite almost 5 minutes passing, I continued down the road I saw Dom go down and reached a Tesco. Just as I thought "this is getting ridiculous" who do I see by the checkout in Tesco? Yes, Dom again! I slowed down and did a bit of a double take to check it definitely was him and yeah, it definitely was! I didn't go in though (not that much of a stalker!) but continued until I reached a corner where I stopped and got out my phone to text some people what I had just seen. However, my phone was being its usual self and not working so I gave up. Putting my phone away I realized I had got myself onto a small side road in London by myself and thought "Well I've had my fun, now its getting stupid" and  turned back towards Oxford street. I was just grinning stupidly to myself, not quite believing my luck, when I see Dom again! This time he's walking in my direction, but he's with someone whos talking to him so I don't disturb him by shrieking about how much I love Muse. Instead I just slow down as much as I can without him noticing and just gawk. Yeah, I really just wanted to respect his privacy, it was clearly his day off.

All in all, it was pretty surreal. Like one of those moments when it feels like you're actually watching it on tv, when in fact you're there! That brings me to my lyric of the day, it seems only apt for it to be a Muse song...

Lyric of the day: "Future soul forgive this mess, you waste twenty years, then wind up alone, demented" - Fury, Muse

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

License to...

I'll start with the bad news, apart from one night, I think it may have been Friday or Saturday, I have not been sketching in my fashion diary! I know, I promised not to fall behind again but this month has so far proved to be the most busy and important month on my life so far, well that what it seems like now. I currently study four A2 levels, a choice which many would see as idiotic and even masochistic, but due to studying in the further maths class I am finishing maths this January, leaving me with so much more "free" time. However, before this can happen I must revise for the two exams that my maths A Level culminates in which so far, I have not really been doing nearly as much as I could be. But this isn't really the end on the world because I have an unconditional offer! (note to self: must not let this get to my head - my maths A Level is very important for my future career) Anyway, besides this I have an art deadline in 2 weeks for which I still have an astonishingly large amount to do (more so than I originally though it seems, but more on this in another blog) and a textiles deadline in about 2 months (this may seem like a long time but I have taken on quite a challenge for myself; making a jacket, top and trousers may be pushing it just past my limit). On top of all of this I have had the impending doom of a driving test, which had to be rescheduled because of the snow and was given to me with less than 2 weeks notice, resting on my shoulders and, quite frankly, overshadowing the importance of everything else in my life.

OK I didn't realise the bad news would take so long, so on to the good news! Said driving test was actually today and, drum roll please... I passed! With 2 minors! It was the biggest emotional roller coaster of a half an hour of my life I think. Within 2 minutes I thought I had failed (this turned out to be only a minor fault) and for the rest of the test I came close to giving up, sure I had failed after the examiner screamed at me to stop as I pulled off to of a right turn, my foot was shaking so much on the clutch as I did my maneuver ( a 3 point turn- the one I wanted!) I still don't quite believe I got away with only 1 more minor after the mini disaster of the first 2 minutes. So, that's a whole lot of my mind, and now I can finally focus a bit more on the creative side of my life, and every other side of my life for that matter.

One of the very few nights off I have had this month came last night, and just in time, if I had spent another night doing maths past papers I think I would have driven myself insane with nerves for today. I have been waiting for last night, with extreme excitement, for a few weeks now and wow, it exceeded all  of my expectations! My brother, his friend, my best friend and I went to see the White Lies in HMV at the opening of their new album "Ritual". They  played about 6 songs and did a signing, unfortunately I didn't get my new facebook profile pic but I did get a copy of the album (which I have been waiting with immense anticipation since seeing them at Wembley Stadium, supporting Muse, and York Hall) signed and we got out drumstick signed and some guitar picks! Whats more, I am pretty sure, well I say pretty sure it could have just been a mirage caused by having too much White Lies on the brain, that I saw Harry McVeigh about 45 minutes after the signing walk past us on the platform at Oxford Circus waiting for a train to Ealing Broadway (White Lies are from Ealing!). He was literally identical and had the same trousers on. Coincidence? I think not! We kept an eye out when we got off at Ealing but he was not sighted again. Oh well, next time, which won't be too long, I'm seeing them in February!  (Harry McVeigh ; p)

Lyric of the Day: "I've got a sense of urgency, I've got to make this happen"- Strangers, White Lies 

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

Today I went to an open day at Central Saint Martins. After a mini-heart attack caused by finding the old confirmation email that said it actually started at 12pm at 10am, not 2:30pm which I could have sworn it was at, all turned out well because they said it was fine for us to just turn up whenever. I have mixed feelings about the place to be honest. As soon as you start to approach the place, before you even turn the corner into the road is is on, you know there's an art college near; the quirky bookshops, the crazy hairstyles and the vintage clothes. I know it has an amazing reputation; I was reminded of this during the tour when we were told that every artist or designer who has made it has studied at Central Saint Martins at some point along the way.

However, before going on this open day I was warned that CSM has a bad reputation for not giving their students enough one-to-one tuition time. My mind was not put at ease when I was told today by a member of staff that the intake for the next academic year will be 750. All of the other colleges I have looked into only have between 100 and 200 students per year. To be perfectly honest 750 students is way too much for a foundation course, I'm sure you would get no where near as much attention as you would need during what is a very important year of your life. Another slightly negative point (well it is when I compare it to my new first choice, Ravensbourne) is that the building is quite old, which is fine but each area for the different departments seem quite small this wouldn't be a problem but lets not forget the small issue of their being 750 students. One of the tutors even used the word "stampede" to describe what its like trying to get into your preferred area of specification. To be perfectly honest it seems just too competitive, what with 750 students all hoping to make it big one day and not enough space or tutors to accommodate these egos. It seems like the pace where you could either hit it big and manage to get yourself into the right crowd and rocket to fame and fortune, or, get trampled by the "stampede" and be lost among the crowd and become just another statistic.

I'm just not getting the same vibes off it that I got off Ravensbourne. I think now this is now definitely my first choice (before it was tied first place with CSM). Its been relocated to a brand spanking new building this year (like the rest of CSM will be APART from the art foundation course, of course) and its just so spacious and airy. Its like a designers heaven; it has technology more modern than the industry, a completely open plan layout and massive tables to spread your stuff out on. The facilities just seem a whole lot better and the best part? Their student union is the O2 Arena which is right next door! My mum has always told me to go with my instincts and my instincts tell me that Ravensbourne is better place for me. Plus, in a slightly biased statement maybe, the tutor at Ravensbourne did say that they would prepare you for the industry better than the University of the Arts London would (basically called them arty farty and ignorant of the current economic market and the need for industry ready graduates).

To cause more confusion, I have my unconditional offer from Bucks New Uni. I still have no idea what this college would be like apart from the fact that it is the closest one to home. I was told to make my decision by the end of January but the thing is I haven't got an open day until February and I don't want to reject this offer as it is just too good but I can;t decide until I see the place.

But enough about University choices, its getting far too late for thinking this deeply. In completely unrelated news I listened to the original Violet Hill by Coldplay for the first time in a long time. Let me tell you, it sounds absolutely feeble in comparison to Pendulum's cover which I have recently re-discovered and finally have on my iPod, although I could be biased.

Lyric of the Day: "If you love me, Won't you let me know?"- Violet Hill, Coldplay 

Disclaimer: do not take my word if you too are looking into these colleges, they suit different people in different ways

Monday, 10 January 2011

First things first, I have managed to maintain my new years resolution! So far, so good! I also just today found out that Central Saint Martins have asked me in for a portfolio review for a place on their art foundation course! I'm really happy about this one as it's my first choice (well joint with Ravensbourne)!

In other news this weekend I finally decided what I'll be making for my textiles coursework; a top, jacket and trousers. I intend to make most of the patterns myself, modifying patterns I already have for parts of it. This may or may not have to be handed in just after the February half term, I'm hoping not, I fear I have bitten off more than I can chew.

On top of this I have to finish my art coursework by the 1st of February, including the evaluation. Thanks to my having to finish part of my final piece before Christmas I am at a slight advantage. However, I also have 2 major maths exams in 2 weeks which I am no where near ready for. Thankfully, after these exams are finished I am done with maths FOREVER! I can finally put all of my attention on art and textiles (and also Japanese but that has nowhere near as large a workload).

But this is getting slightly depressing so I thought I'd show you some of my art work so far. For my current module I have been looking at fashion designers and artsist who use recycled materials and experimenting with doing the same myself. It all started last summer when, after looking at the work of Chinese artist Huang Xu who works with plastic bags, I got the idea to make a dress out of melted plastic bags. I did some research and turns out I wasn't the only one who had this idea so there my A2 project began.  To the left is the bodice for a dress (as far as I've got right now) made out of plastic bags I melted together with an iron then sewed with raffia. Below is the back of the bodice which I made from weaving the straps from plastic bags.

I was going to also put my final piece up but I think you are probably losing interest by now so I'll save that for another day, ooh the suspense! Until next time, I'll leave you with the lyric of the day which I heard very appropriately whilst designing my textiles coursework. It's a cheesy sentiment, I know, but it's from my favourite band and I do admit I am slightly partial to a bit of cheese : )

Lyric of the Day: "Best, you've got to be the best"- Muse, Butterflies & Hurricanes

Friday, 7 January 2011


So its been a few of months since I actually created this blog, not that anyone would know, and I have finally got round to writing my first post. I have been so busy for the last few months, but, over the Christmas holiday I had a bit of an epiphany. I originally didn't know what to write about, it was going to be just a random reel of my thoughts really with no intended structure. However, there has been one thing in my life that has stayed a constant since I was about 6: I want to be a fashion designer. As I am nearing the end of my life in school and I am starting to get offers for places on art foundation courses my dreams are starting to become a reality. So, to document this pivotal part of my life I am going to use this blog to record my journey to becoming a fashion designer. 

My earliest memories of wanting to design clothes were from about reception and year 1 of primary school. I was about 5 or 6, I think, and every wet play break we had (when it rained, so a lot) I would sit and draw clothes onto bodies. That continued throughout my entire stay at primary school; I would even hatch plans to create fashion houses with my friends or we'd design our wedding dresses and joke about how we'd get married to the cast of Harry Potter in them (I had Harry, of course). Then, when I outgrew this in secondary school it got a bit more serious and I took art and textiles for both GCSE and A Level, where I started to design and make dresses (pictures to follow soon). As part of my current project, I am making a three piece casual outfit, comprising of a top, jacket and trousers (maybe a skirt or shorts, I haven't decided yet). I will be started this in the next week I'd say so more on this later. I am also currently exploring a fashion theme in my art work, using recycled materials to make dresses (again, more of this to come). So far, my only current claim to fashion fame is that I won a competition held by the V&A last year to design an outfit to be worn 20 years in the future.  But I intend to change this.

I have always jotted down ideas in random notebooks whenever they come to me, often just before I drift of to sleep actually, but this has always been a very inconsistent and unorganized affair, with segments of ideas scattered between several notebooks. So, my new years resolution this year, and the first I actually plan to stick to, is to sketch an idea in my book, bought especially for this purpose from Paperchase, everyday of the year as a kind of fashion diary. So far its been going well, and by that I mean I stuck with it for the first 3 days of January, a personal record. However, I have caught up and I promise, I won't break it again! 

So that is my brief history in fashion, keep reading, there will be pictures coming soon!