New Designers 2016


New Designers - Discovering emerging design.

You may think why would I want to attend a New Designers exhibition having graduated myself in 1994. Hardly New I know but when you think about emerging design, well I feel we are continually emerging, both within ourselves and what we create.

Being around like minded creatives was for me also a big draw, to be in the same room as a thriving community that are so passionate about their creativity is hard to beat. Design holds the space for everyone to be seen and heard, young, old, fully fledged, emerging there is a place for everyone.

A content rich experience

The Design Trust’s director Patricia van den Akker set up a  ‘Start Up Day’ and again on paper I don't qualify. My official ‘start up day’ began in 2000 but the fact is you never stop learning, sharing, inspiring, creating nor should you. Adopting the ethos of being the eternal student, keeps you open, receptive and egoless.

I was not sure how many sessions I would stay for on the ‘start up’ discussions, but out of the 11 on offer and I ended up staying for 10 and that was purely on the basis I needed to eat!

Filled with support, guidance, tips & stories it was a content rich experience.

Sound advice

Snippets of really sound advise from some of the guest speakers…

The collective opinion from Clare Maddison Director of Contemporary Applied Arts and Grant Gibson Editor of Craft magazine when it comes to selling and promoting yourself was

  • ‘Be available, be ready, be positive, be personal and don’t over promise’

Dean Shepherd a creative accountant at Tax by Design’s big take home was to encourage everyone to just

  • ‘Ask for help’ you can begin here with this great tax toolkit 

Ruth Wassermann head of design at MADE shared a valuable tip.

  • ‘Knock three times’  - Have three points of contact with your potential client/buyer, a combination of emails and posted items. After the third attempt if there is no response then move on and channel your energy into something else.

Neil Leonard a designer and educator from design your career focused on marketing yourself and he shared that

  • ‘Conversation is marketing’ and how sharing your ‘behind the scenes’ can be so helpful.

Rachael Taylor a Surface Pattern designer and founder of Make it in design summed up a great reminder no matter where you are on your journey.

  • ‘ Be unique, do your own thing, there's a place for everyone’

Ella Doran an established and talented textile designer encouraged everyone to

  • ‘Ask lots of questions, be present & be purposeful’

And Yeshen Venema, Photographer shared some great marketing tips from consistency to lighting and when styling to..

  • ‘Keep your props in keeping with your theme’

One extra bonus piece of information as a general rule from Patricia was that when approaching markets  they all tend to work approximately 2 x 3 times ahead of their publication/production dates, so for example a daily will work 2 to 3 days ahead, a monthly 2 to 3 months ahead.

New Designers continues this week and weekend too, this time the talent of Furniture, Product & Industrial, Spatial, Graphic, Illustration, Animation, Motion & Digital designs are all showcased.

This time I am taking my family with me as I have two young budding designers keen to be inspired too. There is a creator in everyone, let your imagination run, who knows where it will take you.