I've had a tough few days working on my textile portfolio. I have been trying to work in a different style to usual, making designs that are "simpler" than usual. This is completely unnatural to me. I was trying to make my work fit with the specification I had defined. As a second year, I am trying to diversify my styles and I have found it incredibly difficult. What I was trying to achieve did not fit with the feedback in mid-semester review that my organic sketchbook work was my best.
I had made several different screens, and trialled different designs, and did not really like any of them. I was trying not to layer several images, as this makes it more complicated, but layering was the advice I received several times. I was getting very downhearted about it. I tried stitching into some samples, but felt it was all very pedestrian. And when I struggle with my work, I just want to go home. If I could have changed my flight and gone home this weekend, before final assessment, I would have done.
Yet, when we were in class, my group, Mollie, Ellie and Victoria, said my work was good and imaginative. It was diverse and showed a lot of experimentation in the dozen or so samples I had cut for the textile portfolio. Then when I got out some of the pieces I had sampled, but not cut, they said to use everything I had printed. And had ideas for further stitched samples. I now have a lot of stitching to do over the weekend! I have a couple of pieces in the portfolio that are quite simply printed, that achieve what I intended - simple patterning - plus a 4m silk velvet devore piece for the length of cloth, that is also a simple pattern that fits the specification in my written proposal. But I think everyone else preferred the (busier) prints that were on random dyed fabric.
So, now I feel a lot less anxious about the review. I still don't like the busier prints but I can now see the skills I have used to make them - a couple of different, and skilled, dyeing processes, drawing skills for the prints, stitch skills for the embroidery. The portfolio will show a lot of diversity in skills, techniques, and experimentation. Ellie also described how she would display the work, and this gave me a mental picture, which simplified the layout. This was really helpful, as I find displaying work and privileging the most successful work to best effect to be incredibly difficult.
Mollie, Ellie and Victoria - Thank you.