Overall, I have enjoyed this project significantly more than I thought I would. I feel that having my own work space at uni has considerably benefited me, using this as a base throughout the day. I feel it means that I can just sit down, surrounded by inspiration on the walls, and get on with the day’s ‘to do’ list. I get so distracted at home and I think this is the reason why I’ve already done so much more development this year. It has also been helpful when, for example I have been in the paper making, stitch, or print workshops, and I can keep popping back to grab bits or have a break.
In terms of the work I produced, I’m so pleased that I have stuck with my initial idea throughout and I feel that my final collection reflects this. I produced a line extension of 8 cards, all made up of seed embedded hand made paper and free machine embroidery. I have stuck to the skills which I know I enjoy and am good at (i.e. stitch, handmade techniques) and this has resulted in a set of cards which have each had a lot of work and time put into them.
Admittedly I was nervous for my presentation on Thursday, however I was also feeling confident and proud of my collection. I think I presented well and I hope that I came across as passionate about it as I feel: I am slowly improving at speaking about my work in front of a group, which is going to be an important skill when running a business in the future.
However, I was left feeling a little deflated when it was all over. I had worked so hard to get everything ready for the day, but the presentation of the collection to the consultants felt much more like an interim tutorial with the tutor. I am aware that this was only a formative assessment point for this year and we do have the opportunity to rectify and improve our work, however I did feel like I needn’t have made such an effort for this, and that they were looking at it as a work in progress.
Despite of all of this, when the consultants did speak up, the comments were very positive: they loved the collection and theme, especially the recipe cards which one said are a piece of art in themselves, which was really nice to hear.
The biggest improvement which was suggested to me was on the packaging. Irene recommended having something there which implies what the card grows into/what it does. They also said that a child wouldn’t be drawn to the product. I personally produced the packaging to be attractive to the buyer, rather than the receiver of the card, as the child wouldn’t actually see it. I also think this is partly due to the last minute suggestion of a complete target customer change, which she was aware of. I also kept the wrapping to a minimum because of the environmental connotations, which were very important to me in this collection.
This is something that I’m going to think about for May.
Overall, I’m very pleased with what I have produced for this consultancy project, especially when I compare it to what I have produced previously. I have enjoyed working with paper as a medium but am more than ready to return to fabric full time!