Tuesday, 19 June 2012

My hero is back!

I've just had a small shiver go up my spine after receiving news on a new online exhibition from the Fashion Illustration Gallery. It only happens to be an exhibition of David Downton's work... and anyone who knows me and what I do, knows that my love of all things David Downton is unconditional!!!

So for the next month everyone has the opportunity to check out his recent work and hopefully develop an appreciation of it... although it might not be as obsessive as mine!

When I teach my students illustration I always try to explain about how the empty space that you leave on an illustration is just as important as the marks that they make. Sometimes the empty space can speak volumes and David Downton is the king of leaving empty spaces but producing illustrations that speak volumes!

Look at the lines he creates... they're fluid and free yet the lines are few and far between. Sometimes there are no lines at all, only blocks of colour, and the way he portrays eyes... it's like looking into the soul of his subject!!

Anyway, before my gushing becomes embarrassing please check out his exhibition for yourself here.

The only thing that makes me sad is the price of his work... I'm going to have to do some serious saving in order to display just one of his original pieces on my wall. In the meantime I'll have to make do with the Downton greetings cards that I have framed!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Another year... another amazing show!

I did it, they did it... WE did it!! The CCAD ED Fashion & Clothing Summer Show of 2012 has been deemed a success and yet, I still look back and wonder how the hell we ever get to a finished show!!

8 years ago, there was no indication of what this job would entail. Naively, I just thought I'd come in on a morning and teach a bit of fashion design and then go home! Nothing could have prepared me for the reality and although I only imagined I'd be there for a year or two, nearly 8 years on I can't imagine doing anything else!

This job isn't just about going in and teaching. I'm a counsellor, a confidante, a friend, a stand in parent, an ear to bend, a shoulder to cry on & so much more! Some days are tough. Some days I want to walk out of the front door and not look back but most days I thrive on the development of my students & their funnyisms keep me going!

They come to me as shy kids just out of school. They have no idea what they have let themselves in for but in just 2 short years, we mould them and help them to grow. We build their confidence, we guide them and we support them. We also give them no bullsh*t. We tell them like it is. We yell at them and reduce them to tears. They yell at me and reduce me to tears... it's called tough love. They'll look back one day and it will all make sense!!

I adore every one of my students. As much as they do my head in they make my job so worthwhile! I will never forget being a fashion student myself and I want to pass on the experience that I had. The good times and the bad times.

The fashion industry is one of the toughest industries to survive in. It can be pretentious and fake. It is full of arrogant people.. but it is also one of the best industries to work in. It has unlimited talent and there are no restrictions! It's what makes the world go round. We need clothes!! My gang are just starting their journey. They're going where I've been, and I want to help them through it!

My uni days were the best days of my life. I worked as hard as I played & I reaped the benefits eventually. I got to work for some amazing companies and I got to work with some amazing people and I feel like I've gone full circle. 

So, for the 7th year I can finally sit back again and feel proud of the achievements of my students. And I guess I can feel a little bit proud of the part I've played in helping them realise their ambitions!

I also look forward to the 33 Facebook friend requests I'll get at the end of this week as they know that although they leave CCAD on Friday, they will never leave my thoughts & I will always be here to help them in any way I can!! They will remain 'my kids' for life! xx