Garments: Designed & made by me.
So as of today, when I hand in my portfolio later, my MA will be officially over. It's been a very stressful but memorable year, and I am actually really sad that it has come to an end. I have been notoriously hard on myself this year, more so than usual, and I think it's because I felt the pressure to live up to the 'MA standard' that everyone seems to talk about. (I always say I fell onto the MA by accident - which I did - and I repeatedly said throughout the year 'I don't feel like I belong here') Looking back, I do regret how hard I was on myself and that I didn't just relax and enjoy the course and this opportunity more - but the main reason why I stressed so much is because I really care, nor do I want to let myself or anyone else down. But as I finished putting together my portfolio today, I couldn't help but go compare it to my BA portfolio that was hanging around in the depths of my old hard drive, and for the first time ever I realised how much my work has grown and changed.
Not only has my work and knowledge improved over the past year, but I also feel like this is the most I have grown as a person in a small space of time. This time last year I made a really last minute, brave decision to join the PGCert Creative Pattern Cutting course and move to Nottingham with only 3 weeks until the course started. I kept thinking 'am I making the right decision?' - but now a year later I think it was the best decision of my life. I even said to my friend earlier today that just this one year of my MA is worth more to me than my whole 3 years on my BA. I can't really fully explain how or why I have changed - but I think this year in Nottingham has really made me think about what I want to achieve from life. Ask any of my friends how I have been this year and they will tell you that I have been miserable, negative and self-doubting, which is true. (and it's something I'm working on!) But I feel like I've reached a certain amount of clarity and I'm starting to appreciate that I do have skills (different from other people) and that I know what sort of designer I am and where I see myself. Not only that, I think this year has allowed me to realise just how negative I am and how much I am holding myself back, which is something I have probably needed to address my whole life.
But of course, moving to Nottingham has also meant making new friends and also getting to live in such an amazing city. (people always find it weird that I prefer Nottingham over London - but if you've lived in London your whole life like me then you realise it's overrated and ridiculously expensive - but I do miss it too!) Even though I lived in an overpriced private student accommodation on the top floor where the lift was broken continuously for 5 months, I still got slightly emotional when I had to move out last week just because of how much that room represented. Deciding to return to uni for postgrad studies and moving to Nottingham has ended up being the best decision I've ever made, and I've loved it here so much that I've now moved into a house in Nottingham whilst I do a short business course at The Hive, and if all works out well then my hopes is to get a studio space in the new year and get my business going.
But anyway, amongst all my self-doubting, when I'm at my happiest is when I see my garments on an actual human body and I realise my hard work has paid off. I think one of the first times Mary, my model, tried on my garments, I actually felt really emotional. It was during the Summer when I was on my extension (due to health reasons), when all my coursemates had finished weeks ago and I was pretty much alone (and of course miserable) and I was hating everything I was making. Then Mary tried my garments on and I suddenly realise that 'oh yer, my clothes do have a purpose'. And I get the same feeling when looking at my photoshoot!
I am so chuffed with how the photoshoot came out. Last weekend, me and Mary travelled up to Grimsby to have my garments shot by the wonderful Kitty. Mary and Kitty have worked together a few times, and I just loved the way Kitty captures Mary and it's exactly the aesthetic I was wanting to portray in my own photoshoot. The story line behind the photoshoot is a woman arriving on holiday, frolicking on the beach, and then dressing up for dinner and going for a moonlit walk on the beach in the evening. I was unsure if my concept would work, but I think it's come across perfectly, with the help of Kitty and Mary of course! It ended up being a really fun day too, which is something I really needed after a tough couple of weeks.
All in all, I may not know what my grade is yet or whether I even passed/failed, but I feel like I've reached a sense of.... calm? or numbness. Either way, it's done now.
Until next time,