By Katie Turton
Final year BA (Hons) Textile Design
The opportunity to write a guest blog for Scarlet Opus, who specialise in consumer and design trend forecasting, came during my second year when we got to our work placement module. The module is all about finding a 4-week work placement. Whilst at first this felt like a daunting task of finding somewhere that would take me on, the more I searched the further I got. My interests lie within the interior trend forecasting industry, so I contacted many companies asking for the opportunity of a placement, until I secured one at a trend forecasting company up in Newcastle.
However, one other company, Scarlet Opus, also got in touch to say that wasn’t the right timing for a placement with them, but that they were very much interested in staying in touch with me after seeing my digital portfolio!
So, why did I contact the company again over summer?
I decided that because Scarlet Opus had offered to stay in touch with me, it was only right for me to take them up on this chance. I think it’s important to grab opportunities with both hands and take them whilst you can, so over the summer I took photos of the new work I had completed since first emailing Scarlet Opus and made a new digital portfolio for them to view.
The guest blog post came to be after Scarlet Opus had viewed my new portfolio of work and absolutely loved one of the projects and what I had explored within it. The project they wanted me to feature in the blog was one I had done during the part of our course where you get the opportunity to write your own brief and explore the parts of Textile Design that really interest you. I focused my brief on exploring colour and materiality and how they interact with one another. I then photographed the results and created trend boards from this.
Victoria Redshaw, Lead Futurist, at Scarlet Opus commented:
Katie first made contact with Scarlet Opus at the beginning of 2017 and had the initiative to keep us up-to-date with her projects, developing direction and skills.
As soon as I saw her Colour & Material experimental compositions I invited her to showcase her work on our blog. I knew our readers would be inspired by her clever combinations of colour, texture and materials as well as her experiments with layering and exploration of the dynamic relationship between all these elements.
Her photography was of a very high standard making it easy for us to not only produce a blog post that had visual impact, but it also gave us several great ‘hero’ shots to use on social media to promote the post.
Other than the visual qualities of Katie’s work, we were also very interested in her process – the How & Why of what she had created. This enabled our readers to have a deeper appreciation of the work itself and of Katie as a Creative. Katie was very open, generous and honest regarding the information she shared. Crucially she was excellent with regards to communication; updating me and meeting deadlines, as well as being confident in asking questions and seeking clarification. She was extremely professional and pleasant to deal with. Across all our social media streams Katie’s work has been viewed 8, 840 times from when it was posted on 6th Sept to the time of writing this (22nd Sept).”
The experience I gained from doing the guest blog post was invaluable. It taught me to not be afraid of taking chances with my work by exploring something that I thought was interesting. It has also taught me to believe in my own ideas more often and trust my ability by showing people that your ideas can work. On a professional level, doing the guest blog post has given me experience with how to work with a specialised company, how to work to their deadlines and how to produce a professional blog post.
Overall, by taking opportunities as they come to you, you are helping yourself to gain experience in a wide range of skills and practices that you will continue to use throughout your life. You are also making vital contacts with companies that you can go back to, as well as keep in touch with to broaden your network.