Founder Focus: Meet Eliza
Topic 4: Eliza’s General Advices
What types of training do you need to enter this field?
Training at a reputable university or college for your preferred subject seems a good start, where they try to cover most aspect of the technical side, so you’re equipped with the appropriate knowledge and tools to start you off.
During my training, I had my grounds covered pretty well in the sense of technical knowledge. I was taught about the construction of textiles, from its raw form to the yarn process, then other technical side like dyeing fabrics and screen and digital printing, all to industrial standards. I was taught the basics for all the textile design disciplines like knit, weave and print prior to selecting my speciality and focusing on that until graduating. Then I topped up and polished those skills through work-placements, by getting hands-on experience, learning from people I admire and respect, even if I did start off just observing and doing mundane tasks.
Although professional training with a reputable college or university seems the obvious route to a very skilled subject such as textile design, I don’t think it is the one and only training route there is.
If you can demonstrate a genuine interest and passion in your chosen subject, you can get your training through other means; this applies to any subject, not exclusive to design. You can teach yourself through lots of reading on the subject and then get training through apprenticeships and work experience with your admired skilled crafts-person or design studio and get your hands-on training. Skills are learned and perfected through constant practice and dedication to the chosen subject. This is why you need to have a genuine interest and true passion for the subject, or else you won’t have the energy and drive to push yourself and be better. Also, you need to have an open mind, so you don’t limit yourself too much in the sense of ideas, although you need to be more selective at the more progressive stage.
Working as a creative practitioner is a way of life, not just an occupation. It’s who you are.
What advice would you give to young people who might be thinking of starting such type of business?
- First and foremost, ALWAYS treat others with respect, no matter who they are.
Starting a business is very challenging and takes a lot of hard work, so you will need as much support as you can get. Therefore, you want people to be rooting for you, NOT against you. Helping each other is also a habit I highly encourage to get into.
- Get advice as soon as you’re thinking about starting a business.
There are a lot of organisations that can help in giving support and advice or at least point you at the right direction. Speak to people and communicate, people can’t offer advice or help you if they don’t know you need it.
- Be patient yet persevere, armed with steely determination.
Creative business can be a slow process. You will probably have more bad days then you do good days; but one really good day tends to over-write the 10 bad days you have and makes it all seem worthwhile. This is why if you don’t love what you do with all your heart, you should probably reconsider your options. You’re in it for the long haul.