Finishing 1st year

Wow, I’ve finally finished my first year of uni! I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. University has definitely been a hell of a lot of work, moving on from brief to brief, with extra internships and live projects on the go. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the amount of pressure and work we’ve been given. The experience that the RSN has offered me has been amazing so far, an internship at Hussein Chalayan, working alongside textiles artists at the Knitting and Stitching show and working on the Game of Thrones embroidery for the season 6 premier. Experiences I never expected to get so early on in my degree. As well as new embroidery skills, I’ve definitely learned a lot about myself and what type of artist I think I want to be. Don’t get me wrong,I still have no clue where I want to go with it all, but It’s relieving to know that I have some sort of style in the way I work.

Nevertheless, a 3 months holiday couldn’t have come at a better time. I definitely need a nice long summer break away to relax! And hopefully, I’ll also get a chance to do some of my own work and catch up on all those personal projects and birthday presents I am behind on!

There are definitely some key things I have learnt this year that I wish I’d known back in September, here’s a few of them for those of you who are off to uni next year!

1- Take advantage of that fact that the 1st year doesn’t count towards your final degree, this is your best opportunity to go out of your comfort zone and try some different things. If they don’t work out, that’s a lesson learned, and if they do, fantastic!

2- Balance out work and social life! We all know that art degrees demand hours of labour intensive  work, and it is important to put those in to get the most out of your first year, but it is just as important to know when and when not to put the paint brush down and go out with friends.

3- If you’re doing an art course, then like me, some of you will claim that you can sew or paint in front of TV. And to some degree, we can, but let’s be honest… We get a lot more done when we’re not constantly peeping one eye at the screen. Save it for the boring paper cutting jobs or give yourself a tea break!

4- Organisation! You’ve most likely heard this one a million times before, but it is definitely one of the most important things to keep on top of. I found it really helpful to keep a Filofax to write down all my important notes and plans. Try and include this in your weekly routine. Oh, and keep it in your bag if it’s small, you never know when you’ll get a creative thought or inspiration that you’ll want to write down. I also have a yearly calendar on the wall, I like to see what’s ahead months in advance, helps to keep on top of deadlines.

5- Work journal! We were originally asked to do these by our tutor and it became so important to me towards the end of the year. Get a journal and keep it specifically for your uni work, every day or once a week, look back at your work and write down what it is you’ve done, what you’ve enjoyed, not enjoyed… every little bit of detail about your current project. It really comes in handy at the end when you want to see how you’ve developed your work and what you thought of it at the time. And you never know what previous thoughts might inspire you.

That’s it from me, I hope these little bits of advice can help you, if you have some of your own, let me know!

Good luck in this exam season, and have a great summer!

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