'the life of a textile and surface pattern designer'

Moving forward…

Okay, wow….did I really last post on the 1st October…just about three weeks ago?!! Jeez, time for a BIG catchup as that ended up as a pretty monumental day and since then my feet really haven’t touched the ground.

So, let’s rewind back to the meeting I was off to….well it went well….really really well and let’s be honest it was a pretty life changing meeting.

The meeting had been planned for a good couple of weeks or so, but the day before, I faltered, so worried my design work wouldn’t be what they were looking for….so worried I would walk in and they would laugh at me….

but yet, in my heart of hearts I knew it was what I wanted so bad and that was why I was so worried about making the ‘perfect’ pitch.

Thank God for Leon….the day before…that Sunday when i was so worried to the core, he pushed and pushed for me to go to it and show them my ‘stuff’.

I was worried my sketchbook’s were too messy…..he was adamant it showed my passion

I was worried my drawings weren’t technically perfect…..he was adamant it was my style

I was worried I was self-taught…..he was adamant it showed my determination

So I went….

And I waited….

In the ‘White Space’…

Clutching sketchbooks and cushions, drawings and paintings, doodles and portfolios…..

My whole ‘art life’ in my arms….

Waiting for a lady named Katie….

Watching the clock…

worrying I was going to be in the wrong place at the right time….

or maybe the right place at the wrong time…

And then…

She arrived.

We walked to her office….

I remembered how minimilistic and professional it looked against how scatty I must have appeared balancing all my work below my chin and under my arms, hands full to the brim…

“So, tell me about yourself” was the first question

I thought for just a moment…..

and all of a sudden….

the heavens opened…

I literally flooded the next 30mins jumping up and down….

Inviting Katie right into my world…laying myself bare for her to see my design process…

flinging sketches, portfolios, products, fabrics, drawings and everything I had, in front of her like a crazy lady at a 100mph.

That was the only question she asked.

I never gave her chance to ask anymore.

She was so lovely and laughed, saying I’d answered all her questions in that first reply.

I promptly kicked myself for going off on one, at the speed of lightening….getting carried away wanting to show her everything.

Why could I have not been more professional….more reserved.

She said they’d get back to me in two or three days.

I drove the long drive home, wondering if perhaps I should have done things differently.

I got in the front door and there was a message…

A message from Katie….

asking if I could start tomorrow!

I didn’t even have to think about my reply…

my dream was coming true.

And then that evening, reality hit and I was worried…

Worried about my job…

Worried about the money….

Worried about childcare….

Worried about the travel…..

Worried I really wasn’t ‘good’ enough….

but you know what Leon wasn’t….

he knew, like he always does, it would be just fine….

everything works out how it’s meant to be….

and it did.

I have found my place, my home where I should be…

people who share my crazy passion for pretty paper,

paint, ink, collage, stitching and design.

Day’s spent designing,

creating art,

not necessarily worrying about commercial value,

but giving it soul….

I feel alive….

it’s all I wanna do….

I’ve been going to bed so damn late….

waking up so damn early…

and I LOVE it….

this is how life should be….

Leon was right……

Push your dreams forward because it’s pretty damn perfect X

Claire Smillie – First Year Student ‘BA Hons Design’, University of Plymouth (Somerset College) <<<<<< yes you read it right….that’s me….thats what the meeting was about…I’m a ‘mature’ student, with the most supportive husband, two GORGEOUS kids, ((my big ass Mac)) and the bestest job ever. Someone really must be looking down on me right now, because I can’t stop smiling to myself…. I  feel like the luckiest girly alive X


9 responses

    such great news!!! I’m really happy for you! your determination and talent are paying off and the best thing of all this: you are HAPPY!!! Can’t wait to read more about your journey! I really had fun reading this post. It almost seemed as I was reading a novel… I was like: where’s the meeting? did she get an agent? who’s she working for? I wanna know moooooore… hahahahah
    Good for you Claire!!! Enjoy every step on the way ;D

    October 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm

  2. A touching account of your journey, Claire. Full of enthusiasm and passion, just what I needed in this grey sunday morning. Go, girl, congratulations to you, Leon and the lovely kids.

    October 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

  3. Wonderful news,Claire!!!! Big congrats. Love the way you write! Your realness is intoxicating. Maybe why you didn’t have to get past question 1. Very excited to follow your journey! Best to you and your family.

    October 21, 2012 at 5:12 pm

  4. Thankyou so much Majo, Bethania and Nicky for your kind words 🙂 You are all so sweet…the course and the people are so ‘me’ it’s untrue! I have learnt so much all ready and can’t wait to push my creative boundaries even further!

    October 21, 2012 at 7:17 pm

  5. Claire, sounds like you are going to have a blast at school…so proud of you for going for it, being yourself, and taking a chance. Can’t wait to see what you create!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

  6. Brilliant stuff.

    October 22, 2012 at 8:31 am

  7. So inspiring. Really proud of you Claire!

    October 23, 2012 at 10:02 am

  8. Congrats Claire!!! Such wonderful news! You are so very talented! They are lucky to have you! Can’t wait to see where you go from here…

    October 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

  9. How did I miss this!? Oh, feeling so happy for you. I felt like I was in the office right there with you. Made me laugh. Best of luck! Keep believing because you know what? Its all going to work out great! Julie

    October 24, 2012 at 7:20 pm

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