Amelia Frost, a BA (Hons) Textile Design graduate, specialised in printed textiles and surface pattern.
Why study at Birmingham City University?
I chose to study at BCU as it was recently renovated with amazing, brand new facilities. I live near Birmingham and I love this city, this was definitely the University for me!
Since graduating, I have done a number of internships, competitions and full time jobs in various areas of the design industry to try and find out which area I wanted to be a part of. I now currently work for Anstey Wallpaper Company and it is definitely the best place for me and my set of skills.
A day at Anstey Wallpaper Company...
I am a Junior Studio Colourist, I often work directly with customers in the high end luxury wallpaper business. A day in my role is varied, but could include working on different designers' projects such as mixing colours, sampling, screen-printing and focusing more on the technical and innovation side of wallpaper.
Never overlook a temporary role…
I initially heard about Anstey Wallpaper Company whilst interning at Misprint during my second year at BCU. I then met members of the Anstey Studio again a few years later at a trade show I was a part of when I had just graduated.
When the Junior Colourist job became available, I applied alongside with an email to say I had met them a few times previously. I believe this demonstrated my proactive approach to the industry. Initially the role I applied for was just a maternity cover contract, but it has now been extended to a full-time position and I'm very pleased to be able to stay!
Make the most of the campus facilities
BCU has taught me a lot about the Textile Design industry in general, especially about the technical aspects of it, which I hadn’t thought of before I started the course. The tutors really push you to be the best designer that you could ever be and they make you focus on your strengths and push your abilities.
I also couldn’t have done it without the continuous support from the workshop technicians who are always on hand to guide you, which was great for me as I focused a lot on the technical side. There is a continuous support network for you as a student and there is always an opportunity to ask questions. It was also amazing to use the brand new facilities and equipment across all different design specialisms.
What it is like to juggle placements with study…
I completed a two week placement at MissPrint in my second year that got extended to 10 weeks throughout the year. I also worked at several trade shows with numerous different companies.
As important as studies are, you have to consider your career after University too. Two weeks before my final hand-in deadline I went to Germany to exhibit at the Fespa trade show. This was three precious days away from my final major project, but it was actually very beneficial. A good nights sleep, a new view into the design industry and time away from my project meant I returned with a new boost of motivation to finish my final major project.
- It’s all about finding a good balance between work and rest - when you’re in third year you’re under the impression that you have to work constantly, but it’s also important to remember that you’re a human being and you need to have a break.
- Don’t give up – keep applying for jobs even if you don’t hear anything back, the design industry is all about perseverance.
- If you’re not in a job, keep working on your portfolio – this way you will make the most of your time.
- Look out for competitions - it is a great way how to start getting your name out there. The jobs are not going to find you – you have to find the jobs.
My overall highlight
Graduating with a first class degree was amazing! Also exhibiting at New Designers and receiving the Associate Prize from Material Lab was such a rewarding experience. I was over the moon when I signed the full-time contract for the job I have now.