ACG Foundation Drawing Course - 2017 Auckland, New Zealand
The first term of my drawing class at ACG, I worked on assigned projects and artist models that my teacher assigned me. In the past, I'd been told by my teachers not to focus my artistic energies on realism, because they said I wasn't that type of artist. This was the first time I truly engaged with still-life and I loved it. I felt like I discovered skill sets I didn't know I had, or could have. I also was taught about still-life properly for the first time, and discovered the conceptual depths an artist can aspire to - definitely opening my eyes to new ways to see symbolism in art. When we shifted to a free art project in term two, I created an illustrative journey of Dante's Inferno, seen through the eyes of a modern millennial disillusioned by his life of debauchery, and how he finds his heaven. In this case, heaven in a girl. Because I do not think of myself as a technical artist, I decided to base my project on concepts, symbolism, as well as statements about society, and our human experience in our modern day. I wish we'd had more time, because I had so much fun with the project, and would have loved to just keep on going!
ACG Foundation Design Course - 2017 Auckland, New Zealand
This was the first time I took a course related to typography or media design, and I loved it. First we worked with perspective sketches and I accustomed myself with typography as a subject. I had never though of typography much before, but through this project I've discovered a profound respect for typographers, and it has put in perspective how high a level of fine art such work can become. In term two, I worked on my vision of a magazine, from the perspective of myself as the editor. The magazine was called Pangea, and was designed to sell culture to the masses. I wanted to create a magazine that would speak to techno Bohemians world-wide and inspire people to want to learn more. I have always felt that anyone who is bored with life, or uninspired, simply hasn't been exposed to enough. My motivation for this project was to invest a conceptual vision accompanied by a set of ideals that could serve as the foundation of a magazine. I challenged myself and learned a lot in the process.
Why Ophelia Spoke to Me - Portfolio Work - 2016/2017 - Cotswolds, England
After Fashion Folio, I spent my time rethinking my aesthetic, researching and experimenting with different textiles, sketches, themes and ideas; seeking to integrate what I had learned, while remaining true to my core self. By the end of the summer, I formulated what I believe is vast improvement in clean-cut process, simplicity and vision. I knew what was authentic texturally and aesthetically, and what wasn't.
From this foundation I began to create my portfolio to apply to a Bachelor of Design: Fashion Design programme, in a storytelling format, based on Hamlet's heroine, Ophelia, and the painting of Ophelia by John Everett Millais, identifying with the tragic romanticism of an adolescent brave, and the friction she had with the 'real world.' My logic being, what teenage girl hasn't felt like Ophelia at some point?
I worked on my portfolio in the autumn and winter, including many experimental projects, sketchbooks and drawings before I settling with Ophelia. Towards the end of my project, I realised I wanted more neutral tones and a narrower range of colour. I tried to simplify the final work to steps of my process, experimentation with colour and overall aesthetic.
Fashion Folio 1 - 2016 Central Saint Martins, London, England
Fashion Folio was an intensive and inspiring learning experience that has given me a good feel for the approach to teaching and learning at Central Saint Martins. My final project was inspired by the June 1st, 2016 Gotthard Base Tunnel opening ceremony in Switzerland. The ceremony was a ritualistic presentation of the primary archetypes of purity and evil, nature and technology, and I worked with these themes to create a collection of contemporary designs that draw from Swiss, Pagan and Catholic symbolism.
Fashion and Method Acting Short Courses - England & USA 2015
Central Saint Martins, London and Lee Strasburg Theatre and Film Institute, Hollywood
In December, 2015, I took an introductory Fashion Design course at Central Saint Martins as a taster experience for Fashion Folio. In February, I took a course in Method Acting at Lee Strasburg as an opportunity to develop my skills in communication and pubic speaking.
Urban MAD-ness Project - England & USA 2015
Urban Madness (Music, Art, Dance) was a project I conceived of to learn about contemporary approaches towards the creative process. As part of this project, I interviewed several artists and musicians on their source of inspiration and how they feel their creativity is affected by the modern way of life. Those I interviewed included Deca, Matt Johnson, Jeffrey Lewis, Christine Lee and Earl Diddley.
The ‘F’ Word Fashion Competition - 2015 Royal Albert Memorial Museum & the National Trust, Devon, England
My entry was from my Autumn 2014 collection, entitled 'Date With a Rockstar’ and included a skirt, two tops, an under-bra and a shoe design. My designs were chosen to represent the student category, and were exhibited at Killerton House in Devon from February through September. It was such an honour to be a part of this exhibition, as when I was eleven I came to Killerton a lot for their historical costume exhibitions, which laid the foundations for my future studies into historical clothing, as well as historical anthropology. For me, it was wonderful that my childhood dreams brought me back to this place, in order to reverse the role of looking at fashion designs, and getting inspired, to having my fashion designs being looked at with the purpose of inspiring.
2015 Fashion and Textiles Exploration - Term 5 - England - 2015 Devon, England
Throughout my Fashion and Textile Exploration, I studied different eras of the history of fashion, from early man through the end of the 19th century, in Europe, the Middle-East and Asia. I also attended exhibitions, fashion and art shows. When back in England I began the process of consolidating these studies into articles for my website, www.faterising.com, and also started to learn about couture sewing and embellishment techniques from books, videos and documentaries. I was interested in solidifying my aesthetic, because at this point, I didn't feel like my vision was the most unadulterated version of myself it could be.
Fashion and Textiles Exploration - Term 4 - Vietnam 2014 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Vietnam is a major centre for wholesale textiles and custom tailoring, and manufacturing in all areas of the garment industry, including shoes, bags, watches, jewellery, textiles, brand name production...and reproduction. In Vietnam I learned about the wholesale textile market and purchased a variety of new textiles to balance the silk garments that I designed in Cambodia. I also took the opportunity to do professional photoshoots of some of my completed fashion designs. At this time I was learning about traditional Chinese, Japanese and Korean clothing and had a wonderful opportunity to personally experience wearing these traditional costumes. I had a series of photos taken in these traditional costumes at a photography studio in Ho Chi Minh. In Vietnam you can feel isolated as a person, unless you are highly involved with your work. The expats that end up in Vietnam, are usually backpackers looking to do drugs, get drunk, and hit the red light district. My life in Vietnam was not a social one, it was a time for connecting professionally. I spent my days visiting textile markets, raking expats for their connections, and forging connections with individual sellers in order to get a good price, in the nights I watched Pride and Prejudice, the original with Colin Firth. I loved it.
Fashion and Textiles Exploration - Term 3 - Cambodia 2014/2015 Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Cambodian textile industry is focused on natural fibres, such as raw and fine silk, silk organza, and intricately dyed and woven silk based on traditional designs. They also create textiles from banana and lotus fibre. I visited the Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT), and interviewed Kikuo Morimoto, a Japanese textile artist who is credited with saving traditional Khmer silk textiles from being lost to time after the Khmer Rouge regime decimated the traditional way of life in Cambodia. Morimoto travelled (perilously) through the countryside in the early 1980’s, finding elderly weavers who knew the traditional skills and brought them together to teach a new generation of silk makers. This was an opportunity to learn about fine art textiles, particularly ikat, made completely by hand using traditional techniques, and was truly inspirational. Also during this time, I commissioned wooden buttons to be carved with a business logo that I created (see above). The craftsmen that I worked with carved each button by hand, and the workmanship was beautiful. In Siem Reap, I connected with an excellent source for wholesale silk and she introduced me to a tailor with the skill to bring my designs to life. I had a tight budget, so the focus of my designs was on elegant, yet affordable fashion for teens that incorporated traditional textiles and global youth aesthetics. I brought my designs, patterns and textiles to her and we worked together with her seamstresses on a regular basis over the next three months and, in the process, I became friends with the whole family. When my designs were completed I did a professional photoshoot at Angkor Wat in some of my designs, and also in traditional Khmer costume.
Fashion and Textiles Exploration - Term 2 - Thailand 2014 Bangkok, Thailand
The Thai garment industry has a great divide between manufacturing on a small scale and manufacturing on a large scale. I learned that the difference in cost base for textiles and garment making is huge depending on whether you represent a large company, or you wish to create clothing for a small brand. This divide is partly due to the large profit that small garment makers can make when dealing directly with tourists. This was a valuable opportunity to learn about the power of mass production.
Fashion and Textiles Exploration - Term 1 - Nepal 2014 Kathmandu Patan, and Pokara - Nepal
Here I studied the cashmere industry, including cashmere quality, weaving and knitting techniques, and the dark side of how manufacturers cheat unsuspecting customers. I was able to visit vendors all over Kathmandu, Patan and Pokhara, also connecting with vendors from countries such as Tibet, Kashmir, India, and China. I found a deep love for traditional Nepalese Thangkha and mandala painting, that I had the honour of experiencing first hand, while living in Nepal as a child. As well as Nepals incredible metalwork, and jewellery industry, single handedly tracking down the best vendors for purchasing the highest quality goods in the valley, as well as getting I also explored the Nepali garment making industry. In Nepal there are seamstresses who are highly skilled at beadwork, crewelwork and embroidery, so I took the opportunity to design two tops, one encrusted with faux pearls and blue, pink and clear crystals and the other a combination of deep caramel crystals, pearls and clear crystals in a linear pattern. I had the opportunity to showcase my designs as presenter for a Nepali electric dance music festival for youths, as Miss Monsoon Grind. My inspiration came from modern Bollywood, and the fact I never see these sari blouses in Western clubbing cultures. Sometimes, when you take something cultural, and put it in a different setting, it's definition changes to the viewer, and thats the concept I wanted to experiment with.
Vision Quest - April 2014 Annapurna Mountains, Nepal
I spent three weeks, on three separate visits, sometimes alone, sometimes with companions, in the Annapurna Mountains in Western Nepal. This beautiful, wild landscape soars toward mountain peaks that are some of the highest in the world. These vision quests were a valuable time in my life for contemplation and for creating a clear sense of direction for my creative inspiration. Time slows down there, the difference in altitude alters your dream-life, and the spiritual energy of the country perfumes the air with thousands of years of history. A romantics dream.
Shambhala Warrior Training - 2013 Shambhala Centre, Boulder, Colorado, USA
The Shambhala Warrior Training is based on Tibetan Buddhist approaches to calming the mind and establishing connection with compassion for self and others. It is a training to form the foundation of becoming a spiritual warrior, able to face life with passion and strength, while still remaining true to yourself, leading to a happier existence. As part of the training we did twelve hours of sitting and walking meditation daily. I honed my capacity to concentrate and feel that I learned a lot more of value from this course as well.
EDM Costume Design - 2013/2014 Boulder and Denver, Colorado, USA
My Fashion and Textiles Exploration curriculum began with an exploration of the EDM (Electric Dance Music) industry. This facet of American youth culture offers a fascinating blend of fashion and music, combined with the practice of peace, love, unity and respect (P.L.U.R.). For this exploration I interviewed EDM musicians, music and concert producers, and dancers, and hand-sewed three EDM dance costumes of my own design. I was attracted to the sentimentality, and devotion to the philosophy which brought people together. Another facet was the sub culture of light shows that grew naturally out of the subculture, originally started in the 90's, it has blossomed far further than I think anyone could have expected. Teenagers spend hundreds of hours practicing an art form called 'gloving', which is essentially a light show given, using gloves with LED lights on the fingertips. It is very competitive, and I've known people who practice at least four hours a day, in order to tone their fingers and reflexes in order to create a three dimensional masterpiece with light and movement. Because many of the people who are involved are usually poverty-stricken youths from a variety of backgrounds, many of them spend all their extra pennies on concert tickets, light show equipment, and especially in the case of girls, the materials they need in order to sew their costumes. Preferably a new costume for each concert, which some choose to go on to sell online after the one wear. Another aspect of the subculture is a phenomenon called Kandi, which are handmade bracelets, and necklaces made from cheap beads. Kandi carries a very important part of the culture, which is all about connecting, sharing, and meeting new people. At these concerts you 'PLUR' with people… There is a secret handshake that comes with the act of trading Kandi, which you do, ending with grasping eachothers fingers, and rolling the bracelet across your wrist and fingers, onto the others wrist. It is a very bonding moment.
Body and Soul Expedition - 2013 Watershed, Boulder, Colorado, USA
I attended a single semester at Watershed School in Boulder, Colorado; a unique private school that teaches all of its courses in ‘expeditions’ that integrate History, the Sciences, Literature, Philosophy and Geography into a core curriculum that is different each semester. I enrolled in the ‘Body and Soul’ semester and learned about the physical body (Biology and Chemistry) and about current scientific exploration into the mind and consciousness, as well as different views on the existence of the soul, life and death in comparative religions. This course inspired me to create the curriculum for my Fashion and Textiles Exploration.
Vision Quest - October 2013 Flat Tops, Continental Divide, Colorado, USA
My vision quest began with a ten day hike into the Rocky Mountain wilderness in Colorado. Sadly, on day two, after a pathetic hiking accident, I was left with a knife wound to the knee, which was very close to being the end of my journey all together, but that didn’t stop me from carrying on to the end. Part of the program was to go off into nature by myself with a tarp, a sleeping bag, a knife and a bag of peanuts. It was an intense experience of being completely alone in the wild and I used the time to enjoy nature, write in my journal and contemplate life.
Art Quest Film Studies - 2012/2013 Santa Rosa, California, USA
I enrolled in the Art Quest program at Santa Rosa High School to learn more about filming and editing short films. I really enjoyed working with my fellow students and used this time to develop screenwriting skills and to act in my fellow student’s film projects.
Painting Exhibited at Portland Museum of Art - 2012 Portland, Maine, USA
My painting, Birth of Fate, depicting a teenage dream world inspired by ‘Birth of Venus’ by Botticelli, was chosen to represent my school for National Youth Art Month, and was on view at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. President Obama viewed my painting on his visit to the museum in March, 2012.
Camden International Film Festival - 2011 Camden, Maine, USA
I volunteered as a hostess and personal assistant to Sarah Ruddy, the festival producer.
Self-Published an Illustrated Children’s Book - 2011 Devon, England
I published my first book, Baba Scrumptious and the Bamboo Baby, in 2011, written when I was 11 years old, for a 3 to 6 year old audience. The story follows the adventures of an orphan who finds friendship when she chooses to do the right thing and save the animals. I completed the original character drawings and then worked with Devon artist, Cara Roxanne, to develop the illustrations for the book.
Photographs Exhibited at Farnsworth Museum - 2011 Rockland, Maine, USA
I participated in the Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists summer program, creating a series of photographs, one of which, Dreams R Worth Having, was showcased in promotional 6 of 10 materials by the Farnsworth Art Museum and was exhibited along with a series of my other photographs and my classmates work, as part of a group exhibition.
Silver Arts Award - British Arts Council - 2010 The Phoenix, Devon, England
I was mentored by Anna Aroussi of the Exeter Phoenix in the process to achieve my Silver Arts Award. I received full marks and was, at the time, the youngest in the UK to do so. The focus of my Arts Award was historical fashion, inspired by the Textiles and Dress Department at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. The process of working on my Silver Art’s Award inspired me to begin making director’s notebooks to develop characters in stories. In these books I created in-depth character studies including detailed costume design, home environments, history and life philosophy, likes and dislikes, mannerisms, etc., so that all of their thoughts, actions and dialogue would work together coherently to express their character.
Short Film Placed 4th at SHOOT Film Festival - 2010 Dartington Hall, Devon, England
I directed, wrote and edited a short film, entitled Woof Woof, and came fourth at the SHOOT film festival, competing against adult film makers funded by the Arts Council. In addition to making this film, I created a documentary about the process of directing a short film, and obtained complimentary permission to use copyrighted music as a part of this project.
Organised an Historical Costume Assembly - 2010 The Maynard, Devon, England
I organised a school assembly on historical costume, coordinating with Shelley Tobin, assistant curator of Textiles and Dress at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter, Devon. I was the youngest in the 350 year history of the Maynard to be the organiser of a school event.
Created Graphic Images for UNICEF Fundraiser - 2010 Cambridge, England
I created graphic images in InDesign and Photoshop that illustrated teenage issues, then printed T-shirts and postcards. All proceeds benefited UNICEF; my favourite cause as it fights for the health, safety and rights of children.
Caliban in the Tempest - 2009 Clyst Heath Primary School, Devon, England
I stepped in less than two weeks before the first performance of The Tempest, in the role of Caliban, when another student backed out. I learned the dialogue and stage production, including several solo songs. My teacher, Mr. Davey, believed that young students could tackle Shakespeare, and I am so glad that he believed in us. It was a life altering opportunity that I will never forget.
Chillypepperred Blog and Website - 2009/2010
At the age of 10, I created a website to share my creative endeavours and reviews of art exhibitions, plays, films, books, concerts and other arts events that inspired me. I also wrote articles on topics of interest to tweenagers. www.chillypepperred.com