Thursday, July 9, 2009

My Creative Space

Twenty years ago....
I was sent home from my parents' house last weekend with an ENORMOUS folio (which I'd quite conveniently left in my childhood bedroom for 20 years. Apparently it's no longer required there). Opening it up was like stepping back to 1989. Mountains of design roughs from fashion college, storyboards, life drawings.... random bits of paper that I wonder why I kept...

...And I'm back in a flat in St Kilda with a sack of Yoken marker pens and an overwhelming project ahead: my final range for the graduate show at RMIT. Watching The Scarlet Pimpernel on television. Reading about the Regency period.

Drawing and drawing and drawing.... working through design ideas.

Coming up with a few ideas I decide to follow through...

Patternmaking, toilling, finding fabrics...
(I know I've posted these photos before, but they're in context here too!).Making hats, fake fob watches. Organising my brother to make twisted walking sticks from apple-tree roots...
Illustrations, storyboards, folios. Mountains of Letraset. Typewriters.
And a week before final assessment realising that I was yet to actually MAKE the garments!
That week.... passing in a blur of tears, coffee, no-doz and a real fear that there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to get it all done. Roping in my sister for a few all-night artwork-mounting sessions. My mother on the day of my assessment -following me around with Lucozade and fruit salad ("You need to EAT something!"). ...Right down to the last 15 minutes before my presentation to a panel of lecturers and industry heads (when I - normally meek and mild but presently caffeine and panic fuelled - snapped at a senior member of RMIT staff that it was too bad that they were ready to see me - my appointment time was in 15 minutes and I would see them then. I had photocopying to do!). It's a recurring nightmare I've had ever since - the anxiety dream I have when there's too much to do in too little time. The difference is that now, twenty years on, I know that I'll survive it. I'll get it all done and get the result that I want.

Oh... and I'll see you in Sydney, folks! (Believe me - I'll get there!).

See more creative spaces over at Kirsty's.

24 comments:

polly pratt said...

I remember the no-doz far to well from my days at fashion school :)

Liam's Mummy said...

Love the monocles!

Claire - Matching Pegs said...

This story reminded me so much of my study at RMIT - but it was Industrial design. Ohh the sleepless nights of working on presentations, and making product models, and boy oh boy, the stress!

I don't think I could ever go back to living like that, but I sure remember the Yokens, and the Copics!

Margaret @ Konstant Kaos said...

I always wanted to do fashion or costume school, but I think that those opportunities have past me! Instead I will religiously watch "project runway" and "the fashion show" and dream ..... I think that the closest that I will come will be to teach textiles at school ...

trasha said...

I LOVE that you told the senior lecturer the panel would have to wait for you. Nothing let putting your Diva stripes out there for everyone to see straight away!

Tania said...

What a FAB post Nikki. Although I wish you hadn't quite so graphically described the lead up to the presentation. I'm still doing the same thing and also know I will survive (there's a song in that) but with school holidays on, will be seeking some professional therapy afterwards!

craftygirlwithruffle said...

Love them. Letraset takes me back. My father used them for all sorts of architectural projects

june at noon said...

Great drawings, and a great memoir.

Kirsty said...

I loved this post Nikki. I'm so sure you'll be thoroughly prepared & ready to fire for Sydney.

Gina said...

I really love your fashion sketches, they're larger than life. A great little window into the world of fashion school - eek, the pressure! But it does remind me of preparing for final recitals at the conservatorium, that terror and fear that things just can't actually be done properly in the remaining time.

Handmade said...

Those illustrations are awesome - sew much talent! It all brings back terrible memories - deadlines, coffee, palpitations, but it all worked in the end - they say that some people need the stress rush to get their best work done ... and then there's the post caffeine downer .....erk! However, why not, for old times sake, fashion a groovy bag reminiscent of those hazy daze? You KNOW you can do it - and you WILL survive..!

Annie said...

Oh, you brought back some scary memories for me too - ARGHHH!!! I guess the good message at the end was, WE WILL SURVIVE - I liked the bit about "and get the result we want" That was reassuring. Thanks Nikki for your candid sharing.

Jodie said...

Nikki, You need to frame up those designs - they are too much fun not to be seen - I love them! Hang them in your studio!

Alisa : Ink Caravan said...

Ohhh, those coats and jackets, drool drool!

And I so sympathise with the deadline stress, one of my former roles was as an art director in advertising and all night presentations were a hideous regular occurrence. Every grey hair I ever get will have started growing then, I'm sure of it.

Gail said...

I'll have to show these to my mini sewer. She starts a school holiday course in fashion drawing at the Whitehouse Institute of Desing on Monday.

Leonie said...

As the sister who joined you in the all night picture mounting sessions, I shed a tear at the memory. It was worth it to see the fabulous final range that emerged from all the madness. I just did the same thing last Thursday night/Friday morning for an exhibition for my Folk Club. Some things never change.

Mel said...

Holy crap my heart was beating fast at the mere thought of all that work! But boy oh boy I bet you blitzed it in the end - what a concept and what amazing pieces!

Fer said...

Wow, but at least you did it! It was always a dream of mine to be a fashion designer but I never had the courage to do so - always doubting my feeble skills...

Man, now I admire you and your talent even more!

Leonie Guld said...

Those drawing are sensational!! Thanks for sharing!

amity ville boronia said...

I will see you in Sydney. I've put my hand up to volunteer with DearFii for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. She said that I'd probably be shared around, so who knows, maybe I'll be helping you? Good luck with all your other preperations!

Tinniegirl said...

You're a superwoman and an extremely talented one at that. Loved seeing the designs with the photos.

sewjourn said...

Your description of that week takes me instantly back to uni days...No-doz and all!

Cath said...

Are you sure you didn't skive off the bag bonanza to moonlight as the costuming department for Sweeney Todd? Imagine the Senior Lecturer if you got Mr Depp to model your collection....

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Love your illustration style! So quirky!

This post really took me back to my own days back at art college, last minute printing and framing always equalled lots of bits of fingers chopped off, which was ok as long as you didn't actually bleed on the artwork :)