Final brief for CMYUK CIRL announced – painterly and oriental with an environmental focus

L to R: Lindsey Arnold, Taylor Doggett, Evie Venables, Keely Russell, Sarah Willcocks
L to R: Lindsey Arnold, Taylor Doggett, Evie Venables, Keely Russell, Sarah Willcocks

CMYUK’s graduates have hit the ground running for the second and final part of the Creatives in Residence Live (CIRL) programme that ends in March. They have been given details of their final brief, Oriental Florals & Asian Influences, which requires a painterly or hand drawn approach. It will also focus on sustainability and circular design.

This is the last creative brief before we head into product design and production. We expect the graduates to utilise all the skills that have been gathered over the last three projects,  distil initial ideas with speed, and move quickly to the drawing board – digital or physical,” said CMYUK CIRL partner and education lead, Debbie McKeegan. 

“The Orient has, and remains, a strong influence on the design industry. For this project, we encourage our graduates to look to the past, explore the history and vintage documents of the silk road to create new patterns and prints or turn to the East for Asian ornamental design and style incorporating luxurious decorative elements,” she added. 

Mentors for Brief #4 include fabric printer, Standfast & Barracks; textiles design and production software specialist, AVA CAD/CAM; surface pattern designer and decorative artist, Diane Marsland; and bespoke interiors company, Avalana Designs.

 Earlier this month, the graduates visited Macclesfield-based AVA CADCAM that has provided specialist design and colour software,  support, training and technical consultancy services to the decorative textiles printing industry for over 35 years.

 Debbie Buchan, Customer Service Director and Lindsey Arnold, Separation Expert and Customer Solution Advisor gave an overview and training on AVA’s industry-leading  proprietary suite of integrated specialist software modules, which caters for the entire workflow from initial design, pattern repeats, colour separation, recolouring through to digital and/or conventionally printed production.

 “The AVA visit has been an important one because it's the crucial connection between the design station and the printing equipment. Photoshop, for example, ticks all the boxes for graphics but it was never built for textile design. AVA software is used by the big mills and professional textile designers all over the world on a daily basis. It fine tunes colours perfectly, handles repeats very easily, and creates print ready separations for clients,” said Debbie McKeegan.

At the end of the session, the graduates received licences for the AVA software suite, valid until the end of the CIRL initiative. They were also given an  AVA online training course worth £295.00, on completion of which, they will each receive 3 months free loan of the software.

Debbie Buchan, Customer Service Director at AVA  CAD/CAM said,  “I couldn’t wait to show the designers AVA and for them to get stuck in. From the start we have followed the graduates’ progress, and watched Taylor’s professional videos and social content. Watching their journeys (and particularly Evie’s challenges around screen-to-print-match and colour matching in the early days) made me even more determined to get this software into their hands.

“It’s just fabulous to see everyone pulling together to help support, educate, and develop the next generation of designers who will be entering the industry. I wish I had had something like that to kick start my career. The knowledge and expertise being shared is truly invaluable and will provide these designers with an excellent understanding of working practises for their future careers.

“We are extremely proud to be able to contribute towards this exciting initiative. We are also excited to see what the designers produce for their final project, and how they use the AVA software in that process.”

CIRL graduate Keely Russell said, “The visit to AVA CAD/CAM was insightful and a great introduction to the software. Debbie and Lindsey were more than happy to impart their knowledge on colour separation and it was interesting to see them separate some of our own designs for us. I am really looking forward to the further training and the software trial that they have kindly given to us.” 

CIRL graduate Evie Venables said, “Visiting AVA CAD/CAM was such a valuable experience where we got an opportunity to learn about the endless possibilities that the software provides designers. We expanded our knowledge and skillsets in areas such as colour management and separation, creating textural repeat patterns and learning new design tools. Having the understanding and ability to use AVA will open doors for all three of us and build on our professional development for future employment.” 

CIRL graduate Sarah Willcocks said, “Lindsey and Debbie from AVA gave some great insight into the possibilities of what the software can do for us as surface pattern designers. They have very generously offered us training in how to use this fantastic software that will be invaluable particularly in the area of understanding colour separation.”

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