CMYUK announces its Creatives in Residence Live participants

CIRL Evie Venables,  Sarah Willcocks, Keely Russell and Taylor Doggett
Design and media graduates begin their six-month mentoring & learning journey at CMYUK

Design and media graduates begin their six-month mentoring & learning journey at CMYUK

CMYUK has announced the four graduates who have been chosen to participate in its Creatives in Residence Live initiative. 

The talented quartet of Evie Venables,  Sarah Willcocks, Keely Russell and Taylor Doggett will embark upon a six-month learning journey at CMYUK’s demonstration and training centre in Shrewsbury. 

Evie Venables 

Evie is a recent graduate in BA (Hons) Textile Design at Leeds Arts University. A versatile textile designer, her work is driven by a passion for colour, playful compositions and digitally produced designs. 

She has already experienced successful commercial exposure as a former winner of the ASDA Live Brief whilst in the second year of her degree.  For this, she created a collection for the SS21 George Outdoor Living range – inspired by a trend called Sunset Disco. In her final year, Evie was also commended for her entry in the Patternbank design brief competition. 

“I am thrilled to be taking part in such an exciting placement opportunity at CMYUK. It is a great way to transition from education into a commercial workplace and I’m intrigued to see what this unique and inspiring opportunity brings. I can’t wait to get back to designing and I look forward to exploring how far I can push my creative capabilities alongside leading industry experts,” said Evie. 

Sarah Willcocks 

Sarah is a recent graduate from the University of Southampton where she studied on the Graphic Arts degree course. Specialising in illustration, she has already garnered relevant professional experience through internships, acquiring valuable insight into developing a team work ethic, balanced with illustrative knowledge and marketing skills. Her work is influenced by ‘60s Psychedelica and Punk.  

“I am ecstatic to be part of Creatives in Residence Live, as a designer it is a rare opportunity to learn the whole process of production with the latest in ground-breaking print technology.  I love all things pattern and decor and I’m excited to get my teeth into the syllabus and create some exciting new work with CMYUK to build my dream career in surface design,” said Sarah. 

Keely Russell

Keeley is a recent graduate of the BA (hons) Textile Design from Birmingham City University. Specialising in print and surface pattern, her talent has been recognised by a number of accolades.  These include the Silentnight Sleep Award and the Materiality Award, which resulted in a placement with flooring company Amtico for her graduate collection. She was featured as a ‘One to Watch’ in the Dulux Press Lounge at New Designers in 2019, and in the same year won an award in the Epson/Dulux Industry Collaboration.  

“Being part of this exciting programme and gaining graduate employment with CMYUK is such an amazing opportunity.  It will give me the experience I need to find a future career within the industry I am passionate about. I specialised in printed textiles at university, and loved the technology we had access to in the workshop. I feel extremely lucky to have access to the extensive range of production technology that CMYUK has to offer and cannot wait to get started,” said Keely. 

Taylor Doggett 

Taylor graduated from the  BA (hons) Film Production course at the University of Gloucestershire. He has recently established himself as a freelance videographer, creating, developing and filming short promotional videos. His new business was set-up during Lockdown through the Prince’s Trust enterprise scheme. 

“Following a subject and piecing together a story to create a video in the editing room is something that has always attracted me to film making, however creating a docuseries is something I’ve never done before, and I’m really looking forward to it.  Creatives in Residence Live is an original idea, and I’m hoping once it goes live, it will start a new trend and inspire others to do something similar,” said Taylor. 

A first-class curriculum 

Industry expert, multi-disciplined practitioner, and award-winning textile designer Debbie McKeegan has written a curriculum exclusively for the programme. Debbie is also founder of TexIntel, CMYUK’s media partner for the initiative, and the FESPA Textile Ambassador for this project.  

The curriculum underpins the knowledge and insights required for the designers to complete monthly briefs and is supported in collaboration with a number of industry experts, print designers, specialist practitioners and mentors. A final showcase is planned, where everyone involved will come together to celebrate the achievements of this unique project. 

Open learning platform for all 

Throughout the process, the CIRL experience will be captured and shared on social media to encourage a dynamic interactive community that is exposed to all the learning undertaken by the in-house creatives. 

CIRL is designed to be a collaborative exercise.   All design briefs will be made available online so that design students worldwide can participate. A monthly competition for each brief will be set, with winning entries evaluated by leading industry luminaries and showcased throughout. 

The University of Bolton has announced that its final year students on the B.A (Hons) Textiles & Surface Design course will be following the CMYUK CIRL curriculum this academic year. 

When Donna Claypool, Programme Leader on the BA (Hons) Textiles and Surface Design and BA (Hons) Fashion courses read about the CIRL project on TexIntel, she recognised immediately how CIRL would benefit her own student cohort. 

Said Donna, “This is a fantastic opportunity that is going to be highly relevant. This  syllabus really helps to support industry understanding, it’s much more real when you can connect to the industry first-hand.

“The opportunity for students to engage through watching the progress of the selected graduates, listening to their real experience of learning on the ground and what happens after you graduate is going to be highly valuable. There’ll  also be an opportunity for not just one, but several competitions.  We don’t want students to have just one look for their final portfolios, we think it’s really important for them to adapt and be flexible with various different styles because that’s how industry works.”

Go to the Creative In Residence Live page for the latest videos and posts