These past few weeks I’ve been toying with an idea; Could I actually get into a career of visual merchandising/window displays or interior styling for magazines? The answer I often tend to retire to is no. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I believe that if I push myself and really take it seriously, then there may be some possibility. I’ve been bringing the topic up more and more in conversations, mentioning it to my lecturers when I present in tutorials, and not one of them has condemned me just yet. Yes, I sound shocked, but that’s because my course is all about the making. In lectures we are brainwashed week after week into the ‘when you become makers’ or ‘when you start your own practice’ but as I sit and pay attention, I think maybe I could bend the rules. It was in today’s lecture, that I realised that in actual fact other people have already bent the rules to give me a bit of a head start. A graduate from our course is currently working for Harvey Nichols designing the window displays!
Our next project is based on a theme called ‘Inside/Outside’. Basically, we have to start considering the context of our work (where our work will fit in with its surroundings) and who our market is, catering specifically for these two factors. This project couldn’t of came at a better time, because an option on the list of locations is ‘The Inner City’ under which the category ‘retails environments’ is mentioned. Now is my time to create a piece/collection that could test my ability in visual merchandising or at least begin to make me question what skills it is that I’ll need to equip myself with. We’ve also had to choose a ‘specialist workshop’ to run alongside our 5 week project, which is limited to only 20 spaces per workshop which was a mentally and physically challenging task. Deciding between four options, was hard enough, but managing to get to the sign-up sheets was an even bigger battle!
Over the next few weeks/months, I plan to update my CV and I have exciting ideas on how to show my ‘creative background’ through what normally would be a boring description of my life. (My CV is currently a white page with black writing, how un-original!) I’ve got plans to apply to numerous companies, ranging from magazines to high street stores to see if there is any chance of them wanting my questions, company and creativity for a weeks work experience. The worst they can say is no, and at least I can say I tried. Up until a week ago or so, I had no idea what the job name even was for this kind of work, so at least I’m making some progress! Also, a trip to London is needed in the run up to Christmas, to wander around taking photos and inspiration from all the extravagant window displays, which I can imagine to be far more appealing than sitting browsing through the existing photos on blogs and design websites. Saying that, I’ve been inspired this evening by a few images I’ve seen whilst doing exactly that:
I know the image above is more concept/installation based work, but I could just see this in a window display or in a shop interior! And well, these lampshades are all on trend right now…
I came across a useful website and a few books this evening also:
Visual Merchandising and Store Design website - my favourite section being under the heading ‘Design Galleries’, and clicking on ‘Window Displays’
Affordable Exhibition Design (Available through Amazon)
Detail In Contemporary Retail Design (Available through Amazon)
Green Retail Design (Available through Amazon)
That’s all from me for this evening, I’ve got some knitting samples I’m working on for my ‘leisure time’ (to stop me working, but they’re kind of towards my uni course anyway) and a wonderful new magazine to read called The Simple Things.