Wednesday, 17 February 2010
Visiting Lecturer - Alex Russel
In college we were lucky enough to have the successful surface pattern designer Alex Russel come in an give a talk to us. as well as lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University, Alex has been designing for both interiors and fashion for many years. Originally from Dorset then studying printed textiles in Manchester. he went on to teach at Nottingham Trent University. In 2000 he them moved with his wife to Belgium an set up his own design business designing for the European market. He then later was selling to againcies across the world the such as chicago and Amsterdam. it was Levi's in Brussels that got him his first big break in the industry and he has gone from stregnth to streghtn since then.
For me this talk by Alex has been one of the most helpful to myself out of all the visiting lectures we have in college. With Alex doing exactly what our cause is designed to help us to it was extremely relevant an he was able to give us a lot of helpful advise. He him self has a very varied style adapting to a lot of different ways he said it is best to try and design in as many different ways as possible. this will help widen your buyers and earn you more money. Along with most other designers I have spoke he also said how the use of illustrator an photo shop are must have when deigning and that illustrator is becoming more and more sort after. its best to do a bit of research on the company that you are designing for, try and find out what designs style they have so as your designs are to there taste and you want disappoint them. try and not jus look at existing fashion and textile designs for inspiration. look every where and any where find some thing that makes your deigns different from the rest and stand out. He designs to a fast pace producing a collection of designs over 2 days. This is something i will bare in mind when producing designs in college as time scale i should be working to. Yet he did say that if you work freelance a lot of your time is also spent managing your business and less time designing. this is something to think about when i leave weather i want to work for an existing studio where the financial side to it is taken care of.
Alex's top tips
> Think international, work abroad to widen your audience and improve how commercial your designs are.
>never mess with copy write, be original as stealing someones Else's style or work can cost you a lot of money.
>look outside fashion and textiles for inspiration bring other elements to your work to add more creativity to your designs.
>think about your work space and materials utilize them to the maximum.
>studio space inst expensive and may worth investing in if its a more productive way of working.
>be aware you have to work very hard and long hours to achieve well, but most importantly try to enjoy your work as enthusiasm show through in both yourself and your designs.