Grad­u­ates’ de­signs on suc­cess

Swansea Col­lege of Art is help­ing to cre­ate the arts and de­sign en­trepreneurs of the fu­ture. JENNY WHITE met two grad­u­ates who are mak­ing waves with their own busi­nesses...

South Wales Evening Post - - LETTERS -

BOLD and strik­ing, and with a retro edge, Nia Rist’s prints are in­stantly recog­nis­able – and her sleek web­site is the per­fect place to shop for ev­ery­thing from gifts to home­ware. Scrolling through the prod­ucts on of­fer, it’s easy to imag­ine her fol­low­ing on from where in­flu­en­tial designers such as Orla Kiely left off.

Since grad­u­at­ing from UWTSD’S Swansea Col­lege of Art sur­face pat­tern de­sign de­gree pro­gramme in 2016, Nia has steadily de­vel­oped her screen-printed in­te­rior prod­uct range, which she launched to an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence last sum­mer at New Designers in Lon­don. Now, hav­ing re­cently been se­lected to ex­hibit as part of the De­sign Fresh break­through tal­ent group, cu­rated by 100% De­sign and Barbara Chan­dler, her ca­reer looks set to move to the next level.

Nia co­in­ci­den­tally found her­self along­side an­other Swansea Col­lege of Art grad­u­ate at the 100% De­sign show in the Lon­don De­sign Fair in the sum­mer. Prod­uct De­sign’s James Lewis com­pleted his BA last year and, like Nia, he was tak­ing an im­por­tant ca­reer step by at­tend­ing the pres­ti­gious show.

Sur­face pat­tern de­sign pro­gramme direc­tor Ge­or­gia Mckie said: “This is a huge ac­co­lade for the fac­ulty and serves as such a mo­ti­va­tor for re­turn­ing stu­dents – to see re­cent grad­u­ates pro­filed at such a piv­otal and in­flu­en­tial event in the Bri­tish de­sign cal­en­dar is so for them.”

Pro­grammes at Swansea Col­lege of Art are de­vel­op­ing quite an alumni of de­sign en­trepreneurs who have set up their own la­bels, con­fi­dently tak­ing them to na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets in rel­a­tively short spa­ces of time.

“The sur­face pat­tern pro­gramme in­stils a ‘can do’ at­ti­tude in our stu­dents – it is a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for our team to watch these stu­dents jour­ney from fresh­ers to de­sign pro­fes­sion­als,” said Ge­or­gia.

“We get an im­mense sense of pride from the work our grad­u­ates go on to achieve.

“Put­ting cre­ativ­ity and em­ploy­a­bil­ity on an equal foot­ing and at the heart of our pro­gramme is re­ally in­spi­ra­tional pay­ing off for our stu­dents. With fresh­ers 2018 now un­der way, we won­der what this next co­hort of first years will go on to pur­sue once they grad­u­ate from sur­face pat­tern de­sign.”

Nia says her jour­ney so far has been one of self­dis­cov­ery.

“I have learnt so much about my­self, most im­por­tantly how cru­cial it is to for­ward plan and take ad­vice from ex­perts, who know most about the busi­ness world,” she said.

“The help and sup­port I have re­ceived and con­tinue to re­ceive from my lec­tur­ers at UWTSD has also been in­valu­able. They are with me ev­ery step of the way.”

Nia added that be­ing se­lected to show­case her work at New Designers and then the 100% De­sign Show was a big turn­ing point.

“Sud­denly my work had an in­ter­na­tional plat­form. It led to ex­cit­ing conversations with Not on The High Street and Tiger Print, and sud­denly my jour­ney into the busi­ness world had be­gun.”

Nia’s busi­ness ven­ture

Work by Nia Rist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.