A Reflective Discourse Becoming a designer, by all means, has been my greatest dream since childhood. Having this keen eye for all sorts of artistic works and fashion has driven me well to make myself become courageous and take one big leap in achieving my dreams. I knew it would not be an easy path to take for me, and I would be encountering several predicaments, but amidst these scenarios, I armored myself with confidence, dreams, and faith that I will make it to the peak and I will conquer every trial that will come my way. Currently, I am taking each step one at a time.
Being a designer does not mean you will just draw and draw, because it goes far beyond than that. I know I must prepare myself well to become a great designer one day and studying is one-act that I definitely need to go through in order to acquire enough knowledge. I believe I need to grasp every bit of knowledge that I can grasp, because these would help me hone the skills and talents that I possess, and would further equip me further in becoming the best designer that I can possibly be. Having gone through a lot of things from the first day I started this season has bestowed so many lessons in me. There are challenges everywhere and in everything I do, all things are giving me more opportunities to grow, to improve, and to know myself further.
In this life I have, I definitely agree with the saying that goes like, “experience is the best teacher of all time”. It taught me lessons that are better off learned by experiencing it rather than reading it in a small nook of my room. Cutting it short, these are life lessons that no book can totally explain. Various revelations and rooms for improvement were revealed to me as I went through this term; one of these is the importance of researches on my designs. I was really surprised when my tutor told me that I need to do more researches on my work first before I start to draw. It has been my passion ever since, and I did not realize whether I am overdoing it or not.
Also, I first thought that a design is more of the drawing and the style of each cloth that I make. I never really thought how important the researches are until my tutor told me after I submitted my designs. My tutor has told me that I have overlooked the researches and it is still lacking something in it. I guess I was so preoccupied by the joy and excitement that was rushing all over through me with the technical parts of the FMP, because at last, I will see an output from the sleepless nights and toxic days I have been through just to meet the requirements on time. But after my tutor has told me that, I was struck, and I realized something. I realized that it is deemed necessary that each design must be fully supported by research.
Gathering enough information before making further designs is essential to fully support and explain the essence of my design. That thought told me that designing is not merely drawing, because beyond its drawing, an identity must be seen thus it will be called as a design. This identity will come through the thorough researches I did for a certain design. This is just similar to cooking; you can not cook properly if you will just stuff all the ingredients you find inside your fridge to the pan without even knowing the recipe or the instructions of what you want to cook. One must have enough knowledge for the dish to be cooked so that it would taste good, and it would not be such a waste of materials. In every design that people see, what I find of utmost importance is the impact of the identity of your fashion material that will surely leave behind a mark among your viewers. The next lesson that I completely grasped all through out the period of my term is the importance of knowing how to sort things out.
To become consciously aware what a designer needs to get out of the whole bunch of designs that are rushing through his mind. It is essential to know which design must remain and which design must be removed. This thought came into my mind after my tutor told me that I have a lot of small details to work on. Then, I began to contemplate that as I start thinking what my designs will be, I should have started eliminating the thoughts that I think will not help me anyhow. Practicing this helped me to use my time more wisely than spending time doing something, then removing it afterwards.Living a life being a designer taught me how valuable every minute is.
Just like what they said, “time is gold”, and this is definitely true. I must realize carefully how to manage my time well. I know it is a bit difficult, because as I have thought of it, this is one of my failures again for this term. I was not able to manage my time well, that is the reason why my designs suffered completely.
Rushing to finish the toiles completely and early has been my main focus and priority that is why I spent lesser time on designing. That could have been one of the reasons why things were not the best that they can possibly be. I lacked time management on that part because I tend to rush things, and at the same time, I was not able to give enough time for both areas of work that I need to work on. I guess this is one of the main things that I need to work harder from now on. It is because I know that I can not continue being a designer if I will not be able to manage my time properly.
A designer has a lot of appointments to make, and shows to play, and being an unprofessional designer not being able to manage his or her time can only make things worse, and people’s time suffer due to one’s fault. I really can not afford involving other people in whatever mess I caught myself into. Thus, I need to work hard to make myself improve thoroughly in that aspect. It is just frustrating because this has been my problem too, even when I started this course. But no matter what, I still keep my faith that one day; I will learn completely how to manage my time wisely and more purposefully.
Time is so precious not only to me, but to each person I knew and to all things that I do. Almost all things have deadlines, and no one can afford to be delayed. I can just imagine a situation wherein I will conduct a fashion show of the designs that I have created. Everyone who will participate should all come on time, and no one can not afford to be late because even the viewers have marked their calendars for that event, and have other schedules too aside from that. I am sure that people will be irritated in case the show will be delayed, especially if the reasons were late models. This actually shows unprofessionalism for me, and is not a good indicator of good job attitude. Focusing is very essential as a designer, and unfortunately, this is one of the struggles I am facing now. I am having such a hard time focusing on the things that I need to focus on, especially when all the distractions are present everywhere.
This is one thing that I realized as I was trying to make the designs that I need to show to my tutors. It is really frustrating for me to struggle with this issue I am faced with. However, somebody advised me to just be persistent and never give up. This is what my friend, Tony, told me after she saw me looking so tired and worn out. It is, indeed, essential to always be on focus on whatever you do, especially if you want to make the best out of it. Focus is the only concrete answer that I can say if ever somebody asked me what the main secret to success is.In addition to this, always keep in mind that persistence goes hand in hand with focusing always.
I remember how Tony advised me after she saw the artworks; Tony told me “giving up on what you really want should never serve as an option for you.” Hearing such encouraging words from a friend is what I really need at that time. I was so glad to have her as my friend and giving me some thoughts to ponder at the time I most needed it. It truly boosted my self-esteem and my self-will to pursue something that I really want even among the difficulties I am facing.
I realized this due to what I experienced as I am doing my designs. I lose focus by just drawing things that I see on images, but with this experience, I realized that instead of contemplating on it further, I might as well do something about it. That is when I start to make some arrangements of my own, using various tools to make my work improve, like the mood boards and the color boards.I remember that there was this time when my tutor wanted me to change the pointy edges of the leather stuffs I had created. That is the design that I decided to combine with the softy characteristic of the silk chiffon in making a woman’s dress. My tutor wanted me to change it because the attire seemed like the star wars costume. I was actually a bit hurt, and at the same time quite offended.
Changing those small designs is similar to removing the design I have created and that makes it not my style anymore. I have a purpose for doing those articulations on that dress, like the leather stands for the strong side, and chiffon stand for the softy side of the feminine culture. Losing the pointy edges is similar to removing the strong side of women, and this could not be possible because we all know women have strong personal qualities too. But even though I was offended, I decided to become professional and talked to my tutor face to face to explain my side. It was actually a good thing because after he heard my explanation, he decided to allow the pointy edges to remain, and what I will have to do is just to lessen those pointy edges so the people will not get to assimilate it with the “star wars” costume.
Reminiscing the experience, I remembered what Mary Kay Ashe once said, “while clothes may not make the woman, they strongly have a strong effect on her self-confidence which I believe, does make the woman.” Having this quote in mind, you will get to further understand that I am not just fighting for my own designs, but rather, it’s the meaning or essence of the designs of the women’s apparels. Being in this course has really helped me a lot, not only in regards to the fashion world, but with the true meaning of the world itself. My eyes were opened to the various realities of life. One distinguished example for this is the importance of money and effort. Doing the technical part of my project, where I even reached Hong Kong just to find the finest fabric that would catch the concept that I want to portray in my FMP. I also searched the whole of East London just to find the best leather that would fit the softy appearance of the silk chiffon that I bought for the attire.
Hong Kong is the same place where I had the clothes tailored, and even though I spent some more with it, I think it was okay since it’s worth it.However, one example where I realized how important money is, was the time when I was looking for someone to wear the clothes and to serve as the model for my portfolio. I called various agencies if there is anyone interested to do modeling for free, but I guess, nobody was interested to do it for free. Another incident that made me further aware of this is when my photographer would not do the editing for free. I really thought it is free, unfortunately, it isn’t. So, I ended up doing the editing and I stayed late at night in front of the computer doing some editing and facing Photoshop just to finish the final output. This is where the term “real effort” comes in. No matter how tired I was at that time, I know I barely feel it because of my passion to finish what is undone, especially in that situation where my resources are running out.
In such cases, the only solution is to make use of the skills and talents that He has bestowed me. It was a good thing that I have those. It is just like the saying, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.” Rovinsky (2008) demonstrated one great example of this quote wherein he shared the story that occurred among the volunteer surgeons.
In his article, various several volunteer surgeons were experiencing barriers in their path towards their goal other people from the coast side, but these barriers were not successful in defeating them because what they did is to make various ways to support their goal, and to proceed with their missions out of the resources that they have. I guess, this is similar to what happened to me, because from the financial constraint that I experienced in completing the FMP, it still did not serve as a hindrance to my goal. Out of the resources I possess, I made it possible finish it and to make it one good portfolio. Having gone through all these life learning lessons was really a big improvement for me. Since greater opportunities for self-improvement were laid down, it even gave me more reasons to further know myself.
My strengths and weaknesses which are all part of me, and which I must know. This is for my strengths to be enhanced and my weaknesses to be empowered. In this fashion world that I live in, there is a quote that I just heard a few moments ago, yet has struck me already in variety of ways. From this quote I shall ponder my beliefs and my stand being a designer in this world of fashion. This was the quote stated by Coco Chanel saying, “fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, and what is happening.” It is a quote that I implanted deeply through the depths of my heart and mentality in as a designer and as a future fashion being.Works CitedRovinsky, David.
“If There’s A Will, There’s A Way.” AAOS Now. 4.
5 (2008): n. pag. Web. 25 May 2010.;