Words by Erin, Digital Design Media Manager.
Let's face it: getting hired is hard. Competition is fierce in the fabric design industry, both for full-time and freelance gigs. But the good news is, we are here to help! We are a world-leading fabric design studio and we can help you crush it. Read on for an instant leg up in the field.
Congrats! Before you've even begun you made it to step one: research. Our long-time Creative Director, Bec has interviewed countless textile designers and eyeballed a bazillion portfolios, so can tell you exactly what it takes to be noticed by a potential employer (and what to avoid).
2. Compile a Compelling Portfolio
Make no mistake, your portfolio is your most important sales tool. "Most people come to the first interview with a laptop and their online portfolio," Bec says. "It's a tightly edited version of what they can do, usually comprising of a mix of finished textile designs and artwork." So how do you whittle down years of work into a really tight selection? How do you decide what goes in and what stays out?
Variety is Key: Recruiters want to see versatility and adaptability because you'll need to demonstrate that you can jump from fine pen drawings one day to large, gestural palms the next. "We look for someone who can do it all, or at least cover a few different looks while maintaining their own individual style," Bec says. So for example, include a fine botanical illustration and also that expressive mixed media piece. If you have some flat gouache and watercolour work, put those in too. Whatever you choose, Bec recommends its your A++.Present the best of the best of your work, she says, to put forward the best representation of YOU!
Are you worried you can't demonstrate enough different styles of work to employers or clients? Wondering where you'll find the time to create a huge range of original motifs?
We've got you covered. Our course, 10 Stunning Commercial Designs Without Weeks in Photoshop, shows you how to roll out 'dem designs and with just three (yes THREE!) hand-painted motifs. This course is so good, we use it to train our own designers with. And we are running a limited time offer on this course! Sign up now for your FREE download, covering a host of handy quick tricks and find out about our fantastic course bonus!
Colour Theory: You won't solely be considered for your sketching skills - colour plays an important role. "We look for a range of combinations and love a designer who can put palettes together in interesting ways," Bec explains. Look closely at the different colours you've used in your work and find a cross-section of looks to showcase your versatility.
Layouts to Love: Composition and interesting use of proportions is another massive focus of design bosses pretty much everywhere. Find a half-drop repeat, something with borders, a more conceptual, placement-placed design, maybe a tile, and anything else that you think is a great example of varying proportion.
Embrace the extras: Don't exclude artworks that don't appear to be relevant to the job description. "If it's a job for textile design, show some graphic design as well if you've done it. You're selling yourself and if you've got more to offer than what we've asked for then that's just an added bonus."
TOP TIP: Got a second interview? Success! This is your opportunity to demonstrate your process. Bring in some physical pieces if you didn't on your first round. Sketchbooks, drawings, and unfinished work reveal so much about you and the way you work.