This morning we caught up with 2nd year BA Textile Design student Andrew Illman, originally from Cirencester, Gloucestershire, England. It was great opportunity to experience life through the eyes of a young male textile designer at Chelsea.
Describe your Chelsea experience in 3 words?
Challenging, Diverse & Focused
What do you enjoy most about studying at Chelsea?
Having the flexibility to take my projects in different directions including working with wood, ceramics, and laser-cutting in Chelsea’s wonderful 3D workshops, so I’m not just tied to pure textiles.
Where do you live in London and what’s your neighbourhood like?
I live in Farringdon which is very central and a great base to reach Chelsea as well as the libraries I have access to do research in at London College of Fashion and Central St Martins. Having access to all UAL’s libraries is a great resource.
Farringdon is a design industry neighbourhood and is especially exciting during Clerkenwell Design Week. It’s a popular area as a film set, with Game of Thrones crew at Clerkenwell Green the other day. We also have the vibrant Smithfield Market on our doorstep but you’d have to be up at 5am to see that in full flow!
What has been your greatest challenge so far on the course and how have you overcome it?
Time Management as the course is very self-led and you meet your tutor once a week. I write a lot of notes and make to do lists over and over again.
What are your greatest achievements/awards/exhibitions?
With every project I improve my skills and the recent colour project was my favourite so far. Learning the process of dyeing and how colour behaves on different textures was fascinating.
I had the idea to look to colours and textures of buildings and industrial skips. Then I incorporated these colours into print designs for footwear.
What do you see yourself doing after your studies?
I aim to do my MA in Textile Design at Chelsea or possibly Fashion at CSM. The advantages of progressing onto the MA here are that I already know the college intimately and have strong working relationships the technicians. Chelsea has a deeply practical approach that teaches you skills which will be very useful in industry.
And lastly, what would you say to anyone thinking of doing your course?
People here at Chelsea are lovely, the atmosphere and Chelsea vibe is great, it’s an easy place to be creative and the tutors are very knowledgeable with and diverse in their practice and research.
Follow Andrew’s work on his website www.andrewgraeme.com