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MA Fashion Futures graduate creates IG filter for MSc Cosmetic Science

Headshot of Instagram filter
  • Written byJ Tilley
  • Published date28 July 2021
Headshot of Instagram filter
LCF MSc Cosmetic Science filter in creation by Marie Schaller

This year, LCF celebrates 20 strong years of Cosmetic Science. To celebrate the 20th birthday, current MSc Cosmetic Science students, Samita Verma and Natasha Malhi, came up with a concept for an interactive Instagram filter that allows users to find out more about the active ingredients in our every day cosmetics. The filter was then designed and created by MA Fashion Futures graduate Marie Schaller. We caught up with Marie to find out more about creating an Instagram filter and how to undertake your first freelance opportunity with UAL Arts Temps.

The Cosmetic Science filter looks incredible. Was this your first professional IG filter commission? If so, how did you approach the task?

Thank you so much for the feedback, I am very glad I could make the best of the brief and fully realise the vision. This was my first ever professional IG filter and in fact, my first freelance experience at all. This having been said, I was pretty confident approaching this job experience as my time at University - specifically during the MA Fashion Futures course - helped me build a strong trust in my own vision and skillset. Even though I created this 3D designer skill set on my own during the last lockdown, I knew that thank to my adaptability and internet community I could deliver successful work.

So talking about the approach, I tried to see it as a school project - no pressure but to do my best to enjoy the process and commit each time to a higher quality. To me, it is very much the key to the success of that project. I was professional of course but mainly wanted to have fun with it and I believe this is why I pushed the brief further and were able to deliver something unique to the team I was working with.

How was it creating a filter based on an idea that had already been designed by the MSc Cosmetic Science students?

Well, most of the creatives would tell you that it is easier to start with a brief rather than having “carte blanche”. It is always quite exciting to start with something outside of your creative register and this is why I am a huge fan of collaboration. Indeed, during my MA project, I developed a fashion collection using co-design techniques to create tailored items for my activist collective. That, to me, was a revolution in my design process because it was suddenly not only about me anymore but about highlighting someone else and conveying a message that is out of your spectrum. So working like that to me is not only more interesting but also more healthy because it allows you to challenge your ideas and share that privilege of creating and communicating messages.

Regarding this specific project, I had the opportunity to go back to science, learn about cosmetic active ingredients and explore visual identities that I may never have otherwise. It was also a privilege to support my fellow student vision and I am very much looking forward to telling other stories on that collective thinking basis.

Person trialling the social media filter on their face
LCF Staff Member trialing MSc Cosmetic Science filter
Did you learn anything in the process?

Well of course! I think you always have to learn in the creative process otherwise you are not creating anymore! Although, what I have learned the most through that project was not related to creation but more to freelancing skills. Indeed, being new on the market, there is a lot of new business approaches that you have to discover and get confident with in order to manage your project successfully and make a living. Time management, communication, dealing with feedback was some of those skills that I could not be happier to learn within the safe and encouraging space that LCF was offering. On that, one of the major learnings that I will keep with me from that experience is to trust yourself and value your skills. Indeed, those skills you have learned are always useful to the industry, it's just about you to find how and sell it with confidence.

Tell us about your time on the MA Fashion Futures course at LCF – did you have many touchpoints with digital and IG Filter creation during your studies?

So during this year and half of this innovative course, we had the huge chance to get to discover and experiment with a lot of new concepts, cutting edge technologies and rising trends in the fashion industry. This was an amazing time to question my practice and open new doors. Although, as you can imagine, one year and a half is a very short period to develop that many new ideas. For instance, I am not even sure we explored IG filters in class but I was generally interested in the digitalisation of fashion so doing my research I kind of naturally went to experiment with it. Mouhannad (leader of the Digital Learning Lab) was in that sense (and considering the crazy demand he has to deal with from all the students) such an amazing and motivating mentor to push me with this new craft and support this first collaboration with LCF. So yes, that was a great moment to extend my practice but bear in mind that in the end, you have to do the work to do something sustainable from that knowledge.

If another LCF student is looking to find out more about IG Filter creation, where can they find some tips?

Well as I was saying, and specifically in those new media practices, you have to do the work yourself. There is everything you need out there to build those skill sets i.e on Youtube, Reddit, Instagram. Create the database that is relevant to you, find the community that will help you to go further in your research and engage with professionals once you have some successful work to show. That way, you might find yourself a "Filter Creator" faster than you were expecting. Also, and of course, feel free to reach me through Instagram if you feel like you would want more specific advice or just would like to chat further around that practice. I am still very much in my own process of creating my network and skillset so always happy to create mutual support!