Graduates 2021: Joanna Ellams: Textile Design with Business Studies

I have made life-long friends and learnt new skills whilst also developing my technical ability ready for a career in the industry.

Hi Joanna, please tell us a bit about your work and your influences 
I am a Textiles with Business Studies student specialising in Woven Textiles. My Final collection ‘The Water’s Edge’ is based on the Cornish coast and artists. I have drawn inspiration from mid-century St. Ives artists, whilst also studying the geology of landscape through texture and colour.

Inspired by discarded fishing nets in Newlyn harbour I have used recycled fruit netting as a weft yarn, alongside fancies, brushed mohair, silk and wool. I have created a collection of samples of varying weights for Autumn/Winter, exploring colour, shape texture and proportions.

How have you found your course and time at Brighton? 
I have loved my experience of studying Textiles with Business Studies at the University of Brighton. I have made life-long friends and learnt new skills whilst also developing my technical ability ready for a career in the industry. Throughout the 4 years I have learnt a lot about myself as a creative and have developed my own personal style. In first year, you are given the opportunity to try Knit, Print and Weave in the first term ‘rotation’ – this is where I discovered my interest in weave and constructive textiles.

I also benefited greatly from the optional placement year, which I found an invaluable way of creating contacts, gaining work experience, and learning more about the industry. I would recommend this to any students who have the opportunity as it really readies you for a career in the creative industry.

How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study Textiles? 
I have always had an interest in Art and Design, and I knew that going straight to University after school wasn’t the right choice for me. Therefore, after my A-levels I enrolled in an Art foundation course, which I found to be an incredibly inspiring and beneficial year.

Through the Art foundation course, I was able to try different specialisms, and found I was most drawn to textile design. I therefore applied to study Textiles with Business Studies at Brighton. I was drawn to this course in Brighton, as I felt you were taught the technicalities of your chosen specialism, whilst also benefiting from the business modules and optional placement year. After visiting Brighton on open days, the city also felt like an exciting and creative place to be.

 What are your plans after graduation? 
I am interested in developing a career in the creative industry. I am hoping to find a role within a job that will suit me and my skillset, allowing me to gain insight into the industry and develop my knowledge and understanding. However, during this time I would love to keep weaving and staying creative!

I would like to take some time to figure out my own creative niche away from University and education, which I am hoping might eventually lead into an MA (once I have gained a little bit more experience!)

See Joanna’s work in the Graduate Show 2021

Follow Joanna on Instagram

See Joanna’s work at New Designers

See Joanna’s Arts Thread Profile

Find out more about BA(Hons) Textiles Design with Business Studies

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