Melody Hesaraky graduated in BA Hons Design and Craft in 2014. She was one of our shortlisted Alumni Award nominees. Here is her story.
What have you got up to since leaving the university?
In 2015 I started my MFA in Textile Design for Fashion at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I finished my MFA in 2017 and worked for a few companies after my graduation. I have always wanted to start my own label/studio and be in leading position in my own major since the first day in school of design but perhaps the challenges and unfairness I’ve experienced while working for companies especially the more corporate ones has made me think more seriously about starting MELODY HES STUDIO. The idea was not only making beautiful things to be honest, I was determined to help and build a culture. Especially in the creative world. A culture that is more about helping other people versus using other people. I believe in the power of collaboration, sharing ideas, openness and sometimes simply listening to others. In 2019 I started my own label determined to build a brand that applies multiculturalism to fashion, textiles, design, and art.
What you are doing now?
I currently live and work in New York. It has been quite intense during the last few months. During the COVID-19 crisis, the abruptness of all normal activities led me to start thinking about “How can I use this rare opportunity to connect to myself and my surroundings in a deeper level.” So I finished an illustration book called “GROWTH” 30 Illustrations, 30 Days of Quarantine. The illustrations in this book “GROWTH” portray how it feels to change and grow.
I was supposed to show my fine art pieces at The Other Art Fair, Brooklyn in April but that was also canceled so I had more time to finish more pieces. Currently I am working on some painting for the fair and also developing more designs for my label MELODY HES STUDIO as well as just taking the time to observe and learn about what’s happening in the world. I am trying to learn something from this situation everyday! It seems like Nature is forcing us to pause and reflect on some of our deepest fears and uncertainties. I think this is an opportunity, to start asking some profound questions about ourselves and humanity.
How did your degree help you with your career?
During my design practice at University of Brighton I was able to explore working with different materials. I had access to spacious specialist workshops in wood, metals, ceramics, polymers and digital technology. I was able to develop material-specific skills during my three years of design practice at University of Brighton. Through four material areas (wood, metal, ceramics, polymers and composites). My studio practice was integrated with learning about research methods in creative practice and delivering skills in visual communication, design development and historical and critical studies as well.
Later on during my individual practice I had to focus on 2 specific materials and I decided to work with metal and textiles. I’ve realised that nothing like textiles can give life to the passion I have had for storytelling through print and patterns. So I decided to combine different materials to design objects. For example textile and metal. I developed a major independent body of work in 3D design and craft using metal and textiles.
Any tips for students or recent graduates?
Find your own voice! It is not easy but once you find it you, can’t be anything else but YOU! Sometimes you have to make a way from no way. Look carefully! Look without filters and see through your thoughts. Know that sometimes you need to slow down and pay attention and then you’ll see.
After a very harsh art critique session during my first year at university of Brighton, one of my professors left a note on my table. It was a poem from Robert Frost.
The Road Not Taken
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
This poem stayed with me. I always think about it whenever I’m making a decision or when I feel lost! THANK YOU!
Follow Melody on Instagram:
Read more about Melody:
Her work since Covid-19: