As a Theatre Design graduate from Central Saint Martins, many ask how I came to design shoes. Well let me begin by explaining how my journey has brought me here today.
Every great design begins with an even better story. Great creative is all about telling stories. I was privileged to indulge four years of my life studying and creating sets, costume and lighting for some of the world’s most renowned scripts.
I came to realize that although the written word is one of the oldest forms of self-expression and there isn’t an app or Photoshop effect that will ever replace it; design and style break barriers.
Whilst surrounded by true creative talent in one of the world’s most distinguished art schools, I quickly realized that I didn’t want to create the next Sistine Chapel. I most certainly didn’t have the patience or gift! Instead my interest always gravitated towards culture, colour and texture. I always wanted to challenge the audience by cocooning them with colour explosions galore. Some loved it and others felt completely overwhelmed!
My world similar to my upbringing is colourful and the journeys from the mundane to wonderful and exotic destinations continue to be my inspiration. After all there is no better designer as Mother Nature.
I don’t have a handbook or sequence on how I design, but meditation and empathy most definitely unleash my creativity. I think it is vital to escape structure from time to time and get distracted so you can disassociate from the task at hand and think outside the box. I also believe understanding the world we are living in is hugely important in order to create meaningful, inspiring and memorable products.
As soon as I began writing this, I also began thinking what do I do on a daily basis that inspires me to create. Experimenting, exploring, questioning assumptions, using my imagination and integrating information are on the top of my list.
TIPS I’VE HAD FROM TEACHERS, FRIENDS AND FOOLS THAT I LIVE BY:
- You need to have your ear to the ground. You need to understand how our culture operates. What’s trending in culture right now? How can you develop that? How do people react when they are exposed to certain things, and how do they give them value.
- Challenge yourself to think differently.
- Be resilient. If you can’t take criticism, you might want to rethink what to do for a living. You’ve got to be able to handle a bruised ego and bounce back.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. If you’re afraid, you’ll create timid, dull work that nobody’s going to like.
- If you don’t get fired from a creative position at least once, you’re not doing a good job. A creative and passionate person will exceed by striving to push artistic boundaries.
- It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or what your job title may be…listen and be nice.