A new school year has started! It’s always a little sad to say goodbye to summer, but there is an excitement to the new year and all the opportunities and possibilities it can bring. Here at the CMI office we’ve been reflecting on our own school days.
Photographs are from an Art Day that Creative Matters ran in "Hamro Ghar", a school run in cooperation with Goodweave for children that have been saved from weaving mills.
Tell us about your program of study and other programs you considered studying?
Elizabeth: “I went to school at OCAD for Fibre Arts and I considered ceramics, jewellery, interior design.”
Ana: “I studied Textile Design at Sheridan College (SOCAD), with a focus on printing, dyeing, material exploration and design. Other programs I considered studying were Graphic Design and Illustration. I currently freelance as an Illustrator during my free time, which I enjoy as it offers very different parameters compared to what I do here at CMI, aside from being another creative outlet for me.”
Ange: "I went to Sheridan College and took the Crafts & Design Program. When I went there you had the option to take 2 of the craft courses the first semester (Textiles, Glass, Furniture, Ceramics) and then decide which one you wanted to major in. I took Textiles & Glass Blowing and obviously majored in Textiles. The textile program is very hands on and covers many different things like: fabric printing (painting by hand/ screen printing), printing with different mediums (pigments & dyes..etc), paper making, felt making, pattern making, dye chemistry, pattern design, digital design, sewing, etc."
What advice would you give someone trying to decide which program to study?
Elizabeth: “Take the one that you find the most exciting. If you come alive when doing things from the program it's the right one for you. Try a few different subjects to know you've made the right decision.”
Ana: “This is not for everybody, but taking time off after high school to travel allowed me to hone in on what I wanted to study. Being surrounded by bold textiles during my stay in Ghana is what ultimately set me on my path.”
Ange: "As soon as I saw the Sheridan Textile Studio (during a school tour) I knew I wanted to go there. I didn't want to apply to other schools/programs but my parents talked me into it just incase I didn't get in. I applied to other schools for Graphic Design as my back up."
From the most recent Art Day.
Did you have a most enjoyable moment, lesson or course while you were in school? How did that moment shape what you do now?
Elizabeth: “I loved silk screening any time I got into the studio that's where I went. I love pattern and texture so carpets as a medium is pretty appropriate.”
Ana: “After working many days (and nights) on a printed textile piece, the moment seeing the finished product come out of the heat set machine was always an exhilarating one. The continuous learning and understanding of the qualities we offer and how we can manipulate them to convey the desired intent is a fascinating aspect of what we do. Whenever a finished rug or a package of samples arrive from the mill, I get that same feeling of anticipation and excitement.”
Ange: "My favourite course in the Textile Program was the Surface Design Class. We would have full days of sketching/drawing/mark making in our sketchbooks and on large papers with different materials and mediums. We would use the marks/things we created in this class for our pattern designs and assignments. The art days that we now have at CMI are based on the surface design classes from Sheridan. When I attended Sheridan the studio classes were fairly small (maybe 12-15 people) so everyone was really close, kind of like a small family. I really enjoyed working so closely with people and having them critique my work."
What advice would give students deciding to pursue a design program?
Elizabeth: “Don't expect to have a social life if you get in.”
Ana: “Students have so much more access to information now and my advice would be to research and fully understand the field you are planning to study. Networking with people who are already in the field will be an asset later on.”
Ange: "I would tell them to look into all of the options and then decide which is right for them. There are so many different programs out there that offer many different things."