A designers studio through an interns eyes
I’d like to introduce Paige, she’s been with us on a full time basis for 4 weeks on a work placement which is one of her modules at university. Paige was a delight to have in the studio with us, and here is her perspective of what life is like as an intern in a designer makers studio at Cockpit Arts.
over to Paige…
What is it like to be an intern? Although quite a simple question, it’s actually more difficult than I expected to sum up into one written post! I’ve learnt so much from my time here with Lorna that I’m spoilt for choice with what to include! I guess I’ll approach it logically and just start from the beginning…
Hi, my name is Paige and for the last 4 weeks I have been an Intern at Lorna Syson Studio. I’m currently in my second year of University studying Textiles, and boy does time fly by quickly! I’m halfway through my course already!
Although I’ve still got third year to go, I seem to be constantly inundated with the same question, ‘So, what are you going to do after Uni?’. Honestly, I don’t know. That’s why I think interning is such a good opportunity, as not only do you get to meet lot’s of new people, and learn new skills, but you also get the chance to see what it actually takes to be a designer and run your own business, to see whether this is where you want to go after Uni.
When my first day with Lorna came I was nervous. It was a new place with new people, and I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect. Luckily for me, Lorna and her team, Tiz and Alex, are all really nice, and made me feel welcome right away! Oh, and not forgetting Jenkins the studio dog, who loves to cuddle!
Straight away I was introduced to the studio layout and what sort of things they do day to day, like packing and updating the online points of contact (website, notonthehighstreet etc..). I found it really interesting to see the other side of these websites that I visit frequently, but from the sellers point of view, not the customers. I got to learn all about meta tags, and what makes good content for reading. In week two my knowledge expanded even further when Lorna and I went to a website workshop on ways to improve your website traffic.
Through all these tasks I’ve learnt about so many different websites that I never knew were needed when running a company, for example, mailchimp to categorise your mailing list and send out specified newsletters, or moz.com which is full of articles and videos to help you understand everything there is to know about the website side of running your own business.
It’s not all just computer work though, the handmade side comes in quite a lot too. I got to use my sewing skills to make wallpaper envelopes and extra lavender bags (as they sold out at open studios!), normally that’s Ellie’s job, she does a much better job at getting them uniform! It’s great to be able to use the skills that I have been learning in University in the real world. When writing a blog post for Lorna on how to make an advent calendar, my Photoshop skills kicked back into action to adjust some photos so that they could look as professional as possible. A definite test of my knowledge to see how much I can remember from first year!
I really enjoyed writing blog posts for Lorna as I could be creative with my writing and make it enjoyable to read. My favourite post is the Christmas gift guide post.
The highlight of the 4 weeks for me is getting to experience open studios, from setting it up all the way to taking it down, and getting to see how it changes from when it is situated in Holborn, to when it is situated in Deptford. A lot goes in to making sure that everything is perfect, and it starts well before the weekend of open studios! There are lots of notebooks and cards that need to be made up into packs, and lots of cushions that need to be stuffed. I can’t tell you how many pillow inners I’ve stuffed into cases, or tea towels that have been folded over the past few days! You definitely need to find a rhythm when doing repetitive jobs!
Observing how Lorna puts together her display has been really useful for me, as when I come to display my work in the future I will be able to use these tips to make it look as professional as possible.
Over all I’ve enjoyed my time with Lorna thoroughly. Not all jobs are exciting, there is a lot of organising and sorting out of stock, but this is needed to be able to keep everything running smoothly. It’s been a really beneficial 4 weeks to learn about the business side of designing, which is something you don’t learn thoroughly in University. There’s not a lot of designing that actually goes on because there’s just not enough viable time!
Everyone will have a different experience with interning, I’m glad that mine was really enjoyable. Now I should have more of an answer when people ask me what I see myself doing after Uni!
You can also read more on Paige’s personal blog, some of the images above are taken by Paige!