Friday, 16 March 2012

A First Time for Everything

When I returned from Oxfordshire 2 weeks ago I was looking forward to an exciting new venture I was to be a part of, and was anticipating some late nights and frantic making to be ready in time. I fully expected to have to juggle this activity with my day job and, with trepidation, rang work on the Sunday for my hours. This is where the weirdness began, as I wasn't on the rota til the following Friday. Eventually I got a few shifts to cover, because as much as I like the thought of a week and half off I also like the idea of getting paid. After these few shifts in work I realised that all was not as it should be and, without going into details, I suspected the worse. Sure enough, the next Monday rolls around, still with no shifts secured for the following week, and I get a phone call from the owner saying he is closing both the cafe's and I no longer have a job.

That folks is the first time I have ever been made redundant. Hopefully it will also be the last. But as I got off the phone to my former boss I wasn't feeling sad, or scared, or even angry (yet). Instead I felt a little twinge of excitement, and as the day wore on and news spread (the first person to ask me about it being my friend in Bristol, who had heard about the closures via SevenStreets) and my colleagues and I exchanged texts and arranged a last get-together my feeling of excitement grew. For the first time in three years I would be able to focus solely on my creative work. Whether this is a financially viable situation remains to be seen and I still have numbers to crunch and phone calls to make, but for the next few weeks it is my only option and I'm pretty bloody excited!

The other First I have experienced this week is the first time I have had my work stocked in a retail outlet. This is the exciting venture I alluded to at the start, and the reason I think I'm feeling so positive about losing my job. The shop is of the pop-up variety, open initially for two months in a busy thoroughfare in Liverpool One, and is only selling locally made work. It's been organised by the team at Made-Here, who's arts markets I've taken part in before, and the shop is beautifully designed and all the work is fantastic. I'm so proud to be a part of it with so many other talented artists.

If you're in the Merseyside area I strongly recommend stopping by and having a look around, there's such great variety of products in there you're bound to find something you love, and you'll be helping independent makers, like myself, to make a living out of something they love.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Cottage Industries

I spent the last two weeks of February in a little hut, at the bottom of a garden....

 ...knee deep in brogues and baker boy hats... the company of my friends Becki and 6 Music.

 It's not a bad life!

  One of the things I love about Costume Supervising is being able to indulge my love of sorting and categorizing things. A well ordered rail is a most satisfying sight, and a costume file full of neatly filled in measurement charts and colour coded dividers will never fail to please.
My other great joy in costume is the research. I could wallow in books for hours on end, and in the past have almost resented having to start designing if it means I have to stop researching. One of the great things about designing for theatre is the sheer breadth of subjects you become, albeit fleetingly, an authority on.

The other wonderful thing about being a designer.... being surrounded by beautiful things.

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