The first couple of years after graduating can be the most challenging so we caught up with our ‘Ones to Watch’ to see what they’ve been up to since they were spotted by the CIDA judges. In our 'catch up with...' series, they will tell us how it really is – from highs to lows and their biggest challenges in pursuing a colourful creative life.
“Thank you very much for asking me to answer these it’s been great to look back and reflect on this, I still can't quite believe it happened!”.
Flo Yexley, Creator of the 2nd 2018 Colour in Design Award. Leeds Art University BA Hons - Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design.
What was the first big thing you did after winning the award (new work, exhibition, show, event, meeting, pitch?)
During New Designers, I found out that I had been chosen for TexSelect. This is a charity mentorship that pick 25 innovative and new designers across the whole of textile design, including print to weave from over 200 applicants. This was a great opportunity to meet other creatives and learn so much more about textiles design. Throughout the mentorship we exhibited our work in a private Chelsea exhibition and at Premiere Vision in Paris. Both of these experiences were fantastic and great life goals! I think exhibiting at Premiere Vision has been my biggest achievement, as I never thought it would be possible!
How successful was it and what did you learn?
This was quite successful as I had lots of interest in my work from very large and well-known companies, such as Elie Saab, Camilla Frances and the French Brand Chevignon. In addition, the tutors taught us about invoicing, pricing out work and how to present ourselves in a professional manner which was great knowledge to gain.
What have been the hardest creative obstacles to overcome recently and do you think you have overcome them?
One of the hardest obstacles has been venturing into other areas of art that I had put to one side throughout uni. For example, I have taken more time into painting and drawing to try and refine and develop these skills as I focused mainly on for photography and digital drawing through my final year of uni. Although on the other hand, I have enjoyed continuing photography in a more relaxed manner. I do plan on creating my own little studio in which I can get back into creating still like shots as I did for Dulux and pushing this concept into new ideas.
What have been the best things you’ve done since winning the award and what have you learnt as a result?
The next best thing has been starting work on Ted Bakers Print team. I began during early September and it was great to show them my work from Dulux, during my interview, as this kind of digital art is very similar to their design ethos. I felt confident and proud of myself showing them my work and having the award behind me made this possible. Its taught me that all the time and patience I took into creating the images was definitely worth it and so it gave me a lot of self-confidence.
Next for me is to really focus on my new job and ensure that I continue to give it 110%. During the weekends and evenings I plan on drawing and painting for enjoyment and possible slowly start up my own scarf design company. This is only an idea at the moment but in the future I would love to develop this into a reality.
See more of Flo’s work: