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One to Watch - Abbey Elizabeth Campbell

Where did you study and what was the course title? Glasgow School of Art, Textile Design (Weave)

Name of your lecturer/ Course Tutor: Elaine Bremner

Creative mission statement: My name is Abbey Elizabeth Campbell and I am a graduate from the Glasgow School of Art, specialising in woven textiles. My project this year ‘Illusions of Colour’ explores illusions created using contrasting colour combinations and altered structures within woven cloth. Looking at vividly coloured photographs I’ve taken from around Glasgow, I extract the colour palettes and bold shapes to create a wide range of vibrant fabrics. I see myself as not only a textile designer but a textile artist. I want to use my designs for the purpose of brightening up an interior space, weather that be creating an instillation art piece or a functional product for the home.

How do you feel about being shortlisted by the judges and being selected as a ‘One to Watch’? It’s a privilege to be recognized by such amazing companies and organizations at an event which is full of fresh talent. I was extremely excited to speak to the colour in design award judges at new designers about my passion for colour and I’m glad they were able to see how important colour is to my practice as a bold designer.

How important is colour in your work and how do you choose and narrow down colours? Colour is the key driving factor in everything that I create as a designer and artist. As I stated previously, my graduate collection is called Illusions of Colour, focusing on the theory behind colour and how different colours interact with one another to alter the overall design concept. Colour is always my starting point in a project, so I don’t necessarily narrow down my colours, I build upon one starting colour and build my palette around it. I think finalising a colour palette comes quite natural to me so when somethings not looking right, stands out immediately.

What is your main source of inspiration? Photography is very important to me in finding inspiration, not only for colour, but for shape, form, and texture. I take photos on my phone every day from everywhere I go in Glasgow. If I was to go on holiday I do the same thing, taking photos of anything I like from a doorway of a building to a sticker on the side of a bin. I always have a bank of images that I collect on my phone so if I am ever stuck in a creative block, I have somewhere to look.

What makes you happiest/most fulfilled in your creative process? When I creative work that is bold, bright and colourful I feel at my happiest creatively. When I get the opportunity to experiment with my work and try new processes, I feel that it leads me in new and exciting directions. The start of a project is always my favourite, as that’s when you can have fun with multiply ideas and just try everything all at once.

What are you working on now/next? As I am a fresh graduate, I am currently trying to find my way into the creative industry as new talent which can be very daunting. Social media has been an amazing source to connect me with different graduates from across the country in the same position as me, which has helped me push my way forward into the industry. I am currently working at an interior studio in Glasgow called Iona Crawford, which specialise in bold fabric designs and wallpapers for high end interior spaces. I’m keen to learn more from them as I start my career in textiles.

Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time? I want to be in a comfortable position career wise, working within a creative team that have the same values as me and are as passionate about bold design as I always will be. As well as learning from an already established company, I want to be able to have time to focus on my independent career as a freelance designer, possible haver a studio space to call my own and explore my creative possibilities.

Creative high point? Opening the results of my degree and finding out I received a first class has got to be my proudest moment in my creative journey. Knowing that all the late nights in the studio and hard work and dedication towards my practice has paid off, felt extremely rewarding.

Creative low point? I remember having a massive creative block at the beginning of second year at university, where I began to question if I belonged at art school and if I made the right decision. This was a hard time for me as I began to question my career as a whole and started to think if art school was a waste of time. I come from what some people may view as a ‘deprived area’ so I think there’s always been a sense of imposter syndrome within me that always made me doubt my belonging to higher education and my future ambitions. I’ve been lucky enough to have people around me for support to help me overcome this.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you? – Maybe in terms of encouraging you when you were at a low point, pushing you in different directions unlocking your potential etc. My mum has always been the person to push me in starting my career within the creative industry. She’s always known from a young age that I had a passion for creativity and never stood in the way of my future potential to pursue it as a career. My mum was the one who managed to get me the last space on the Glasgow School of Art portfolio class programme, which then helped me get into my first year at university. If it wasn’t for her motivation, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to go to art school in the first place. Whatever I do creatively in the future, I’ll always have her to thank for helping me begin my journey.

What is your favourite colour? Being a designer that is in love with all things colourful, I think that this is the hardest question I’ve ever been asked. If I was to choose one colour that I think I could add to most colour palettes to brighten it up it would have to be Chartreuse (Yellow-Green). I just love the way it makes a palette pop and how it goes so well with pastel colours palettes and dark shades.

*Images shot on film taken by George McFadyen, others taken by me*

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