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One to Watch: Emma Haywood

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Where did you study and what was the course title?

Loughborough University – Textiles: Innovation and Design Course tutor: Chetna Prajapati – IDP Pathway Leader

Creative mission statement

“Driven by sensory stimulating textile design, I believe that nourishing the mind and body through textiles can have a positive impact on a person. I want to continually try to evoke an experience in my work – a feeling or a state of mind – by using textiles as a medium to interact or visually communicate with a person. I intend to pursue my passion in how textiles can be used to positively stimulate and engage with a person’s mind and body, and its uses as a tool to help improve wellbeing through interactivity”.

How did you feel about winning a Colour in Design Award – what does it mean to you?

To be chosen as a One to Watch, I feel so incredibly proud of myself – this year has been especially tough with the pandemic as well as having a few of my own personal issues, so to get the recognition and hear the encouragement from all the judges, feels amazing!

After all the hard work I put into my project, it is so amazing to be chosen by all the incredible judges. I feel very overwhelmed by all the positive feedback from the judges, it has definitely boosted my confidence! I feel excited to see how far I can now take my work in the future.

What inspires your creative process?

My surrounding natural environment – as well as my imagination! I live by the sea so it’s the mundane things that I spot when out and about for a walk, the shade of green of the sand dunes grass or the shapes formed in the foam on the sea.

I also recently found out I have a neurological condition called synaesthesia where the senses are merged, I can visualise time and see shapes and colours in music, so I have been actively trying to use this to enhance my creative process. Subconsciously, I think it’s made me see things in a different way, and that was before I even knew this type of condition existed!

What do you want to do next?

Honestly? I’m a bit uncertain. I think it’s natural after university to not have a concrete plan in place. Instead, I know what I’d really like to pursue and that is further developing my textiles practice and how it can have a positive impact on someone – whether that’s through researching further through a masters, setting up my own studio, or exhibiting my work worldwide. I’m just excited to see where this new chapter takes me!

However, in the next year, I’d like to expand my practice further and gain experience from people who use textiles as a positive tool. I’m hoping to do a lot of travelling within the next year to take myself out of a usual daily routine and into new surroundings, constantly learning from people around me in the hope to understand further how my textiles work can have a positive impact on someone.

Creative high point?

Being selected as a CIDA One to Watch by you guys - I am honestly over the moon by it! As well as being able to have a physical degree show which I feel so lucky to have had that chance this year with the pandemic.

Creative low point?

During this past year, my mental health has suffered quite a bit, and I really struggled at times with balancing my degree and my mental wellbeing. There were days where it just seemed impossible to push forward. I think creating such a personal project and reflecting a lot on my own anxiety was a big step for me and pushed me to get the help I needed to improve my mental health. I am proud of myself for getting the support I needed.

Is there one person during your studies/life who has really made a difference to you?

I would say rather than one person who’s made a difference, it is all the little things that people I have either met or known have done for me along my creative journey. From my course mates to my family and boyfriend; to Bee King, the embroidery technical tutor (an actual star!) at Loughborough and my A-level Textiles Tutor, Debra Taylor. All these people have really pushed, encouraged, and supported me to unlock my full creative potential. They have all believed in me, even when I have struggled to believe in myself.

What is your favourite colour?

Ooooh this is so hard! My friends and family know I love all colours, and I’m constantly wearing a spectrum of all the colours. It changes all the time, but probably right now I’d have to say green - lime green. This colour for me is refreshing and has brought a lot of optimism into my life – definitely something we need in these current times!

Image credits: Emma Hayward




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