It’s that time of year again when students of Central Saint Martins Reportage Photography Short Course present their final projects in an exhibition session entitled Documentaries.
With invited questions and crits from the audience, the process will often tease out a depth of analysis and reflexive qualities that only a q+a and exhibition can. “The more a student engages in the practice of presentation the more they evolve in terms of developing the finer points behind the understanding of their own work and process” said course tutor Karl Grupe.
With upcoming dates throughout the year, the exhibition will also be a great opportunity for any prospective Reportage Photography students to speak with current students and the tutor directly.
Topics included in the exhibition are:
a ethnographic visual study of location and fear
a photo essay on old age and sport
a photo essay interpreting rush hour and Londons Underground
a personal collection of images on the mythology of nostalgia at Coney Island USA
an investigation into how London’s parks contribute to our well being
The exhibition will take place from 6.30pm – 8.30pm and is a great opportunity for you to find out more about this exciting course at Central Saint Martins.
Judy Bentinck is a London based couture milliner with an international client base and is one of the tutors on our Millinery Workshop. We chat to Judy about her course, advice for breaking into the millinery world and Royal Ascot!
Who is your workshop targeted at and what should students expect to leave with by the end of their course?
The millinery workshop is aimed at beginners in hat making or those with some previous experience. It caters for students who are interested in millinery as a hobby, making for themselves and friends and family and also for people who intend to make it a career. All students will leave with at least 2 finished hats, usually more, but it depends on how fast they work. They will leave with the skills to continue making more hats and will know where to shop for appropriate materials. I recommend they buy my book Designing and Making Hats and Headpieces if they haven’t already got it. I also give lots of information on follow up courses.
How did you become a couture milliner and what is your advice for anyone wanting a career in millinery?
I was originally a textile designer and then a costume designer. I later trained with Rose Cory, the Queen Mother’s milliner and Royal warrant holder, in traditional couture milliner methods. Since I started in 2000, millinery has becoming increasingly popular as a career move, so my advice is, train well, develop your own style and have some really good photographs.
Royal Ascot is the millinery equivalent to the international shows. A parade of all the best and most elaborate creations around. Where do you get your inspiration for your Ascot designs and what advice would you give for choosing a hat for the races?
If I’m creating a bespoke piece for a client they will definitely want a standout piece but it has to match the outfit and suit them first and foremost. I have great fun suggesting and encouraging the client to wear a hat more outré than they normally would.
For my own designs the inspiration is all around! Nature , architecture, mathematics, films, history and more. When I settle to design, a new themed collection, an image or an idea or colour can influence the direction, and off I go!
I have also made hats for promotional purposes, for example, creations such as an ice cream, a jug of Pimm’s, a milk carton!
Judy’s next Millinery Workshop’s are in July and August, with further dates throughout the year. For further information please head to the Short Course website.
Alison Branagan is an author and visual arts consultant and also teaches business, entrepreneurship and self-promotion courses for Creatives at Central Saint Martins Short Courses. Students who have attended Alison’s courses have gone on to set up innovative, experimental and commercial companies. We therefore asked Alison to give us more insight to the different routes of business success for Creatives ahead of her new courses starting this summer.
If you are looking for a way to launch your art, craft practice, or design business than look no further. This summer there are a number of popular business, entrepreneurship and self-promotion Summer School courses which I run at the Central Saint Martins Kings Cross Campus in Granary Square, which are also available online.
Students who have attended these courses in the past have gone on to set up innovative, experimental and commercial companies. Each course has a number of guest speakers, including one of the team from Silverman Sherliker LLP a top London Intellectual Property firm.
In Business Start-up for a Creatives, we look at how to get started, covering a wide gamut of vital areas such as costing and pricing, what to charge, business planning, legal issues, networks, marketing, trends, as well as, finance, how to get paid and understanding tax. Audrey Whelan attended this course a couple of years ago and she has now established a successful Interior Design Business. She is now a guest speaker on my courses. She works with residential clients in London, from small flats to large homes, and she says ‘Alison’s course was a great way to begin my journey into the world of running my own interior design business. Alison was not shy about the reality of the focus and commitment I would need to put in to make it work. But her approach and attention to detail resulted in an inspiring and very informative Launchpad.’
In Entrepreneurship for Creatives we explore more practical aspects of being a creative entrepreneur, such as vision, confidence, attracting attention, negotiation, presentation, how to pitch as well as developing focused networking strategies. Rob Dakin is also a former student and he now runs his own successful children’s games business Clockwork Soldier. He is also a guest speaker on my courses. His creative products are stocked in over 500 stores in ten countries and he says ‘I truly believe the course was a really good and useful stepping stone to launching my creative business’.
In Self-Promotion for Creatives we cover many different aspects of self-promotion, these include self-promotion, social media, networking, publicity stunts, writing marketing and more serious statements. We also cover important issues such as protecting your brand, as well as presentation, confidence, and how to sell. Alana Biviano attended my course in 2014 and has established a highly successful graphic design business, BVN Creative and she says, ‘The Self-Promotion for Creatives course was a pivotal point in my career. It covers everything a freelancer needs to know in order to market themselves and turn their skills and passion into a successful business.’
Alana also attended my online Entrepreneurship for Creatives course even though she is based in Melbourne, Australia. My Business Start-up for Creatives (online) and Self-Promotion for Creatives (online) courses are available to enrol on this summer, students have attended these courses from Brazil, America, France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, China, Japan and as well as the UK.
Students travel from all over the world to study Short Courses at Central Saint Martins. We meet students who are changing career, preparing for a degree, beginners, enthusiasts, experimenters, and everyone in between. We spoke to some of our Easter School students about their Short Courses and why they chose to study with us
I am looking for a job in Fashion Design but, for me, it is important for a fashion designer to know how to build a brand and know the marketing process that comes with it. I feel it is important to know how this world works. My course has been taught by Erica Charles who is very experienced and really knows what she is talking about. Erica was really stunning, and we can all tell how passionate she is. She has taught me that even though some brands are not huge, there is a world behind it that was not obvious first. London has been an inspiration as well! The people, the museums, the streets…London has a very important cultural influence around the world. Everyone knows it, but you can feel it when you are here.
I’ve always wanted to learn about making jewellery and how to work with metals. The techniques I have learnt and the professionalism of the tutor have been the best thing about the course. As I am a beginner at making jewellery, I feel I’ve learnt everything I need to know to start making on my own! The tutor, Anastasia Young, has been great. She gives clear explanations and is always ready to give help and advice. Anastasia has lots of experience in Jewellery. This was a great course to develop my potential, and I would like to come back for more courses!
I chose this course for two reasons. The first is Erica Charles, the tutor. I read her profile and I was really impressed by her career and thought that she would have a lot to teach me (and I was right!). The second is that my previous career was only related to product and I felt marketing was something I needed to fill the gap. When I arrived on the Monday morning, the sky was grey and the fountains outside the building were making steam. It really added some drama to arriving at CSM. Inside, I was thinking “Wow! I am studying at Central Saint Martins!” I feel like I am in the right place. Central Saint Martins and London has a different spirit to anywhere else: everything is cooler, less formal. The city has some amazing architecture but it is the people and their style that I like to observe.
Ingrid runs her own accessories brand Sainte Isaure which you can follow on Instagram and like on Facebook
What’s your name and where do you come from?
I am Constantina and I am Greek/Italian, but live in London, UK.
I chose this course to get a better understanding of the industry and to find out what areas to focus on as a Trend Consultant. The variety of the subjects on the course have been amazing and it has been great to learn about the different areas people in the industry look to for inspiration. Our tutor, Bridget Miles, is a very knowledgeable tutor. She is very patient and open to discussions with her class. London is such an inspiring city to be in. It is a multicultural hub that is perfect for someone who wants to start their own business or kick start their career. The city surprises me every day with the new shops, galleries, and restaurants. They say that if you get tired of London, then you’re tired of life!
I wanted to build upon the Fine Art degree I have as well as aid my development. The course is helping me prepare for a new job that I am moving into. The class size is small so one to one contact with the tutor, Clara Zita, really helps you to understand and feel confident in your ideas and progress. The course covers 3D model making which I have not had much experience in before. I now feel confident in the process and method! It’s been nice to be taught by a tutor who currently works in the industry so they can offer first-hand experience and knowledge. I have not been able to get out to see much of London and the exhibitions as I’ve been staying behind after class to use the facilities Central Saint Martins has.
What’s your name and where do you come from?
My name is Inhara, I am Mexican and I live in London, UK.
Which course have you studied with us this week?
I have studied Fabrics and Fibres, taught by Veronica Shattuck. I picked this course because I would like to get involved with the sustainable fashion industry. Learning where and how fabrics are made is very important and interesting to me. Meeting new people from around the world has been great and, as part of the course, I learnt how to make fabric from a fibre! Veronica, our tutor, is very good and knows so much about the topic, she has so much experience. I’ve loved studying at Central Saint Martins, it’s so relaxed and inspirational. You can follow my work here: @Obope
I chose this course as I would like to work in the fashion business as a buyer. The course allows you the freedom to express total creativity in your works, to share them with your mates, as well as meet and learn from new people from different cultures. I felt very happy and comfortable at Central Saint Martins. I think it is a very good opportunity to develop your artistic talent and other creative people. I would really like to come back to study more short courses and maybe a Master’s degree. My experience of CSM and London has been amazing.
Our Easter School is fast approaching, please check our the Short Course website for all available courses and dates.
Ewa Gargulinska is the tutor of Expressive Painting and Imagination in Painting at Central Saint Martins Short Courses. She is an internationally recognised Polish artist and the author of Poems. Her private collectors include Arthur Sackler (founder of the new wings to the Royal Academy in London and Metropolitan Museum in New York), Jeremy Irons and Vernon Ellis, chairman of the English National Opera. We chat to Ewa about her Expressive Painting Short Course, her advice for aspiring artists and mindfulness.
Who are your courses targeted to and what should students expect to leave with by the end of their course?
I don’t target my courses to anyone in particular, everyone who is drawn to their title and description can attend. Very often it attracts art therapists and doctors, alongside young people who want to study art or those who want to know how to awaken and to express their imagination.
On completion of the course students will be able to recognise their potential as creators, sustain their concentration, trust their vision, express confidently their imagination through technique; form, colour and to understand the power of the creative mind.
How did you become a painter and what is your advice for anyone wanting to become an artist?
I think it was some deliverance of fortune, I had no choice, I just knew that I had to become an artist. It may have been prompted by my hyper sensitivity and perception of the world around me and the part I play in it. I don’t think artists plan to be artists, they simply are. It is an inner call.
My advice to anyone wanting to be an artist would be to listen to your inner voice. Observe and look at everything mindfully, engage in life and the world around you. Becoming an artist is a lifetime disciplined commitment.
Where do you get your inspiration from and how do you stay inspired?
I feel inspired by human courage to endure suffering. By beauty and power of Nature. I feel encouraged and empowered by studying the work of good artists; not only those who explore similar emotional themes as my own, but others too who express unexpected imagination through their vision and skill, as well as an understanding of life and people. To sustain inspiration I read a lot; philosophy, poetry, literature, going to exhibitions, film, experimental theatre, listen to music, observe my mind as well as others and Nature
The next Expressive Painting course starts on 18 July 2016 with further dates throughout the year
Schelay McCarter is an Associate Lecturer at the University of the Arts London, a freelance designer/Art Director and has been teaching Art Direction for Fashion at CSM Short Courses since 1997. Her expertise lies in commercial fashion branding and this includes fashion forecasting, journalism and creative project management. We spoke to Schelay about how she got into Art Direction, her advice for inspiring creatives and her passion for teaching.
What inspired you become an Art Director in fashion?
When I think about what inspired me to become an art director my early childhood comes to mind. I had a fashion savvy mother who would think nothing of running up copious amounts of summer dresses in pretty patterned cotton prints for us each season as we grew up. I have memories of my sisters and I being photographed by my father wearing fake sheep skin fur coats, made by my mother, beautifully lined, we looked like cute little lambs in them! My mother’s sewing machine was always out – she taught me to sew, I made Barbie doll clothes, tacked them onto card and photographed them ready to sell. I sold them in a local shop in Blackheath village. This opened my eyes to the potential and immediacy of style and fashion, creating an image and selling an idea. Vogue magazine was an influence, the fashion photography in particular fascinated me, the model, lighting, pose, hair and make-up, styling and location that transported me to a bewitching world of seemingly effortless glamour. It became a world that I wanted in some way to be part of.
Tell us about your work
My work is about creating a tailor made brand image formula that reflects my client’s product market position and the aspiration of the target customer for all media applications be a website or for in store visual merchandising or both.
My work is varied. My previous experience as senior art director and graphic designer for M&S allowed me the freedom to set my fashion narratives in a variety of large country houses, studios or cityscapes. My vision is to make the viewer feel both voyeur as well as part of the scene depicted. I have used some exceptional locations and photographers; two photo shoots that stand out amongst many are Cliveden House with Simon Bottomly shooting a luxury lingerie collection in the Lady Astor suite and Antebellum House in South Carolina with Jean Pierre Masclet shooting all store M&S season’s ranges. At a recent fashion brand production shoot for a Chilean client called Saville Row. I had a 19 strong team with photographer Sam Robinson on location at Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire. This location has been used for Downton Abbey as well as the film Gosford park. It was a surreal moment when my team and I had lunch in the Downton Abbey Kitchen! It is my creative team I have to thank for my fashion production successes.
What are you most passionate about?
My professional practice is very important to me, however it is my teaching that I am most passionate about. I encourage innovation and proactive practices, thinking outside the box is fostered on my art direction and production work as well as from my students on my art direction for fashion courses.
We are living in one of the most exciting periods of modern history where through advances in internet application there has been an opening up of opportunity. Utilising the past and present with the new exiting technologies available through new media, photography and post-production there has never been a better time for being an image maker.
Which piece of creative work in any discipline do you most love?
I love the alchemy of photography. Capturing a moment. Whether created on an old box Brownie using film like Jacques Henri Lartigue or Cartier Bresson’s work, I particularly like David Bailey’s brilliant Roliflex film work from the 1960s and 70s. James Meakin and Miles Aldrige’s digital camera work is vibrant and beautiful. I find the process of viewing new images and editing the selection creates the same feeling I get opening up a box of chocolates to choose the best one!
Where is your favourite London Discovery?
My favourite London discovery currently is the myriad of riverside cycle routes by the side of the London canal waterways, there is one next to the Granary road CSM Campus that leads to Little Venice and Paddington. I often take my fold up bike along this route.
What is your Guilty pleasure?
It has to be dark chocolate ……
Name a favourite book, song or film
‘The Bolter’ by Frances Osbourne.
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?
Use your initiative; be proactive and positive, a team player doing unto others as you would be done to yourself!
What’s the best bit of advice you have ever been given?
Giulio Mazzarini is an Italian creative director and photographer, with a masters degree in Design Studies from Central Saint Martins, UAL. Based in London since 1998 and teaching the popular Reportage Photography short course at CSM since 2009, he is launching our first ever Food Photography short course this coming August.
You may be wondering why we need Food Photography? Well, we invited Giulio to give us an introduction to this brand new course.
My first experience with food photography dates back to the early 90s, when I helped the London-based American photographer Jay Myrdal. I was in my 20s, with sideburns, a black goatee and hair on my head.
Jay’s large Paddington studio was a maze, and that day it had been filled with colourful dishes prepared by a professional home economist.
At the time, food photography was pretty different from what we see today: studio setting could take a long time and it wasn’t possible for food to look fresh for hours. The dishes would therefore be covered with oil, deodorant and/or hair spray to keep them looking shiny and enticing.
You could not be a true professional photographer if you weren’t technically very competent – not only in photography, but also in other fields, such as studio setting and model making. Jay and his first assistant Dani where not only excellent photographers, but also amazing model makers…real craftsmen! And I would observe them in action and eagerly try to learn their tricks.
Photography-wise, images had to have a pretty long depth of field – everything in the image had to be in focus. So we would use wide lenses, with narrow apertures.
And, as we were shooting with a 5×4 Sinar camera and slide film plates, this wasn’t that easy. Exposure had to be exact too. With slide film, errors bigger than half stop could cost the job. As a second assistant, I would run from the studio to the in-house darkroom to pass exposed film to the first assistant, who would unload it and load new film. It was a very delicate process and you couldn’t make any mistakes.
I also remember practising with the light meter, going around the studio with the big Minolta around my neck. I would also help setting the lights.
At the end of my experience as a photographer’s assistant, I was able to shoot film and get the exposure right – often without the need of that light-meter.
So what is left of the legacy of that time, given that we’re now in an era when most food photography is created by bloggers using pocket cameras and smartphones?
Quite a lot, actually. First, the importance of composition: a good food image must be well composed – and studio setting can play a pivotal part in this.
Second, the careful use of light: every stunning image requires stunning light.
Finally, a keen eye for detail. It remains the only indispensable instrument for producing great shots. Rushed work is, most of the time bad work.
By the time I became a professional photographer, I had evolved my style, and become naturally attracted to lifestyle photography, using wide apertures and saturated colours.
Food photography has become a part of my travel and reportage work for magazines and brands, and not by chance, as I have always loved to document cultures, people, nature and the senses.
And in good food photography, all senses work fully. There’s our sight – the initial visual attraction; the smell, when our mouths start watering; the sound, when we touch a plate with the cutlery. And then, of course, there’s the taste. We put the food in our mouth, close our eyes and (hopefully!) are in heaven.
After all, isn’t food photography, like all photography, about “putting on the same line of sight the head, the eye and the heart”? *
When I proposed ‘Fact or Fiction’ to Central Saint Martins in 1997, the response was “we’re better known for our visual side, but let’s offer it and see what happens”. My first course was sold out, and nearly all my courses since then have been too. Lucky me! I love teaching and I truly believe that in order to be a good teacher I must be a good student. I’ve learned so much from my students, and from the challenge of answering their unpredictable questions. In the process of finding answers, I explore, articulate, and discover.
In those early days, only some students had online addresses, few universities offered degrees in creative writing, and publishers were often unwilling to receive typescript submissions by email—agent or no agent. So much has changed since then. Digital communication has flourished. The traditional book business is in a state of constant disruption. More and more corporations like to talk about ‘storytelling’. More and more individuals want to share their personal stories through social media and self-publishing. You can’t go for a walk without stubbing your toe on a writing masterclass, academy or retreat. The creative writing industry is booming. Just when people generally want to read… less.
Why should anyone read your story? Is it enough to have had a miserable childhood or an unusual ancestor / experience / hairdo? What about the craft? Is it about writing, or is it about being published?
Or is it about your very being? For me, an impulse turned into a compulsion turned into a long slow existential revelation. How many books did it take? How many rejections, deals, launches, retreats, agents, publishers, readers, critics, students…? How much research, thinking, observing, dreaming, writing, editing (and editing, and editing)? I can’t say this simply enough: creative writing is profoundly good for you.
Elise Valmorbida is the author of novels Matilde Waltzing, The TV President and The Winding Stick. Her non-fiction work, The Book of Happy Endings, has been published in four languages: English, German, Korean and Serbian. Her short stories have been published internationally. Elise won the Trailblazer Award (Edinburgh International Film Festival) for her role as producer and script consultant of indie Britfilm SAXON. She wrote ‘The Making of a Guerrilla Film’ story which was published with SAXON the screenplay. She teaches creative writing at Central Saint Martins and Arvon. She is currently writing a non-fiction creative writing guide, and an Italian historical novel.
Fashion Folio Course Coordinator Beckie Leach talks about BA and MA interviews season and the culmination of one year’s hard work on the Fashion Folio course.
As spring arrives in London, the Fashion Folio studios are a flurry of nervous excitement as students set out their work for interview and portfolio review for some of the countries top undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The studio is a jam-packed sensual array of colour and texture; piles of homemade sketchbooks, research folders, knitted and stitched textiles sit on every available surface, anticipating thorough exploration.
As the Course Coordinator, this is my favorite time of year; it is when I get to see everything the students have been developing during their year on the Fashion Folio. Every year I am astonished by the quality, variety and the sheer amount of effort each of the students put into their work, and this year is no exception. Each student has filled their area with a huge amount of drawings, research, sketchbooks, journals, fabric samples and garments.
There is no prescribed ‘house’ style on the Fashion Folio, rather every student is encouraged to develop their own style and approach. Students are taught to find their own way of drawing, method of working, and to research the things that really interest them; this results in students developing a unique approach to Fashion Design and/or Communication that suits them.
Students are encouraged to apply for courses at a wide range of different institutions. Current students are applying for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Fashion Design Womenswear, Menswear, Print, Knit, with Marketing, Fashion Communication, Textile Design and Fine Art at institutions including Kingston University, Westminster University, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and the Royal Academy Antwerp.
The Fashion Folio is a highly intensive one-year Fashion Course designed to support you to develop your ‘best’ portfolio of work possible to apply directly to a BA, MA or Professional Practice. Last year 90% of Fashion Folio students who applied were offered a place at a top University.