Work experience: Tianna Greham

By Hattie

When one of our courses with the Prince’s Trust ends, work experience begins! After our last course (all about circular design and plastics) wrapped up we arranged four placements with our members and Tianna was offered one of them.

She spent a month working with ADAY and here’s what she got up to (and where she’s going next) …

 

What were your first impressions of Makerversity?
For a moment it felt like I was part of MI5, passing through secured doors and a labyrinth of insta-worthy corridors, only to find this hidden gem in the basement – the Makerversity studios. It definitely took me by surprise!

I think for me, it was most inspiring to see that the sort of studio culture I experienced at uni actually existed outside of that bubble and within a professional capacity… A genuinely friendly atmosphere, where a wealth of talent and opportunities are shared rather than competed for, and everyone acts as a supportive community rather than rivals. I think that’s something really special and often gets lost in how competitive the industry can be…In that sense, it definitely felt like ‘home’.

What did you work on during the Prince’s Trust programme?
The brief explored one of design’s biggest and most important challenges – circular design. It’s no secret that the earth’s resources are limited and will eventually run out, if the excessive/disposable culture we indulge in today continues as is. With that in mind, the task was to give waste plastics a second lease of life by reinventing them as newly made objects that served a different purpose.

As per, my idea was a little too ambitious and soon went from a lavish marbled chandelier to a single lamp shade (which was by no means any easier to make and surprisingly turned out better than I imagined). Let’s just say it involved lots of shredded plastic, fumigating the studios for a couple days while melting it all down, countless attempts of trying to make a perfectly wrapped cylinder and finally a little woodwork to create the hanging attachment.

What encouraged you to apply for a work experience placement?
I enjoyed every moment of my week at Makerversity and jumped at the opportunity to stay a little longer. Getting back to the nitty gritty of making reignited my passion for material experimentation as well as wanting to hone my craft and find my niche within design. Already intrigued by the diversity of its start-ups and fascinated by the space itself, I saw this as the perfect starting point to do so.

I ended up completing a month long placement with ADAY – a small fashion start-up doing big things to right the wrongs of ‘fast fashion’. With a minimalist aesthetic, the brand creates timeless wardrobe staples for everyday wear that are sustainable, technical and simply beautiful.

And the best bit?
Without sounding too eager… everything! Working alongside Alexis (ADAY’s VP/Brand Creative) taught me a great deal and gave me a real chance to put my graphic design skills to practice. My time at ADAY was super jam-packed – everyday I had a new and exciting project to take on. Things like designing the visual content for instagram, new campaigns and the brand packaging, to researching concepts, partnerships and even parts of the photoshoot production. Seeing how ADAY works from both ends of the spectrum (the number crunching and also the creative) was truly inspiring and insightful, especially as each of the women on-board are active change-makers and real forces to be reckoned with.

And the most surprising bit?
I was surprised by the amount of trust and responsibility handed to me right from the get go, it was an amazing feeling to have someone else believe in my talent and potential. Not only that but to see the digital content I had created go live and for it to be so positively received was sort of surreal…who’d have thought that I’d see my name and IWD work on Harpers Bazaar and the ADAY socials. I think that was probably the highlight of my experience. Loved being part of such a great team and cause.

What are your plans moving on from here?
Whats next? I’m still working that one out but whatever it is, it will be design related. No doubt about that. I’m pretty excited about the transition from graduate to professional practitioner and taking the time to test the waters to find what really makes me tick. That being said, I’ll be looking for a foot in the door as a junior designer, creative or graphic designer and freelancing in the meantime. I have a few projects in mind that I’d also like to pursue in future, so who know’s I could end up at Makerversity, either way, watch this space!

Any advice for those looking to apply for a Get Started programme?
Apply! I mean… why wouldn’t you! There are plenty of opportunities out there but the most beneficial, will be the ones you grab with both hands and make your own. Whether it’s a stepping stone toward your dream job or just an interest of yours, approach every opportunity with the same enthusiasm and learn as much as possible. As tedious as it might sound, hard work really does go a long way – so get stuck in and make a great lasting impression, you never know what doors it could open.

 

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Posted By Hattie
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