NAME: ELLENA PHEASANT
OCCUPATION: GRAPHIC DESIGN
Q1: The first lady of The Artchive! State your craft el!
A1: Helloooo, I’m a Graphic Design graduate/ Waitress.
Q2: How old are you?
Q3: Where are you from?
A3: Barnet, North London.
Q4: What did you study in relation to your craft, and what drew you to that particular course?
A4: I studied FdA Graphic Design at uni and if I’m honest it was a complete fluke. I never intended on going to uni and didn’t really know anything about the course till I started loool.
Q5: Do you think going to university is vital in order to succeed in the creative industry?
A5: No, not at all. I think it all depends on the person you are. Like some people can sit and bang out work unassisted but others need guidance. I thought I was ready to go straight into looking for jobs after college but looking back now I definitely wasn’t.
Q6: Do you think unpaid internships are worth it?
A6: Nah they’re taking the piss. Like obviously it’s good to get experience since all jobs are looking for experience but no one’s willing to give, but living in London is expensive how can anyone survive on an unpaid internship?? The only other option would be to work weekends on top of it. It’s like slave labor.
Q7: Many people talk about the post-grad slump of not knowing what to do next, can you relate to this?
A7: Omg massively. It’s so hard, you’ve spent the past 2/3 years working towards this goal, you graduate think this is going to get you the job you’ve been waiting for to end up in a pub. It’s disheartening to say the least and the whole process of applying for sooo many jobs and then not hearing back from the majority of them is tough. I graduated nearly 2 years ago now and am still in hospitality, there’s days when you get stressed out about it but there’s literally nothing you can do, lots of my friends are in the same position so I feel like we're in this together and if you let it get to you, you’re going nowhere. You can always just do what I did and run away from it all for a bit.
Q8: What is the biggest thing that studying in London has taught you?
A8: In all honestly nothing that I didn’t already know/ experience. I’ve lived in London my whole life, so I don’t know any different.
Q9: What do you like most about London’s creative scene?
A9: The freedom we have. You honestly don’t notice this till you leave, you can do what you want, make what you want, wear what you want and ok yeah there’s sometimes going to be people who judge but a whole lot less than in most towns or cities. All this work around us just carries on to inspire, I love it and people come here for that too.
Q10: Do you think Instagram is a vital tool in order to stay connected with people and get your work out there?
A10: Definitely, everyone’s on Instagram constantly. Everything connects back to it. It’s free self-promotion, creatives would be silly to not utilize it to get work out there and to get noticed. It’s a great way to see what’s current and what people are creating.
Q11: If so, how do you do this without getting caught up in self comparison?
A11: In all honestly, I don’t think there is, we all do it whether we want to or not you just have to not let it consume you. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and you can’t see everything through an Instagram post.
Q12: As a creative, how important is it for you to be surrounded by people that are supportive of your ideas?
A12: The way I see it is your friends should be your biggest fans whether they get what you’re doing or not. They should be the ones keeping you going even when you want to give up, simple. Don’t dwell on the people that aren’t supportive and do what you want.
Q13: Trying to find your life purpose in your early twenties can be daunting to say the least, what advice do you have for people in this position?
A13: Just keep trying, it’s all you can do. I’m still unsure completely of the path I want to go down but the only way of finding out is to keep going, experimenting and trying new things and getting yourself out there.
Q14: I know you love traveling, so tell how seeing the world has changed you as a person?
A14: It sounds so cliché, but it really changes your view on everything. I think it’s made me a lot more relaxed especially when it’s come to looking for jobs and finding what I want to do with my life, everything will eventually come together you can’t force it. There’s bigger things out there to worry about so don’t stress, worst comes to worst I’ll be booking the next flight out.
Q15: Do you think freelance should be a more viable career option for millennials? Instead of unpaid internships etc.
A15: Yes, of course it should be, but it all comes down to money. People generally don’t want to pay money for an unexperienced graduate. Creative graduates are usually taken advantage of in my eyes.
Q16: Would you ever move to another country to pursue your craft?
A16: 100%, for me personally I want to wait and get some professional industry experience but after that I want to move, I’m thinking Bali or New York.
Q17: You’ve recently incorporated your graphic design skills into customized fashion, tell me about your t shirts and the meaning behind the silhouette logos!
A17: Sooo I started the t-shirts more out of boredom, needed something to keep my creative brain working, once you leave Uni and don’t work in a creative environment I feel like it’s hard to keep it going. Anyways, yeah I just started making these silhouettes out of colored card and thought up what would be a cool way to transfer these to t-shirts via embroidery. I chose the female form just because it looks so beautiful in it’s simple form, I tried to do men but it’s hard to make a penis pretty. It’s a hobby but yeah would be cool to get the designs out there and to see people wearing them.
Q18: The topic of body image is a huge talking point right now, is this something you wanted to address with your embroidery designs?
A18: I didn’t actively seek to address this it just feels natural like why wouldn’t I make a t-shirt with a curvier woman on it?? I want to be inclusive, all bodies are beautiful and if you don’t agree then just leave it. Power to all woman skinny or curvy am I right!
Q19: What advice would you give to fellow creatives struggling with creator’s block?
A19: I’m not even going to lie but I don’t have much advice! I’m going through this myself, I’ve been writing up lists of how to try and work through this. I’m currently just trying to stay creative, whether that be going to galleries, painting, embroidery, also trying to get back into photography. I used to take my camera everywhere, I love photographing people, capturing moments off guard.
Q20: Who are your biggest influences artistically?
A20: I don’t think I could put just a name down, I’m just inspired by what’s around me and the work I see when going to exhibitions and online. I like to keep a folder on my laptop of art I’ve seen for if I want to reference it or simply look back on it again.
Q21: I know you’ve got wanderlust, so tell me where you plan to go next?!
A21: So, I’ve started planning my next trip already, want to head back to Koh Tao, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia eventually, working along the way would be ideal but who knows what will happen we’ll just have to see.