Congratulations to Imogen Sharpe who began to realise her career ambitions here at Gateway College on the BTEC Extended Diploma in Art and Design Foundation course back in 2014. Her creative flair in drawing and illustration has led her to graduate this summer from Loughborough University School of Arts and to find her dream job at Liberty London.
She says, “I felt insecure about my design abilities before coming to Gateway…but gained confidence on the Foundation Art course and even sold some of my work at the End of Year Show.”
Life after Gateway…
Imogen gained a place on the prestigious Textiles Innovation and Design at Loughborough University School of Arts, (Top 4th ranking in the U.K for Art and Design) and worked on a range of projects covering animal print, nature, architecture and history.
Her love for drawing is something that Imogen describes as the foundation for all of her designs, then combining screen and digital printing methods for her design outcomes.
During her placement year at university, Imogen undertook placements with renowned designers and companies from high–end interiors to spending three months at a Copenhagen-based design studio, for whom she has continued to work as a freelance designer. As well as gaining design experience through tasks such as glazing and artwork preparation, Imogen got an insight into the commercial side of the textiles industry when she attended sales meetings and networking during her internships at Kit Miles and Dunelm.
She advises students to “Choose a university with an industrial placement option. That is why I chose Loughborough and I think it is the most important thing you can do to help your career and prospects afterwards. Go to the universities Open Days and make sure you like the course and are not just picking it because you like the place. By visiting, you will get a feel for the work, the people, the staff and be able to decide if you will be comfortable there and fit in.”
Her final year project at university focused on Wollaton Hall in Nottinghamshire, narrowing in on the estate’s architecture and its surrounding links with animals and nature. Her tutors handpicked her to display her work at New Designers, an esteemed annual exhibition showcasing fresh design talent. Little did Imogen know that it was at this event, a representative from a London-based luxury department store would come across her textile designs…
What happened next?
About seven weeks after the big buzz of the exhibition, Imogen was contacted by Liberty London offering her a job at their studio on Carnaby Street in London. Imogen was star-struck, but there was no time to waste – she right away prepared a mini project for which she created original designs partnered with the exclusivity of the Liberty brand. During her interview Imogen recalls that she explained about the Liberty fabrics she has used previously in her work, which emphasised her loyalty and admiration of the brand.
Success was celebrated, when Imogen received the good news – She starts her new role at Liberty of London, as the Assistant Print Designer for the Bespoke Team. Her new adventure begins later next month.
We wish our Gateway Alumni all the best at her dream job!
For more information about the Creative Arts at Gateway Sixth Form College, click HERE