Iain Valentine got me thinking

with the last of the NESTA workshops on Friday there’s been  a lot of thought and consideration going on in my head of the business proposal I’ve to write over the coming weeks.  It started if I’m honest at the lecture given by guest speaker to DJCAD Iain Valentine of Whitespace a Digital Design Agency located in Edinburgh.  Iain is a past graduate of DJCAD leaving with a 1st class honours degree! He very honestly told us that it didnt really come together for him until final year, where he was in charge of briefs and outcomes and that he says was his best time and the year he worked hardest.  He was offered positions in Edinburgh and London, initially heading south but returning north after a while to take up his original offer – things were  very different for him in Scotland but he continued to learn his trade as a designer and grew in confidence, he was working very hard and was beginning to feel that perhaps he should start his own design agency at the same time he was offered a creative director post at Whitespace.  This worked well and a plan was put together that he would take over gradually and this was completed last year.

A quote he showed at this point ……………..

Good things come to those who

work their asses off


never give up!

it worked for Iain who now has 41 staff of which 8 are creatives – and although its a cool place to work there are still lots of issues with such a large staff and he only creates one day a week if he’s lucky.  Whitespace has amazing campaigns in their portfolio and continue to have clients waiting for Whitespace to fit them in – I would say that shows you’ve made it – but as Iain says ‘ you’re only as good as your last project’ so there’s no slacking and he works 14 hours a day 5 days a week.

So this is where I started thinking about my future, just to remind you,  my  plan is to create a textile design studio where recent graduates can come and print, as there are no facilities for textile printing and its something which is difficult to do in your home or a small rented studio as large specialist expensive equipment is needed. Running a studio being a technician and managing everything takes time to learn and not only the business side, this is all  v’s designing, creating and making  – I’m a hard worker and  conscientious and when I start something I give it my all but I need to create, like breathing I have to do something everyday but if Im to make a future as a designer maker I too will need these kind of facilities.  Dilemma?

Going back to REWORK the book, I read it again as its so good and this page sprung out at me –

so the decision has been made to do my business plan as planned and not to change tack. There’s no denying I will learn so much from all the research which will be involved over the coming months and who knows what that will lead to.

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