I am finally getting back into the blogging game after being at New Designers 29th June-4th July! It was a crazy busy week and I haven't really stopped since and there will be a proper formal report on the time I spent in London coming soon when I have more headspace to form actual sentences. I'm also going to be discussing what was in my press packs and why I had a mini Stacey Jacqueline Ward in my pocket the whole week (that's a good one to look out for!) In the mean time I have been knocking up some quick self portraits, one for each of the days I was in London which has been fun and if you follow me on Instagram you might have seen a few sneak peeks!
Monday 29th June- This day was not the ideal start to our time in London. As I boarded the train in Cardiff with my luggage and portfolio in tow I had the phone call you don't expect from our accommodation announcing they'd given our room to someone else so I spent the entire journey googling new hostels that weren't £10000000 a night in London. This image depicts the mood of the day, we threw lots of tantrums, we kicked up a fuss, we ended up complaining directly to the manager of the hostel and in the end it was resolved but not without a bit of drama beforehand.
Tuesday 30th June- Day one of ND for Glyndwr University. Our work arrived with some staff in a van from Wrexham around dinner time and we set up in the Business Design Centre, Islington. Heads up to anyone ever exhibiting at the venue again...IT IS HUGE. Even with a map it took us days to find our way around and manage to get to our stall and when we arrived *most* of our work was already on the wall because we'd be gone so long! After setting up the stand and attending a graduate meeting (think 3000 students sat on the floor in a heat wave, yummy) we went back to the hostel and ate The Best Chippy Meal I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
Wednesday 1st July- Potentially the weirdest out of reality day I have ever had. Conveniently in London the week the show was on in a big glass building, London had a heatwave, the hottest day of which was this day at 36 degrees whilst we worked a 12 hour shift. I barely ate, we networked, smiled until our cheeks hurt, handed out business cards like they were sweets, hid behind the stand on the floor to rest and tried to suss out who the judges were. It was a crazy busy day which culminated in an evening do which was sponsored by Absolut Vodka which brightened everyone up and we made a lot of new friends, even if we might have forgotten their names the next day.
Thursday 2nd July- This was when the heat and the lack of sleep started to hit us which was not helped by one of my friends screaming in his sleep all night which was nice and terrifying. There were 12 of us exhibiting for Glyndwr (a mixture of MA Design Practice, BA Illustration and BA Graphics) so we worked shifts on the stand to ensure it was always manned but not over crowded so this day we worked 2pm-8pm. It was quieter than Vodka gate but we got a good reception and talked to some interesting people. In the evening we had another chippy and the woman on the tills remembered us and our orders. Babe.
Friday 3rd July- After working the 10am-3pm shift on the stand we managed to escape the hustle and bustle of ND and swap it for the hustle and bustle of the South Bank in a heatwave. We were desperate to fit in some standard touristy things whilst we were in London so we headed off on the tube to the south bank, took some typical tourist selfies in front of the Eye and Big Ben and then went to the aquarium which was AMAZING. You know you're going to have a good day when the entrance to the venue is a glass floor over the sharks. Ideal.
Saturday 4th July- Leaving day which was not all as relaxing and straight forward as it seems. We packed up and left the hostel at 11.30pm and headed over to Islington but the show isn't put down until 5pm when it is closed to the public. A lot of our fellow students had to leave earlier in the day so it was left to a handful of us and some staff to take the whole exhibition down and transport it out of London in an hour. There was lots of shoving things in portfolios, managing staircases with chairs and exhibits, navigating the loading bays and general hectic running about but we managed it in 40 minutes, said our goodbyes to our new friends and headed to Desperados for tea. This was quickly followed by a mad dash to the tube, a few changes, a quick goodbye (my last fleeting glance at my friends was their backs and suitcases pegging it up an escalator at Euston which was mildly entertaining) and then a 50 minute wait on my own at Paddington for my train. My London journey ended at midnight when I got to Cardiff with some Pringles and Graham Norton on iPlayer to keep me awake.
It was such a fabulous week and I promise I will blog about it all in detail and multiple posts until everyone is sick to death of hearing about it soon!