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  • Writer's pictureMaeve

Exploring a new path

As I complete my undergrad career, I am left with the feeling of uncertainty. Although many things are certain--I am looking forward to a move to Kansas City and an internship with Hallmark Cards--it feels as though something is left unfinished.

During my time as a design student, there was always this looming pressure I felt to make my next project better than the last because that was the only way to prove that you were improving. I spent many hours stressing over this perceived expectation, sometimes more hours than I spent on my actual projects.

Entering my final semester, I struggled with this idea. And at the end of my final semester, I am left with the unexpected feeling that I did not achieve this--my final semester may not have been my strongest portfolio pieces. What is unexpected is I am okay with this fact. I am okay with making a different kind of stride, which was one of experimentation.

I spent my final semester focusing on me. As a design student, it is hard to think that we are ever not working on ourselves. We are editing and re-editing, modifying portfolios and resumes and websites, researching new and old solutions, finding inspiration, creating mood boards--no project is quite finished. But this semester I wanted to do this on another level.

I did this by exploring more media for my custom apparel using embroidery and leather painting, finding more avenues to create one of a kind earrings out of miniatures, and developing my senior capstone thesis about the future of retail. I used my own brand to test out my thesis, which is about the retail (r)evolution and the future of becoming co-authors of brands. I tried, and sometimes failed, to predict new merchandise and designs. And I am totally okay with that as being a part of the process.

Not much changed in my design process, but everything changed in my attitude about it. There is no longer the looming feeling of pressure that often led me to a path of self doubt. I am on a new path of self exploration and self expression and I look forward to sharing it with all of you.


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