24 May 2010

Lecturing @ Chelsea

So I was asked to come lecture at the University of the Arts London and share my experience as a design student all the way to the launch of Sketchbook and becoming the editor for the Dia Magazine. It was a phenomenal expiernce and I was asked to lecture again next year. Really looking forward to it!

Sketchbook writer Elizabeth Pasquale attended my series of lectures and covered it for the SB blog. Read more of it below!

Our Editor was asked to be a guest lecturer at the University of the Arts, Chelsea College of Art and Design where she used to be a student. Asked by her tutor Emily Artinian, she was invited to discuss her experiences during her foundation year all the way through completing her Bachelors in Interior Design, as well as her experiences working with fashion and starting-up her own publication.

It was an intense turnout with over 400 students who attended her two part lecture. ‘What happened to students ditching or turning up late?’ she asked me as rows of foundation students showed up a half hour early.

Wafa started her lecture by discussing her home country of Bahrain and painting a picture of what the art and design scene was like there. She then went to discuss her culture shock going from an American style high school to a British Art school one and how shocking the crit system was to her as a student.

Moving on she described having a double life when starting her BA and working practically full time with designer extraordinaire Liza Bruce. ‘I never said no to Liza, I worked weekends/summer holidays at one point doing 6 days a week. Working with Liza and her husband Nicholas was my first experience working with designers that were passionate about what they were doing, and doing it for a living. I really felt like I was being mentored going from sales, to PR, to buying, to window display, to pricing and assisting with all parts of the running of the business.’
Having graduated Wafa then went on to create her own blog, Fashion Ambitions where she aimed to document her work experiences assisting Marko Matysik, interning with On/Off, working in fashion journalism and publishing her work with Prim and Borderline magazine.
Wafa then went into great detail on how she managed to start up Sketchbook, with no budget; and emailing more than 200 people a day to request contributions and illustrations. ‘Everyone told me that I would never be able to launch a print publication, at the recession, with print media dying. But I did and Sketchbook was born. I also never met anyone in the first 5 months because as soon as people saw I was a 22 year old girl fresh out of university they didn’t want to work with me. I had to really sell the concept via email.’

We spent a few minutes with Wafa after she was done with her lecture. Read the rest of the interview here..