Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TTT: Working with Artists and Designers

         "Designers often have an idea but cannot translate it to paper or even put it into exact words. My job is to be skilled and experienced enough to understand their final goal and to be able to make it come to life."
                                                                                                             -Delores Kelly

          Sometimes you have weird conversations that make you realize you've grown up more than you thought the past few years. This weekend was one of those. Sometimes I feel I still have so far to go as I look at older successful designers and what they have manged to accomplish with decades of work behind them. I feel like a baby sometimes in the face of their experience. Things Take Time as my grandmother liked to say. Many fashion designers work 10 or 20 years before finally getting to international acclaim, most are in their 50s and beyond. Well, we all see our own human faults. As some of you know, I started this company hand-knitting scarves after storming out from my sales job to "start my own company to rival Ralph Lauren. Damn you arrogant bastards." I mean if he and his wife started with ties...I could certainly do scarves. Man, pride goes before a fall. Several months washed up later, I conceded defeat (you just can't live on that kind of money, hand-knitting nets people roughly $1 hr., you have to be really dedicated) and started facing the music of what really makes a profit. Art is lovely, but art should also be something other people want to buy at a fair price. Three years later I'm still facing and learning.
           As some of you know, most of the people in the building consider me a commercial designer or production artist. Me, I like think of myself as still building my lifestyle brand company by growing. I've done production line, patternmaking, cutting, alterations, repairs, sweeping floors, and emptying trash cans. Ideas are all well and good, but having a book full of sketches and no idea how to sew them teaches you the nasty gut kick of humility really fast. Since my goal is to create a brand that allows normal women like us to look our best, I don't mind getting my hands dirty with various aspects of the trade. Anyways, Nash (who sees all my faults and still loves me...so lucky on that one) pointed out that in the past year manufacturing has in some ways made it harder for me to speak with artists and designers as they often express the spirit of what they want and not the technical details. His point is taken as I've yet to have an artist hand me a techsheet. As having staff and working in an environment where I have to communicate my ideas it is both humbling to realize how much I assume the other person knows (which they may not) and how much information they need me to provide to actually produce their dream. So no more assumptions people. Have a great day!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post.
    Anyone who has to translate wants and needs to a real product knows how many pitfalls, cliffs, dead ends, brick walls, and, yes, accomplishments there are along the way.