More about Mikey
Since graduating in 2016, Mikey has taken the Textile Design industry by storm. Life for Mikey after graduation began by being shortlisted as a UK finalist for TEXPRINT, an organisation dedicated to providing the best of British textile design talent to graduate designers. TEXPRINT has continued to follow Mikey's success, more recently featuring him on their Insights & Inspiration page.
We caught up with Mikey to find out how he felt to be selected for Texprint, and how he found studying our BA (Hons) Textile Design course.
How did you feel to be selected as one of the 24 UK finalists?
“It was a total surprise! I was happy to have even got selected for an interview – it’s quite difficult to get selected but I feel I had the right kind of work alongside a successful interview. It was great to hear the feedback from industry professionals. When I got the call it was an amazing thing – it was such an honour.”
Can you tell us a little bit about the collection which resulted in you being selected?
“It was my graduate collection, a print collection. It was very illustrative - my style of painting is hand drawn and quite free. All my work is highly focused around colour - mixing colours by hand and creating different tones. My use of colour is something that I’m often complemented on.
“The collection was inspired by a controversial, Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Araki. What I saw in his work was fearlessness and energy. I took that and applied it to what I was doing which is what I think made my work stand out.”
What did you gain from exhibiting at Texprint?
“The main benefit thing was the exposure. My work was shown to the world and a lot of really successful people from the industry attended, including lots of inspiring designers. In Paris, clients bought my work from Korea, China, Italy and Eastern Europe – it was great that my work was seen on an international level.
“Exhibiting at Texprint really helped me improve my professionalism. You had to be professional – even though I still felt like a student it pushed me to be a designer and a brand. I had to create invoices and launch a website. All of these things I never expected to be doing so soon!”
What made you choose to study at NTU?
“I attended an open day and as soon as I arrived, I loved NTU. The display of current student work was of a really high standard and the student ambassador’s spoke highly of Nottingham as a student city.
“The course projects seemed really creative and artistic, and I could just really see myself settling in here.”
What did you most enjoy about the course?
“The course encouraged mixed media and for you to be experimental. In your final year you are left to your own devices. You can choose what you want to do and the tutors fully accommodate that. The freedom in final year is what I loved the most, you really can do what inspires you, and makes you happy."
How did you find the course staff?
“The course staff were amazing and I’m still close to tutors now. My print tutor was an incredible person and supported everything I wanted to do, we developed a brilliant friendship. All of the staff supported me from day one and we built up a really great relationship throughout the three years. You could talk to the course staff about any issue and they would be there to help resolve it – they truly are one of the best things about my experience at NTU.”
Why would you recommend studying Textile Design at NTU?
“You have the opportunity to work in a lovely environment with course staff that are extremely loving and caring. The staff here truly nurture you and you’re listened to as a student which I don’t think is something you find everywhere.
“The course also provides lots of great opportunities, some of which you don’t have to pay for, for example attending New Designers and a trip to an Alexander McQueen exhibition.”
Where do you hope to be in five years’ time?
“I now live in London and have just come out of finishing a few free-lance projects. I’m about to begin a new internship for a print studio part-time. I’ve also had some project work for a Chinese company, and had one of my collections shown at Copenhagen Fashion Week.
“In five years’ I hope to be working full time as a designer somewhere or have started by own studio – I’m not really sure anything ever goes the way you plan, though!”