Graduate Showcase Heidi Murtagh- Smith

Hi Heidi great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

I am a textile surface pattern designer and have studied at Cardiff Met for the past 3 years. Whilst studying for my degree I have also completed a variety of work experiences in relation to my practice which have helped me to grow as a professional and shape the career path I want to take.

So, what got you interested in the arts?

I have always had a natural talent for creativity. The process of creativity is so enjoyable it becomes motivating in it self which is useful when it comes to gaining qualifications. I experience a high amount of flow when it comes to being creative meaning I have just been drawn to it from a very early age.

Can you tell us about your creative process?

Whilst at University my creative process has grown exceptionally and I have developed many much needed skills a designer needs. My creative process generally follows the path of creating work by hand before digitally manipulating it. As well as this I am very comfortable working completely digitally, using my Wacom tablet to create imagery on screen. Over my time at university I have experimented with a range of mediums and styles in order to develop and diversify my portfolio.

As a young Welsh artist graduating during a very difficult period what investment and support do you think is required to enable your career to develop and prosper?

Finding a graduate job in the world of design is not recognised as easy within the best of times and im not sure there is anything much that can be done. Graduates are in need of jobs; however, the same could be said for people across the field who have also lost their jobs at this time. I think design graduates just need to support each other at this time, reminding each other to not give up and keep pursuing our dreams.

A range of arts organisation and individuals are now working online or finding new ways to reach out to audiences. Have you seen any particularly good examples of this way of working?

Myself and others within my class have been participating in compititions running on Instagram from a variety of accounts. This is a great way to fill some of the time we have in isolation and also get our work noticed. You can checkour Heidi’s Instagram account here Or her profile on Zealous here

If you were able to fund an area of the arts in Wales what would this be and why?

I think it would be great to have a museum or art gallery in Cardiff which relates directly to the field of textiles. Coming from London I am use to being able to immerse myself in a great variety of exhibitions and shows in relation to my practice; however, I feel Cardiff lacks this. Not only would this be of use to current artists and designers but also inspire children to follow this career path.

What excites you about the arts in Wales?

Whilst studying an art and design corse it is great to immerse yourself in a new place as you are never sure where inspiration will come from. Whilst in Cardiff I have been very fortunate to participate in a variety of work experiences which I am really grateful for.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

Last summer I got the opportunity to participate in an international internship to Colombia for six weeks where I worked with a sustainable fashion brand. Whilst there I learnt to live and work in a different culture as well as develop my skills and knowledge in relation to my career path. Although having completed work experiences prior to this, this was a whole new adventure and was a great way to spend my summer, whilst preparing for my future career.

Thanks for your time

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