So This Is THE Life?

So… is this the life of a person in a design/art/fashion/clothing industry? If this is it, then I’m in it.

Coming from the Math Program, I used to spend tons of hours staying up just to figure out how to solve problems and memorize formulas. After doing the capsule collection, I realized it isn’t that different.

In both programs, we solve problems. We consider the circumstances, the variables, and the needs. We also consider the debatable and non-debatable. Both aims to look for solutions. Both uses different methods to come up with the answer, but the goal is just the same: to solve the problem.

But the difference is in me. Yes, I am afraid of art blocks, of having to look for tons of swatches, or being not original, or of running out of ideas. I am even afraid of not having any job. But then again, this is something I’d really like to do. I love the rush. I love the last-minute final touches. I love the adrenaline when you’ve finally imagined and drawn what you want. I love this kind of pressure – it’s the only kind of pressure that doesn’t cause me to break down. It’s the only kind of pressure I want to live with, even if it’s hard to cope up with it.

In the future, I would want to tell this story. The story of my first ever capsule collection. I’ll tell my friends and even future clients of the consultations – my fear of consulting, even – of the rejections and revisions that I did through the help of my professor. I would tell my future interns how I shyly asked a friend’s mom, who also happened to be a designer, for advises and swatches. I’d tell my future kids how happy I was being in their house/office, searching for swatches I’d needed. I’ll tell them that everything was just by faith, from the start up until this moment.

Honestly, I never thought I’d enjoy designing, but indeed, just as the process is painful, there’s a certain joy seeing you made it through. That’s why I’m thinking things now, and maybe – just maybe – I’d also go into designing. I’m hoping that I’ll upcycle better once I really practice and study designing better.

And when things get tough, when I find myself getting lost or having problems in this journey in this industry, I’d recall my first capsule collection. I no longer mind what grade I’ll get, honestly. The most important part is that I made it. I made the first one, and it is true that the first one is the hardest. It is the most dreadful – the one that makes you feel lost. But I did it. And I am thrilled to make a lot more and to learn a lot more.

And yes, this is THE life I was called to live.

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October 23, 2017

If I am to be fully honest, designing for a collection has been an exhausting task for me. I might be throwing again the line, “it’s not you; it’s me,” for indeed it isn’t the class or the task. it’s me. I am the problem. Somehow, though, it just makes sense – because this isn’t the path for me. full-blown designing isn’t for me, but still, it is a task I must endure and a skill I must learn.

Internally, I am ranting, “Why do I need to learn how to design?Ii won’t design in the future anyway,” but it doesn’t make any sense to sew and upcycle if the design doesn’t do any function. Even if I upcycle and sew so well in the future, if the elements I deconstruct and reconstruct don’t speak anything, it lacks substance.

It isn’t enough to cut and sew, to rearrange and repurpose if the design won’t be doing a certain purpose – if it doesn’t accomplish any possible wearer’s goal as to why they wear clothes (or to why I design clothes).

So, even if this is but a painful process and a frustrating season at that, I should embrace it. I should learn to embrace the life of living under the pressure of deadlines and the demands of certain ‘clients’ or more appropriately put, spectators and commentators. I should learn to be resilient and to be more open to corrections. I should learn to communicate better. and I should learn how to deliver. I should learn how to be disciplined and focused. I should learn to be excellent.

And these are the things I am learning right now, little by little. One day at a time.

Second Week of October

This week’s entry shall be a little longer but lighter to allow myself to see that I’ve actually done something in the past weeks and that I am actually learning. Though I will try to elaborate more, please bear with me since I’ve been finding it hard to articulate my thoughts recently.

To start, let me say that this is a rundown of everything that has happened this month- definitely focusing on the Capsule Collection – with little intrusions from relevant events in the past weeks, as part of my documentation and research for this collection.

Let’s start from the very beginning, which is the selection of theme/topic. At first, I wanted to do something that is inspired by nature. Basically, that’s it. I thought it would be okay to just have something as that, but my professor encouraged me to think of a deeper concept or idea. My thoughts roamed from the topic of “depression” to “Christian church, then and now”, but I’ve finally decided to settle on taking a song entitled DYWTBM (Do You Want To Be Mine) by The Ridleys. it was not just because I liked the band and the song, but i is mainly because I would want to do something similar in the future i.e. take a song as an inspiration, because I believe that songs communicate a lot just as art & fashion does – it carries the culture, values, and beliefs, not only of the singer/band but also of the society they have during the time the song was made. Just like fashion, music immortalizes people and their memories. it evokes certain emotions, a nostalgia to hear a certain song just as it is to see a certain accessory or clothes. Honestly, I thought it would be easy but I’ve never been so wrong.

As part of my research, I’ve asked one of the members of The Ridleys on how he interpreted the song. We’ve also created a word mapping of things we associate with the song. Some of the words were actually literal, images that the song paints i.e. 3AM, holding hands, crowded bar, dark, and music. From this, I started looking for photos of their gigs, as well as some stock photos of a street at night time, as well as of couples, and came up with this:

CC concept board
My initial concept board

Just as I said in my previous blog post, my classmates said that the photos were repetitive and I also realized that the board lacks focus. They told me to focus on the emotions we feel after a gig, which I shall say, “3AM Post-gig Feels”, and they also said that I should improve in communicating the intimacy between two people. I revised the board and came up with this:

CC concept board revised
My revised concept board

Honestly, I thought that this looks good – and I still think it does – but I didn’t see that I still failed to communicate the intimacy (just as my professor said, it looks more like self-love) and I still lack focus.

Throughout the weekend, I just tried to bring myself back to those days when I went to lots of gigs – as to what emotions I felt, what I did before, during, and after, and what are the things I said and experienced. I also continued word mapping, and while the words increased, the focus was narrowed down. I’ve also been gathering some of the photos I’ve taken during and after gigs. For now, I am still doing the board, though.

My greatest takeaway? I am fully convinced that the hardest part of being in an art-related program isn’t sketching/rendering, but rather the conceptualization and translation of that concept to an art which should be understood by those who’ll see it.

October 9, 2017

This week’s kinda messed up. First, I found myself breaking down again before taking an exam. Second, I’m having a creative block.

At the moment, I have only made three sketches for my capsule collection and honestly, I am not confident with the quality. I don’t find them unique or anything. I don’t find them special.

I tried several things to just get myself into the zone of creativity. I tried writing poems, doing rough sketches which aren’t related to clothing (but are related to my inspiration for the collection), and I also tried doing calligraphy. Well… I hope this ends soon, though.

Week 8: The Importance of Community

One will feel comfortable when that person fits in with the people around him or her, but growth happens when we get to be in a place of diversity – where we get to hear other people’s opinion about our works.

For the previous week, we were tasked to create a concept board of the inspirations that we’ve had for the capsule collection. For me, I chose a song by The Ridleys as an inspiration (I’ve attached the raw version. You may listen to the full band version through their EP).

The photo below shows my initial concept board. Based on the feedback of my classmates, the photos are repetitive and I had to include a photo that really shows intimacy.

CC concept board
My initial concept board

From the feedback, I revised my board and came up with this. I believe that I was able to express what the song was really about – physical and emotional intimacy brought about by music and live bands.

CC concept board revised
My revised concept board

This may not be the best output still, but I am thankful for being part of the CT family for giving me ideas on how I could improve my work. I’m really grateful. I can say that I’m at the right place with the right people.

Thank you, everyone!

 

Love,

Jecel Manabat

Week 6: The Well of Unending Creativity

When I’ve decided to push for Clothing Technology, one of the fears that I’ve had was creative block. What if I run out of ideas? What if everything I create would all look the same? I feared that passion won’t be enough, that I might lose creativity along the way or that I would get burned out.

This was answered last week, and I’m just thankful and happy that the creative process has been discussed in our class.

For the most part, what drives us (designers) should be the problem that we have to solve. Problems are everywhere, and they may not run out even though we hope they would. That alone should relieve my fear of running out of ideas. I’ll never run out of something to solve.

And I will live my life solving problems through creativity.

Week 5: Braving the Rain

It’s been more than 5 hourse since I told myself that I’m going to write a blog post. The previous week was so loaded yet it ended to quickly. It’s one of my most stressful yet rewarding week in CT thus far. I’ve also had my first breakdown this semester.

 

For the most part, I guess what I’ve learned this week is this: When you don’t know what to do, do what you know.

That’s what I’ve learned while preparing for our report. I’ve searched for days for things that I could include in it, but for some reason, I couldn’t find any. Because it was subjective, and because I was overcome by fear – what if my observations were wrong? What if it was an example of unity but for me it wasn’t? – these questions flooded my mind and I finally lost it. I panicked when Friday came, and I am really thankful that I had a friend who was accountable to me for moments like this. I messaged her and told her that I’m having a breakdown. Again. As she asked for the details, I was able to process things and just did what I knew at the moment. I went back to the definitions, to the basics.

Indeed, when we’re lost and we don’t know what to do for a particular project, all we have to do is go back to the basics. These are the things that we know, and when we do what we know, we’ll certainly be taken to new levels of understanding until we’re finally able to know newer and far more complex things.

Say, for example in our class, when I can’t understand what harmony in colors is, I go back to the definitions of primary colors, secondary colors, triadic, complementary, etc., and such definitions help me absorb the more complex topics such as harmony and unity.

So far, everything’s doing well with me – well, I still have to think of a theme/topic for my design collection tho! Au revoir!