How it started vs. How it’s going: Jacob Millington, BA Textile Design
Have you ever looked at an artist’s work and thought that they must have always been that good and sure of what they’re doing?
It’s easy to look at a piece of creative and not understand the development that leads up to the finished product.
How it started vs. How it’s going aims to highlight what goes on in the background of each creative project, as well as comparing the artist’s personal growth over time.
In this episode we speak to BA (Hons) Textile Design student Jacob Millington, and look at the development of his practice, from Year One to Year Three.
Jacob talks to us about his love for weaving, and absorbing inspiration every day.
How it started: Jacob’s work in Year One
What got you into textiles?
Originally, I started by studying costume design at college. Before this, how fabrics were designed didn’t cross my mind – I just brought them from the store.
Once I started making my own fabrics for these costumes, I realised that the possibility for my textiles is endless. By the end of my time at college, I enjoyed designing the fabrics more than I did the outfits. From there I just wanted to continue making fabrics, so textiles design seemed like the next best step.
How would you describe your style of designing, then and now?
Before starting uni, the fabrics I designed had a purpose in costume. They were designed to be part of my final piece.
Now I treat the fabric itself as if it is the final piece. While it may be a piece to someone else’s puzzle, to me it is the whole picture. This allows me to design with more freedom and be more experimental.
How it’s going: Jacob’s third year weaving
What have you found out about yourself as a designer since studying here?
I originally came to NUA believing that I would be a print maker. However, in our first year we get to try all the different processes, and once I started weaving, I knew that this was what I wanted to do. Weaving really suits my design style, allowing me to really put myself into my work and be proud of what I am creating.
How has studying Textile Design at NUA helped develop your practice?
While I loved weaving from the start, designing weaves was difficult. I had to learn how to convey what I wanted without being able to show it through drawings.
I changed my practice to focus on the colour of these fabrics and how I structured the weave to best portray the ideas I had. Overall, it’s helped me become more experimental, allowing me to try things I may not have thought about before.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about your textiles practice while at NUA?
I think the most important thing I have learnt is how to interpret concepts and turn them into woven pieces. By using colour theory and experimenting with structure, I have been able to push my practice forward. I can involve more complex ideas and portray them through my work.
Where do you get your inspiration?
The best place to get inspiration is from everywhere! To quote our tutors “we must act like sponges and absorb all the information we get, even if you don’t think it is relevant now, it may be later down the line”.
I often do this, reading and saving article and journals, or even taking photos of how shadows overlap on the road and using this all to inspire work down the line.
What do you love the most about Textile Design?
What I love most about textiles is its physicality. I love being able to take all these different materials and create something that is complete, and I can physically hold. When my fabrics look and feel like something I would want to make something out of, I get a great feeling of pride.
What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing a creative subject?
The most important thing is that you enjoy doing it. It takes passion and time to create something, and if you have the passion for it already, all you need is the time, and going to uni will give you that time.