My name is Verity and for the past four months, I have been working on Orkney as an Editorial and Marketing Intern with Fashion Designer Kirsteen Stewart.
I studied Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art, and following graduation, I worked as a freelance designer in Edinburgh and Gothenburg in-between shorter internships with design agencies. Although I am a graphic designer by trade, I have always been inspired by the craftsmanship behind both fashion and textile design, so when the opportunity came to apply for a placement with Kirsteen, I couldn’t resist.
Landing in Kirkwall for the first time on a windy Sunday afternoon, with sea in view in a fair few directions, I could only think one thing. ‘What have I done?’ Moving to an island for such a period of time had never been something I’d expected to do. However, my concerns were soon put to rest on entering the studio the next day – I was instantly made to feel completely at home. The kettle has been on the boil more often than not, and I have been lucky enough to have a boss and colleagues who are enthusiastic, supportive and inspiring to work with.
My primary task on placement with Kirsteen has been to design a series of catalogues for each of her collections – laser cut jewellery, printed silk scarves, lambswool knitwear and embossed leather handbags. I have always loved designing publications, and this set of catalogues has been a wonderful piece of work to be involved in.
My other responsibilities on this placement have been wide and varied, yet equally enjoyable. Copywriting press releases and online marketing material, designing packaging, re-developing Kirsteen’s brand, re-designing her website, attending events and seminars, working with our photographer on each shoot, translating marketing material for Parisian boutiques, creating new line sheets for each collection, artworking Kirsteen’s drawings into vector surface patterns for her freelance portfolio, feeding the lambs one teatime….. The list goes on, but each experience has helped me to gain more confidence in my work-field and I’ve discovered new skills I’ve never been aware of before.
Living and working on Orkney has been an experience in its own right. Aside from a new customary love for Puffin watching, I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful independent creative businesses. From fashion, to knitwear, to silversmithing; their community spirit has inspired me, and I have been interested to notice how each business thrives upon its unique talents. There is a real celebration of craftsmanship in Orkney, and it has been fantastic to experience this first hand through working at Kirsteen Stewart Designs.
Verity’s internship was part of Adopt an Intern’s Highlands and Islands Project. This project was part funded by the Scottish Government and European Social funds.