Hannah's lovely blog post on how NOISE helped her secure a work placement with Hemingway Design & more good advice!
21 Mar 2014
- career advice
HOW IT ALL STARTED it all started
After offers to do all their homework, the lovely people at NOISE have arranged a work experience at Hemingway Design for me. All they ask in return is that I play nicely with the other kids and report back with this blog. Easy deal!
I'm in my final year of an English Literature degree and want to break into cultural archiving after graduation. Scouring the internet for work placements and internships, I found that opportunities are few and far between. Even worse, most expect you to be able to live for up to 6 months in London unpaid. The year everyone got a CD-Walkman, I got a Simpsons cassette player. The year everyone got a Gameboy Colour, I was working monochrome. When you're done weeping over my tragic childhood, you'll see that I don't have the resources to survive the ILLEGAL unpaid internship plague.
Which is where NOISE step up by providing dream jobs (and paid internships) to those trying to establish themselves in music, fine art, filmmaking, fashion, origami, whatever. Dream jobs with industry leaders who are prepared to give their time to mentor and answer any questions you might have. Wayne Hemingway has previously been a curator for NOISE Festival (this year for fashion it's Giles Deacon (!!!) ) and has really put the time in mentoring up and comers in the design industry.
MORE on hemingway design
Hemingway Design has a mind boggling portfolio which ranges from affordable housing to the Transport for London uniforms to the best idea ever TM® 'Classic Car Boot Sale', which takes the grim car boot of yore and swanks it up with Cadillacs and amazing forties fashion. I'm here to assist with The Land of Lost Content archive, an educational resource in collaboration with the Land of Lost Content Museum which archives a huge collection of images from popular culture - toys, magazines, adverts, packaging etc. Hemingway Design has built up probably the largest collection of vintage publications, and the idea of rooting through old magazines is my idea of a wonderful time, so this is pretty exciting. As is learning about the creation of a digital archive, a necessity for any museum, library or collection nowadays.
On my first day at Hemingway Design (after 15 minutes looking shifty outside, too afraid to ring the doorbell... ), I'm shown around and introduced to my main task. Trawling through a stack of magazines, finding anything visually interesting... a font, a layout, a particularly jaunty hat, and scanning and tagging with anything that a student/ researcher might find relevant for the image. The first is a copy of True Story from 1946 with Joan Fontaine on the cover. I may be a cheap date, but this is seriously heaven to me. Joan Fontaine was a legend! Her and her sister (Olivia de Havilland) spent their lives hating each other and throwing proper Old Hollywood shade well into their nineties (R.I.P. Joanie). When I'm 95 I can only hope to be that bitter and that fabulous. So naturally I spend 10 minutes getting distracted and reading the magazine instead of doing what I'm supposed to, then have to look very alert when someone glances over. Also of interest is how to entertain when there's all that pesky rationing going on. Swap rationing for the SLC's measly maintenance grant and I feel your pain, forties housewife.
I would bore you with the nitty gritty of programs and archiving systems but instead take the highlights of the rest of my time at Hemingway Design. I am now a master filing cabinet flatpacker, as my visit happened to coincide with an office refurb. This is a skill I will never admit to outside of this blog, lest my dad make me put up the next Billy Bookcase we have to buy for my own cultural archive (which is what I'm calling my battered copies of Smash Hits. The Big Reunion though guys! It all comes back around!). But mainly it was interesting seeing how a design company with so many projects balances them all across the working day. I've seen a bit of this at NOISE as they flit in conversation from Giles Deacon's webinar to the Portfolios to the festival and it's crazy how much admin you have to keep track of to keep the nice bits, like libraries full of pictures of Joan Fontaine's wacky hats, going.
thank you noise!
I'm super grateful to both NOISE and Hemingway for giving me the chance to learn more and get some real experience in my chosen field. It gives me great experience for my C.V, and highlights to potential employers that I've gone out there and pursued opportunities. The list of this year's curators is crazy good, so I suggest that everyone reading this makes sure that their portfolio's best work is submitted to the festival and is in with a chance of being selected by these industry leaders, and getting amazing work experiences with them. Thank you NOISE! And err, I was only kidding about that homework. Soz...