2nd Semester – NABA Milano

In March the 2nd semester at NABA began. In the first week, as an Erasmus student I was told to go along to all of the classes to get a feel for the work and also to understand what we wanted to gain from our experience. I thought that this was a really good idea as then if I decided I didn’t like something that I thought I would love I wouldn’t be stuck studying it for 3 months.

I found that all of the classes were really interesting and found it really hard to choose what I thought I’d like to do. I chose the subjects in accordance to what I’d never studied before and also what I thought I’d gain the most from for my final year at Coventry University which starts in September.



Firstly on my list of subjects there’s photography. There’s a lot to tell about this subject so I think it will need it’s own post!

I really wanted to study photography as it’s something I’ve wanted to develop my skills in for a long time (you can refer to pretty much all of my previous posts!!) Really this was the most ideal choice for me. It will give me the freedom next year with potential shoots, I will be able understand what I want from my photographs and also take them myself if needs be.  It will also help me to diversify my skills into not only design but something a little bit different.

It was a tough decision picking photography as it was either this or illustration and the class for this was equally as amazing.

The tutor for illustration saw the best in everyone’s work and understood that everyone has a different drawing ability. He was able to give you guidance on how you can develop your own skills – which made the class very personal and worthwhile. The course was due to be pretty expensive, where we’d have to supply all of our own arts equipment, most of which I already had back in England – and buying everything would also mean not being able to bring everything back as I only have space for things in my two small suitcases!

The idea of illustration really drew me in as not only would our tutor be able to develop my skills, I’d also be keeping up with my ‘One drawing a week’ challenge. This is one of my challenges for the year which unfortunately I’ve really not stuck to!

The thing that made me pick photography over illustration was the idea that I think a drawing style is something you can develop yourself with a lot of experimentation. I studied art at GCSE and A-Level, but photography is something completely new to me so it would give me one extra skill, if nothing else.


Accessory Design

Secondly on my list of subjects there’s accessory design. This is actually a group project where we’ve been set one designer and one artist to take inspiration from.

So far, I’ve not found this project as interesting as I initially thought I would. The designer that my group was given is Céline, and the artist is Claude Cahun.

Claude Cahun’s work focused on the idea of gender roles which makes her work androgynous – the complete opposite to my personal style! I’ve found it pretty difficult to take inspiration from her work and find things I like – although, this hasn’t been impossible. I believe it’s necessary to be able to work to any kind of brief as a designer so obviously this is a challenge I’ve accepted. Hopefully this project will help me to discover a new style to my work and diversify my own portfolio.
I’ve put a few images together on Pinterest so far – so you can see my inspiration here: http://www.pinterest.com/abagailemily/celine-vs-claude-cahun/


Pattern Cutting

Lastly there’s pattern cutting. This class carries on from the first semester, it’s my favourite one, and the one that I’m most excited about.

There’s a lot of work involved though, and considering there are only 6 lesson left of the semester with only 4 hours in each lesson I’m going to need to knuckle down. We have to make 2 outfits from our collections that we designed in our 1st semester (which I’m still owing a blog post for!) I’ve adapted my designs slightly though, in terms of colours. I wanted to make my colour choice a little lighter and brighter – which would perhaps transform my collection into a S/S collection, opposed to A/W. I need to go fabric swatch shopping later in the week to decide my new colour and fabric board for this collection.

I’m also hoping to do a photo shoot of these garments in the summer for my portfolio, which really excites me! This will be my own little project, not something that is required by NABA.

This course entails a lot of work so I’m going to have to plan my days around the free periods in the studios to make sure I finish on time!

Let me know your thoughts.

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