AUTHORS FOR GRENFELL TOWER
Back in June 2017, Juliet Bawden kindly told me about an initiative to raise funds in support of the victims of Grenfell Towers; whereby authors were offering signed copies of their books to auction and agents were offering consultations and feedback to aspiring writers. I wanted to help and was delighted to receive a generous bid on my offer of a Portfolio Review for artists, from Glenn Burton on behalf of his daughter and textile designer Claire Dent - thank you Glenn!
"I am a great believer in ambition. Seeing that a handful of authors had decided to raise £50,000, in an online auction, for those affected by the terrible fire at the Grenfell Tower I lauded their ambition and wanted to help. In fact, through the extraordinary generosity of all the bidders and those who donated hundreds of lots, over £180,000 was raised.
Claire has ambition by the bucket load and when I saw that textile design expert Jehane had so generously donated her time for a portfolio review I knew that this was destined for Claire. Claire balances a busy life of work, three young children and a burgeoning surface design ambition. She is developing a portfolio of work and the timing seemed perfect. There was no question that I should bid on her behalf; I’m only sorry that Anna, whose bid came second, missed out". GLENN BURTON
It was a pleasure to recently meet Claire for her review. I was very impressed with Claire's dedication and professional presentation. Displaying a natural sense of draughtsmanship and texture, I encouraged Claire to explore these skills and to use more of her gestural, expressive marks, as well as to explore layering drawn elements within placement designs. I also liked her use of metallics on black backgrounds and suggested Claire combine all of these concepts with the current trend for metallic finishes. Jehane x
"Jehane was honest and positively critical. Addressing my weaknesses without knocking my confidence. She is fantastic at opening your eyes to other possibilities and drawing on your strengths. Jehane has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience. Many artists would benefit being mentored by her".
"I wanted to know what was successful within my portfolio and how, or if, I should proceed in approaching the industry. Jehane gave me great information about the various type of agencies I could approach. She helped identify successful designs and sketches and gave me reasons why they worked or didn't work. She also discussed ideas about how to use some images commercially, ways I wouldn't have thought of myself".
I have been struggling with a specific style, one that says 'me' in my work and having Jehane focus on how I use texture within my work, really enabled me look at my style as a whole. This has steered me in a slightly different direction and ways in which I approach a design or project. Jehane also made me realise there are no boundaries with designing or producing artwork and has open my eyes to new possibilities.
Jehane has helped change my career, she has provided me with the confidence to keep experimenting, exploring my style and with a view to eventually contact agents within the industry.
I came away from my portfolio review feeling happy and positive. There are areas of my portfolio where I know need to improve, however, there are also areas with a lot of potential and this makes me feel very excited! I am extremely grateful for Jehane donating her time for my Portfolio Review. Thanks so much!" CLAIRE DENT
You can follow Claire's work on Instagram