Embroiders guild scholar exhibition Alexandra Palace

How to change your creative career?

This year the Embroiderer's Guild will be exhibiting past scholars new work at Alexandra Palace in London.
How have these creatives changed careers? Many of which have developed their practice or totally changed career. This can be daunting at first and taking the leap into a new career path can very scary and especially with the cost of living crisis. Lee Mattocks, who will be exhibiting bags and accessories with the Embroiderer’s Guild in both London and Harrogate moved from 10 years working as a textile artist and embroiderer and into leather bags and accessories. After winning multiple scholarships to study at the London college of fashion he was surrounded by leather during postgraduate study and quickly realised a passion and affinity for this new discipline. 

How can I change my career?

this is a question many of us often ask even after finding our dream job. After many years it’s normal to want a new challenge, continue to grow and evolve into new areas of interest. Joining a new course or opportunity to study can be really beneficial. Having support from a peer group or mentor can make a big difference when trying to understand the technicalities of a new industry. Also making new contacts and links to resources outside of your current field can help in finding that new path. Working with an established practitioner for advice and support and to have  safety net of support can also be helpful. Early on, Mattocks bags and accessories benefited from having support and contacts from the leather industry in terms of access to product developers and experienced leather workers. Although these new bags rely on non-traditional leather techniques, understanding the rules before breaking them can often help to avoid mistakes in the early stages of developing a leather product. 

So, changing career can be daunting. Surround yourself with a supportive network or experts. If your not lucky enough to have these experts in your life or social circles then it a really great excuse to join a course or community where you can find access to this resource. Look for opportunities to engage with this new industry such as trade fairs, events or conferences and start to build new links and contacts. Doing some projects for free and for the experience can also help to build up a body of work. If it’s a new passion and something your excited about it won’t feel like work but also a passion project so it’s well worth putting in these hours when you find something that brings you joy. Keep going, practicing m, and learning. Just simply growing in any direction will push you closer to a particular path and eventually help with any small or large shift in career or lifestyle. Moving from embroidery to leather product development was very stressful but overall it brought joy, creation and so many opportunities and new friends and contacts of which have a similar passion bringing more enjoyment and experiences.

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