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  • Writer's pictureDrew

Scott Duffey talk

Scott Duffey came into Chester University to give a talk to students about life after university and finding your way. He explained how the university environment allows for social interaction between creatives with similar backgrounds and allows us to bounce ideas off each other. He explained that the working world is not always like that, and there may be jobs where you are the only creative. It is therefore important to continue to use the contacts you made during university to help you to continue to develop as a designer. He also mentioned 'Learning doesn't stop here' meaning that once you leave university as a qualified designer, the learning doesn't just stop, there's always more to explore and learn.

To begin with after leaving university Scott was working evenings at restaurants in order to pay his bills, and found that he had little time for himself, but he carried on creating in his free time. He said that one of the biggest drawbacks of being a new graduate was the fact that most creative businesses wouldn't give him a chance because he had little experience, but it was hard to get experience without being given a chance. He began working on a lot of projects for friends, or treating his own projects as if they were actual client work. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with creatives. Building a strong portfolio after university based on work you have completed yourself appears to be the best way to tackle the issue. Although there is also the internship pathway too, and while internships used to be unpaid, there is new government legislation about what constitutes to paid and unpaid internships; so the prospect of being an intern might not be such a bad thing anymore.

Scott showed us a list of about thirty or so names for businesses, events, initiatives, and other stuff that he had ideas about doing after leaving university, but with having so little time for himself it was difficult to achieve all of them. He said that it is important to have ideas that you are enthusiastic about, and to never be afraid to write them down. Far from being a list that he was ashamed of, he was proud to have had all these ideas, and even more so to be able to show the ones that have been realised. He said that this list allows him to always have something that he is working towards, and a great many of them might have just been things that it wasn't the right time for.

Scott came in last year too, and it was great to see further development in the company that he has set up with his wife called Toucan Tango, which produces a range of products from pin badges to posters. Their main focus appears to be on handprinted materials. It must be great working with our partner on something you are both passionate about. The business has picked up enough to allow him to go part-time in his main job to allow him to focus more of his time on this venture.

The Liverpool Print Social is a group that meets every couple of months to discuss print making, and Scott is a big part of these meets. They are closely linked to the Liverpool Print Fair which is a biannual event showcasing artwork from various print artists from around the country and is a good place to go and buy interesting and affordable print artwork. From what I gather, Scott was involved in setting up the Liverpool Print Fair, but has now handed the running of it over to someone else so that he can concentrate on his current business.

Scott did his print training at the Bluecoat in Liverpool which offers workshops and studio space for creatives, and is something I have been looking at for a while now.

Scott is also involved in Gigs & Graphics which has an event 03 - 05 May 2019 and celebrates the coming together of music and art.

During the talk we were able to look at a collection of screen printed posters for the Gigs & Graphics event, and while I managed to take photos of a few, the main enjoyment with these kinds of prints is to see them first hand, see how they react to changes in light and appreciate the quality of the paper, and expertise of the prints themselves.


MAXIMO PARK by Scott Duffey


THE ORIELLES by Scott Duffey

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