My name is Lauren Burson and I am in my final year on the BA (Hons) Fashion Design programme.

How would you describe your studio practice before the coronavirus pandemic/enforced lockdown?

Before the enforced lockdown, working life was intense, rigorous and constant. I would have 12-hour days, where arriving into the studio space at 8am and leaving 8/9pm was the norm. It was exhilarating, I loved it!

Please describe your studio environment at home

My home environment is completely different. Having two younger sisters which need attention 24/7 it was difficult to adjust to a new environment with the same workload. I managed to create some sort of structure by allocating spaces around the living room where we could all be productive while still engaging with each other. My workspace was on the dining room table with the knitting machine attached at the end, and sketchbook pages scattered all over.

How has the coronavirus pandemic changed your studio practice?

I think mentally, it has been tough. While in University we were all bunched together with everyone around you in the same productive mindset, it was easy to stay motivated and on target. Yet home life has many distractions and the lack of human contact from peers and others your age gets quite disheartening at times. The pandemic has really forced this sense of looking inward and I’ve learnt a lot about how I work and am as a person.

Have you had to be resourceful in order to source materials?

For sure!! I moved out of my student house with the expectation I would be back in three weeks. I had no sewing machine or any calico sampling fabrics. But I was blessed to be moving back in with younger siblings with an array of creative arts and crafts. I’ve also turned more to digital forms of sampling such as photoshop collaging and CLO3D software. It’s not the same as having all machinery at your disposal but it’s been great fun experimenting with glues and paints.  

Have you had cause to call upon friend/family members (people with whom you are sharing lockdown) to help and assist you in the making of your work?

My sisters have been very helpful letting me borrow their crafts!

Have you thought about how you are able to share your work with others/the creative industries sector, and engage an audience in the light of the pandemic?

My lecturers have been super supportive during this time and have constantly been keeping us up to date with new and engaging ways to share our work. We’ve been making digital portfolios and have had tutorials using CLO3D fashion design software, which is now used in most companies and is a vital skill to have coming out of the pandemic.

What are you looking forward to doing most once we emerge from the lockdown?

Connecting with others. Existing works better when we are all united.