Since graduating, Rhyannan has worked as a freelance Costume Dyer and Breakdown Artist on various projects, including TV production Will, due for release in 2017.
She talks about life after AUB:
“I like to think of myself as an artist first and an engineer second.
My favourite job so far was as a Costume Dyer and Breakdown Artist. We are essentially the art department for costume. We dye textiles to specific colours so it works with the vision of the designer. We add texture to costumes or age and distress them so they look better on camera. This can range from subtly making it look worn a few times, to looking like it has been worn for twenty years yet well cared for, through to totally trashing something.
I was really proud to have been a part of the team on such a big TV production, working on Will was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see it when it comes out in 2017.
The trick to survival as a freelancer is to have many strings to your bow. This suits me well as I have always liked to experiment – it keeps things fresh, exciting and means I bring enthusiasm to each new project.
I do a lot with the Japanese art of Shibori – most recently I designed a t-shirt for Shabaka Hutchings who is big on the jazz scene at the moment. It was great as I got to combine my knowledge of Shibori with my experience working on Will to create something for a performer that was totally unique. Shabaka was really pleased with his design and said he felt fantastic wearing it onstage, which was a real compliment.
In addition I am the co-founder of E-Stitches Bristol- a network in which we work on projects to make ‘soft circuits’. I collaborate with hardware engineers and computer programers, it is amazing to see textiles fuse with electronic and digital technologies.
If I had one piece of advice for a new graduate it would be this: believe in yourself, your work and your abilities. Remember that you are a skilled worker, and that there are unions out there who can support you if you have problems with clients or employers.”