Alumni Stories - Ana Buzan
'NCAD was able to provide me with resources. I found myself getting lost in the National Irish Visual Arts Library - the boundless selection of books never failed to inspire me throughout my studies.'
Name: Anna Buzan
Current Career: Fashion Design / Tailoring
Graduation Year: 2019
Discipline: Fashion Design (BA)
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
I was always daydreaming growing up. Creating animated illustrations throughout my childhood, I wanted to tell a story. I pictured myself following the pathway of animation. But I needed to be theatrical, bold and expressive, as I have an auto-biographical approach to my work. Fashion gave me all. I was the creator, the executor. It gave me the control and freedom I wanted.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
I was born and raised in Dublin, so I've always felt at home in the heart of the city. NCAD has a close-knit community feel among the students and tutors, allowing for cross-collaboration within the fine art and design departments. NCAD was able to provide me with resources. I found myself getting lost in the National Irish Visual Arts Library - the boundless selection of books never failed to inspire me throughout my studies. And the liberty that gave me the opportunity to shape myself as a creative designer.
How did you develop your career towards your current practice?
I knew at a very early age that I had a love for tailoring, therefore it was the next step I pursued after college. I began a position as a tailor in Paul Henry Tailoring shortly after my final year exhibition. Alongside this, I began stocking in Powerscourt Shopping Centre and Om Diva Boutique. I slowly built my network with talented photographers, designers and artists. With that, I began constructing my own fashion label 'Anna Buzan'. My experiences have been the backbone to my start-up business, whether it be summer interning with experienced seamstresses, or working face-to-face with customers in retail. It was vital for me to understand where I fit into the design sphere, and what I have to offer as designer.
What is the one experience during your time at NCAD that has informed you most in your work to date?
I found that my technical pattern cutting class gave me a chance to work alongside experienced tutors and technicians. I was lucky to get a first-hand view into garment construction, pattern drafting and making. These class exercises and assignments are things that I still apply to my everyday work routine. As well as this, critical reviews and one-on-one presentations with my tutors built up my confidence, it gave me a voice and allowed me to think and react as an independent creative designer
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
Never doubt your creative intuition; be confident, unapologetic and fearless. Never limit yourself. That will set you apart from every creative mind just like you. You only go forward by making mistakes. Seek advice and support; it is not a form of weakness. It will allow you to flourish as a young developing designer. Explore alternative creative sectors and learn from others, as it will only benefit your perspective, views and ways of thinking as a creative.
Given the global turmoil and change accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, what in your opinion are the opportunities for those in creative industries?
In this time of change, people’s perspective has greatly shifted. The reality is that the creative industry is at a very malleable state. No matter how unfamiliar and alien the challenges that we are faced with may seem, problem solving is in our nature as designers. We must see this as an opportunity to re-evaluate ourselves and refocus our attention to the 'new changing future'. As designers, we have the power and control to reset the ways of non-ethical manufacturing, marketing and production. It is a time of change and hardship, but within that, a time to make us designers heard more than ever.
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