Graduation is over! The very final semester of an AMFI student has come to an end and we sat down with graduate Travis for one last time. While Travis finalized his presentation for Transit, where he exhibited last Friday, we spoke about his AMFI career and his goals after.
Article by Blanca Heise, 2nd year Int. Fashion & Branding.
How did the final exams go?
“Really, really well. I got a 9.5, so I can’t complain. We set everything up in the morning and came back after a few hours to give a short pitch and answer questions from the exam team. The pitch was not about what the assessors already had seen, but about the background of the project and how it came about. I talked about my life at AMFI, how it started and how I have grown in many ways. In my first year, I made Boytoy, an openly gay brand, which was about me, the gay man. My graduation brand Q is about something much bigger than ‘just me’. It was nice to have Jo Watson, a mentor of mine throughout AMFI be one of my coaches and final assessors. For this reason, the questions being asked were personal and the feedback was detailed. From the feedback, they made it clear that they felt I had grown both professionally as a brander and personally as a creative.”
What did you enjoy the most during these four years at AMFI?
“Discovering and developing a new part of myself. Ten years ago, I never had fashion on my radar. I came from a background in teaching, but teaching came naturally, whereas the specialisation Fashion & Branding was a completely new challenge. Throughout these years I had to push myself harder than ever before. AMFI has shaped the way I view the world and as mentioned in our 1st interview; it has given me a third eye.
What advice would you give on future AMFI students when it comes to the intense workload?
“Take everything in stride. Don’t worry about numbers and grades AND never compare yourself to others. If you get a six and you’re like ‘F*ck, why did I not get an eight?!’ then always try to push yourself to reflect on your work. Discover what these grades represent and what you can do to make it work the next time. Dare to be daring as a teacher once told me..”
What will you miss the most about the school?
“You are constantly getting feedback whether it be from peers or the faculty. I always liked these moments, because in the real world you are not going to get that feedback. Maybe when the project is finished and then it might be too late and flops. I just appreciate this quality time with professionals, which you might take for granted during your AMFI career. Even though I like working on my own, I always enjoy having someone to bounce ideas off of and get feedback from.
I will miss my fellow students, but I also feel like in today’s world, if I ever can use their talents, they are only a Facebook message away. I have gained this mini network from graduates who are always up to help each other out. Everyone has their own unique talents and this variety makes our network even stronger.”
How does it feel to not be a student anymore?
“It feels weird to wake up with your alarm and feel like you have to do a lot, but you don’t. There are little things to do of course, but they are not linked to AMFI anymore. They are linked to my life only. Now it’s time that I have to brand and sell myself to the real world.”
In our first interview you mentioned you would want to work for a brand or start your own. How do you see your future now?
“Still probably for a brand or advertising. Although I am picky, I am open and free to move abroad as well. I want to find different ways of approaching things and this comes from experiencing other ways of living. That is essential in branding. I want to see how other people live and how a brand can accommodate to other cultures & ideas”
And what about the future of Q?
“I know Q will not be my job right after AMFI. But I will not simply throw this concept away. I want to keep the momentum going, even though it may be slow in the beginning. I hope eventually I find investors or designers who can help me to make Q a reality.”
Do you have a tip for future graduates?
“Reflect and analyze on a personal level. Before starting on your graduation project, make a list of all your best qualities (i.e. copywriting, concepting). Then make another list of all the projects you have enjoyed the most (i.e. online campaign, denim minor). From my list I knew I wanted to do something with copywriting and queerness, because it is so personal and a passion of mine. Besides that, I enjoyed creating my own brand and brand book. Think about what could be the possible outcome of these lists. Let these ideas sink in during the research phase but also leave enough room to let new ideas and experiences come in more organically as some things just scream you to a T.”