FIDM Grad: Brooks Rawlins

Grads share their career success stories

Brooks Rawlins

Textile Design
Head Product Designer for Bliss Studio

FIDM forced me to look at myself in a different light. I have always been a creative person, but did not think I was going make a living being creative. FIDM looks at the creative part of what we want to do as artists and designers and balances it with the practical world: getting a job."

While working as a Film Archivist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Brooks Rawlins decided that he wanted to seek out a more creative career. After earning his Textile Design degree from FIDM, he now designs and develops furniture and home accessories for Bliss Studio. “My job entails hunting for inspiration-whether it is traveling to different cities or scouring the Internet,” said Brooks. “I also work with factories overseas, creating line sheets and following through with original production samples, and I help organize and merchandise our product for trade shows in Atlanta, High Point and New York.”

How did you choose your major?
Having previous experience in both graphic design and production design/art direction, the Textile Design program was a great compromise. I felt I was trying something new. It was both visual and textural. I could touch and feel projects I was creating-this was very important to me.

What is a typical day like?
I have a 10-12 hour workday. It can be longer and I often have to work on weekends. Usually, the mornings are spent going through and responding to e-mails. Answering factory e-mails can be extremely time consuming. I often have to approve drawings, finishes, materials, changes in design, etc. I like to keep a library of cuttings, tears, ideas, images, color swatches, etc. I will spend an hour or so going through magazines, web sites, photos and organizing them into folders.

I also set aside a certain amount of time to develop new products, or create new line sheets. This is the trickiest part because design and inspiration cannot be measured or quantified. So I may have a deadline to create a new pillow collection, but it doesn't always happen that way. You have to be ready to change directions quickly and attack something else. Often, this means coming back to things later or learning to focus on certain tasks.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

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