CMYUK is celebrating the success of its Creatives in Residence Live initiative (CIRL) which has guided four graduates towards careers in the clothing and textile industry with a focus on digital printing.

The company, which supplies digital printers, cutting equipment and materials, provided training and hands-on mentoring from some of the most exciting and cutting-edge surface designers, overseen by textile designer Debbie McKeegan.

Taking place over six months, it included four project briefs and digital production training, providing the graduates with the inside track of how to design for digital décor and fashion applications.

To celebrate this milestone, CMYUK hosted a final showcase afternoon at its Demonstration & Training Centre in Shrewsbury where final collections from CIRL graduates Evie Venables, Keely Russell and Sarah Willcocks were on display.

This was filmed by the project’s assigned videographer graduate, Taylor Doggett, who has been documenting various elements of the programme since it began in September last year.


Pictured above: The CIRL graduates and the CMYUK team at the showcase event

CMYUK’s group commercial director, Robin East, said: “It has been such an edifying experience to provide these young people with such a high-calibre transitional experience between their graduation and the world of work.

“Our education lead and partner in this programme, Debbie McKeegan, produced a world-class syllabus for these graduates that included hands-on mentoring from some of the most exciting and cutting-edge surface designers currently working today.

“Our graduates have received excellent technological training from our wonderful sponsors including Epson, Canon, Klieverik, Mimaki, AE Sewing Machines, EFI and Kongsberg.

“They have worked with the ultimate digitally advanced production technology. We have provided tailored careers and CV advice from Karen Collier Careers that will stand our graduates in good stead.

“I would like to thank all the team here at CMYUK who have invested in the programme with their time and support. We are very proud of the achievements of these young people and will be watching their forward progression with interest.”

McKeegan added: “Time flies when you’re having fun and what a fabulous six months this has been. Everyone at CMYUK has gone that extra mile to share their time, resources and knowledge with the graduates.

“A huge thank you to all our mentors and sponsors around the globe – all of whom have shared their experience, some inspiring stories along the way, and a few trade secrets too: shortcuts to the world of décor and fashion.

“But most of all I hope that the grads take away our combined enthusiasm for an industry that’s addictive – in a good way. I’d like to wish them every success in their creative careers and look forward to meeting them again commercially very soon.”

CIRL Evie Venables

Pictured above: CIRL graduate Evie Venables with her designs at the showcase event at CMYUK

Reflecting on her learning journey at CMYUK, Keely Russell said: “This has been the best possible way I ever could have imagined integrating into the textile industry. So many opportunities have passed our way, including the chance to design for Epson’s showroom, being mentored by Debbie from TexIntel and so many other design contacts.

“Having access to the technology on offer at CMYUK has given me a much greater understanding of the digital print production processes and capabilities that will be invaluable as I move forward in my career.”

Evie Venables said: “Being able to continue designing collections and have hands-on experience on the latest digital printing technologies fresh out of university has been a dream, especially in the comfort of my hometown.

“The advice and support from mentors along the way has been majorly beneficial to my development as a designer and I couldn’t have hoped for a better first job in the industry. I will look back on my time at CMYUK with fond memories.”

Sarah Willocks said: “My skills have grown tremendously through our project briefs and I have cultivated valuable knowledge in the digital printing industry.

“With the help of the fantastic and patient team from CMYUK and our generous industry mentors, I have experienced AVA colour matching to digital factory production at Graham & Brown. Adam Slade too, from Standfast and Barracks, helped me in my approach as a professional print designer. I have felt very lucky to have been part of this initiative.”

Taylor Doggett said: “Creatives in Residence Live (CIRL) has been a fantastic opportunity to take part in as a filmmaker. The creative freedom to produce weekly video content with the resources provided by CMYUK has given me invaluable first-hand experience and I am excited to see where this role takes me in the future.”

CIRL Keely Russell

Pictured: CIRL graduate Keely Russell with her designs at the CMYUK showcase event