Q&A: Fei Liu, jewellery designer

Fei Liu, owner, Fei Liu Fine Jewellery.

How has your journey in the jewellery industry prepared you to help students transition to becoming professionals?

The journey began from when I was student, I took a step ahead into the industry which had developed myself from a graduate student to a professional who was responsible for another commercial organisation for their product development and design.

It was very different from when I developed my own work, it is the changing from compassion design to be creative and explore the creativity within the limited space which given by the market.

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It is important to aware the understanding of the reality, understanding being a designer should not only be able to draw or design, you must have certain knowledge of market and marketing, sellable is always be the back bone of using our creativity to create a piece of jewellery.

The transition from a student to a professional is having a right attitude. Because taking responsibility is not only for yourself but also client and markets for commercial organisations, but most important is the changing of the mindset.

How do you think the wider UK jewellery industry can support students?

The UK jewellery industry need to be adventurous, to provide more chance and communication with students make them understand being in the reality and real industrial environment is the criteria for them to have better understanding of what the market what the market want and find the most suitable language to represent themselves.

I hope that retailers would be able to provide more support to student in terms of education of the consumers to have a better understanding of what design is to shorten the space between students’ innocent creativity to commercialise creativity. I think the retails would have to take the punch, to take the responsibility and educate the UK consumer.

What plans do you have this year to work with and support jewellery students?

As a small team based in jewellery quarter, Birmingham, me and my team members will have the responsibility to be a model to those students, to show them how to understand the reality and how to interpret the reality and enquiry from market to the commercialise the creativity. We are providing some short sessions training and internship, these will help the students understand the difference between in school and in the industry.

What can students attending your talk expect to take away from it?

I will provide my best knowledge and experiences of how to transform from a student to be a commercial designer.

What would be your number one advice for students looking to take the next step in the industry?

My advice is to ask yourself, are you going to create and design for yourself or someone else, to understand who are the people we should be working for. Of which is very important to set benchmark to student to learn how to portrait value when they come to do the real marketing and selling.

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