Unique internships supported by government programs and industry partners provide invaluable opportunities for young creatives.

CMYUK has announced the launch of its Creatives In Residence Live (CIRL) program. This exciting initiative will give two young surface designers and one talented videographer an outstanding opportunity to undertake a six-month placement at CYMUK’s advanced digital training and demonstration facility in Shrewsbury. CMYUK is the UK’s largest independent supplier of large-format digital printers, cutting equipment, and materials.

CIRL is supported by market-leading brands Epson, Canon, Mimaki, EFI, Klieverik, and Kongsberg.

A number of industry mentors including Adobe, Aquario, Standfast and Barracks, and The Pattern Roomhave also confirmed their participation in the learning journey, with more collaboration to follow across the production workflow as the project takes shape.

This initiative is open to young people registered on the UK government’s Kickstart scheme. CMYUK has seized this opportunity to establish a disciplined and comprehensive internship program that provides a valuable transition from an educational setting into commercial world practices. The young designers will develop their creative talents through practical applications and useful insights from leading industry experts. The chosen videographer will capture these ventures through a vlog, producing an engaging multi-platform, social media story for the décor, fashion, design, and print communities, adding an interactive dimension to the progressive learning experience.  

Digital Textile Printing—A Watershed Moment

The textile industry is currently undergoing radical transformation as it is disrupted by digital printing capabilities and e-commerce business models. These lend themselves to on-demand personalization for short runs or one-off production and just-in-time processes that dispense with the need for expensive storage or the creation of surplus items that don’t sell. CIRL allows young creatives to fully absorb these trends and technologies, providing them with insight, experience, and practical knowledge that is highly advantageous for their early career development.

Real Work Learning and Mentoring

A six-month curriculum consisting of monthly modules has been written exclusively by industry expert, multi-disciplined practitioner, award-winning textile designer, and WhatTheyThink contributor Debbie McKeegan. As well as being the founder of Texintel, the independent online resource for the digital textile community, Debbie also represents FESPA as its Textile Ambassador for this project.

Each module underpins the knowledge and insights required for the designers to complete monthly briefs and is supported in collaboration with a whole host of industry experts, print designers, specialist practitioners and mentors. There will be a final showcase at the end of the six-month period, where everyone involved will come together to celebrate the achievements of the creatives in residence.

“I am thrilled to be part of this unique project which has put the needs of the next generation at its core,” said Debbie. “The curriculum I have originated delivers creatives a comprehensive, practical insight into real world digital production and commercialization. The caliber of mentors and industry experts that have signed up to assist these young people is significant, presenting an opportunity of a lifetime. Texintel is also CMYUK’s promotional media partner for the event—all modules and content will be available online as this exciting learning experience unfolds.”

Worldwide Design Competition

Throughout the process, the CIRL experience will be captured and shared on social media to encourage a dynamic interactive community that is exposed to all the learning experienced by the in-house creatives.

CIRL is designed to be a collaborative experience. All design briefs will be made available online so that design students worldwide can participate. A monthly competition for each brief will be set, with winning entries evaluated by leading industry luminaries and showcased throughout.

Robin East, Sales & Marketing Director, CMYUK: “We were determined to create something inspirational that could benefit as many young people as possible, which ignited the live, interactive ‘fly-on-the-wall’ aspect. It’s also been truly uplifting to witness the genuine enthusiasm from industry mentors and sponsors who have already signed up. The program starts on September 5th and we are very excited to watch it unfold, as CIRL will make a real difference to the prospects of these young people.”

Watch this video about CIRL:

Learn more here.