Interview with Capstone Student Nick Hammerschmidt

Introducing Nick, one of our graduating students. The first thing one notices about Nick is his good-natured personality. He’s quick with a smile and always willing to help out, give feedback on someone’s work, or have a laugh with other students. As the head SGA President, he always puts his peers first. It’s been a real pleasure getting to know Nick and his zany personality.

My name is Nick Hammerschmidt, and I’m a native of Cherry Hill, NJ. I am a textile designer with a strong focus on wovens and prints. I love design and art and hope to one day be a head designer at an established brand or be the creative director of my own company. Textiles are amazing, and I think everyone should learn that.

Tell us about the colors, landscapes, artists, or architecture that inspire your design work.

When working with colors, the start of my palette begins with blacks and whites, and from there, I introduce shades of the primaries. I think in design, especially textiles, having a strong color palette is the foundation for good work. Joan Miro, the Spanish surrealist, is always a great inspiration to me. An interview he did that was put into print is something I return to a lot to read and get inspired. One of the main inspirations within my design work is film; films directed by Wes Anderson, Stanley Kubrick, and Bong Joon-ho are some films that have inspired my past and current work. 


What is your favorite book of all time?

My favorite book of all time is A Brave New World. It’s dystopian fiction, but unlike many other dystopian fiction novels, there’s a lot of humor in it while still remaining intellectually pungent. Its something that always keeps me trying to interject some humor and fun into my work even when tackling some tougher subject matters. 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from another designer?

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received from another designer is not to take yourself too seriously and to have fun with design. Value yourself and your work but do not overvalue or inflate your self-image as a designer.

Are there any techniques in textile design you’d like to explore further?
Dyeing and Embroidering techniques are two types of textile art I’d like to explore further.

What would you like to be doing in 5 years?

I’d like to professionally design textiles or products for fashion, whether that be footwear, accessories, or the clothes themselves.

How does your personal aesthetic influence your design work? Do you think it should?

I think this depends on the subject matter/inspiration that is informing my work. If it is something I know very well and aligns with my personal aesthetic, I should not ignore that and embrace it. With that being said, I think it is very important to be able to design outside of that comfort zone. Being able to successfully design within different aesthetics is an incredibly valuable skill to have as a textile designer.

What kind of music do you listen to in your headphones?

It depends, but I mostly listen to albums all the way through instead of creating a playlist. Some of my favorite artists to design with are PUP, Idles, Remember Sports, Vundabar, Brockhampton, Tyler, The Creator, and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.


What surprised you the most about Textile Design at Philau/Jefferson?

The community and friends I’ve made along the way. That sounds cliche, but seriously the people I’ve met here in our program have become amazing friends and incredibly inspiring designers. I’ve really enjoyed the studio culture that has been cultivated at PhilaU/Jeff.

What is your favorite thing about Textile Design?

The versatility of textiles is really inspiring and daunting all at once. The potential for both technique and end-use is virtually endless, and I think that is so inspiring but also disorienting. I feel like I never learn enough, so I can’t wait to continue exploring.


Meghan Kelly

Meghan Kelly is an assistant professor of Textile Design at Jefferson University, where she teaches Knit Design Studio and Knitting Technology to undergrad and graduate […]

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