You are currently viewing With knowledge, courage, persistence and luck, one can get employed as a freelance costume designer

With knowledge, courage, persistence and luck, one can get employed as a freelance costume designer

Medina Hoxha is a graduated fashion designer, with specialization and master’s degree in the same field. She has been professionally engaged in costume design for 7 years, which contributed to parallel employment as a professor in high school and college where she teaches subjects related to textile and fashion.

Hello Medina. You have experience as a freelance costume designer. Can you tell us more about your profession and a bit more about yourself?

My story started when I was a student. I studied fashion design because there was no costume designer major. I started volunteering and assisting at the National Opera and Ballet during my student days. While I was in my master’s degree, I was a demonstrator at the university where I studied. In addition, I upgraded my skills with an Academy for 3D Modeling, Video Production and Post-Production at SEDC, which helped me and still helps me in my work.

Over the years, I have collaborated as a freelance costume designer with various theaters in our country, as well as several short and feature-length films and series supported by the Film Agency and national televisions. I also work as a set designer, special effects designer as well as a poster designer for shows.

Scenography and costume design for the play “Desire Under The Elms”.  Ⓒ Tetovo Theater

Apart from costume designing, I also love painting/illustration. During my university days, I learned to draw digitally, and I was already familiar with traditional painting. That contributed to working as a freelance illustrator, and my favorite work is illustrations for children, i.e. picture books. My favorite project from this area is “Toto and the fear”, a story for young and old, which can be found in all Literatura outlets.

  1. The Three Penny Opera – poster designer, Tetovo Theater
  2. Out at sea – poster design, Kumanovo Theater
  3. The Merchant of Venice – poster design, Andon Zako Chajupi Theater, Korča

How did you decide on this profession, what tools and knowledge did you need to start working as a freelance costume designer? How did you break into the market?

I have had a love for art since I was aware of myself. Even in elementary school I was determined to follow my dream as a fashion designer and costume designer, so over the years I found myself more in the theater than in the fashion world. A knowledge of costume throughout history is inevitable, which is gained by doing a lot of research in that area, knowing the fabrics and the various trades involved in creating a costume. Apart from the work that requires a bit of talent, the most important thing is to be resourceful, persistent, and a great worker. Costume design is a specific job that requires a lot of discipline and knowledge.

Breaking into this market in our country is unfortunately a difficult process, and the work is obtained just like everywhere, with effort and recommendations from colleagues. There aren’t many theaters, so it’s harder to find a job, and in reality, sometimes you need a bit of “luck” to work on a good and big project.

Costume design for “The Balkan Balcony”, ⓒ Albanian Theater, Skopje

Costume design is an industry with its own beauty and requires us to look at things from a different angle. What trends do you think will appear in the future?

From a fashion designer’s point of view, I see that we have time travel through fashion. Inspirations are drawn from the hippie movement onwards. One “trend” I want to stick around for a long time is sustainable fashion. With new technologies I hope this can become a reality. The fast fashion industry is a really big problem right now, and it would get worse if no measures are taken. This is where we ourselves as individuals come in, by reducing the purchase of such clothing, we would reduce the chances of an environmental disaster occurring.

Recycling and upcycling are in trend, which I also use when creating the costumes, to avoid the large waste of unused fabrics and pieces of clothing.

FUKINSEI Collection

What is your advice to anyone who wants to become a freelance costume designer?

This profession requires a lot of dedication and commitment. As in any field in art and costume design talent is required, but talent alone will not get you far, it takes work and discipline.

Costume design requires us to be up to date with world events every day, although this does not mean that we should only follow fashion trends. Through a costume, a whole story can be told, and that’s why clothing throughout history determines status in society and is powerful in conveying a message to a certain target group.

Finally, I would add that most of the things are learned on the spot, at work. There is no school or professor who will give you all the knowledge on a platter. Every project is a new reading for us…

If you want to learn how to become a top rated freelancer on Upwork, read the following blog post to find out How To Become a Top Rated Freelancer on Upwork

Viktorija Andonova

Viktorija Andonova is a Communications Assistant at IMPACT FOUNDATION. She believes that everyone can achieve what they set their mind to and believes that everyone is capable of overcoming any challenge, no matter how impossible it may seem.