Illustration – BA
Yasmin didn’t think university was for her, but when she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator, she knew BCU was the best place to turn her dream into a reality.
"When I left school, I went straight into work. I’ve struggled with my physical and mental health for many years. Throughout my life, this impacted my studies, so I never really considered university as I never thought I’d achieve the grades to get there.
However, I’ve always had a love for literature, especially children’s literature and the beautiful artwork in the books. When I realised I wanted to be a children’s book illustrator, I did some research into art courses and realised illustration was the right path for me to take to make the career a reality.
I was really nervous when I first started at BCU. As I’d been in work for a while, I was the oldest person on my course, but I quickly realised that BCU and my course are open to all and that it was a place where I could truly express myself.
My lecturers give me the freedom to explore and experiment with different art forms. It’s helped me to find my chosen art form – the Golden Era and my tutors encourage me to develop this. They’re always available if I have questions and they are always pushing me to achieve my goals. Plus, my lecturers have lots of industry connections and experience, making my course a great way to get into the media and publishing industry.
I also fee supported by BCU’s Careers+ team, they have lots of workshops and events happening throughout the year. Plus, they’ve been able to provide advice and guidance for applying for jobs and navigating the world of work when I graduate. As I want to write and illustrate my own children’s books, having a careers team dedicated to the schools of Arts, Design and Media is important. It means they have sector specific knowledge and can give me advice on the publishing industry.
I also feel represented and included at BCU and in Birmingham in general. In my free time, I’m involved in the mixed-race society. It’s the first mixed-race society in the UK! As the society is new, there’s a lot of planning involved. I’m proud to see the society grow and hopefully it’s fully launched in the new year. It’s taught me a lot about organisation and time management, as well as being lots of fun.
I think BCU is a brilliant place to meet new people and I’ve definitely made life-long friends. Opportunities to meet people present themselves in the studio, the library, the cafeteria, the list is endless! I know I’m more confident; I carry myself differently and I’m more comfortable approaching others.
To me, ‘I am BCU’ means truly being myself and being ready for the future. BCU has given me a newfound confidence that has helped me to aspire to greater things."