BA (Hons) Illustration student
Did you find it easy to settle in when you first started?
Settling in was really easy, the Illustration group feels very much like a second family. Everyone is nice and approachable, and share a common interest of art/illustration - so you're amongst like minded people. The staff and students from the years above are very welcoming, and there doesn’t feel like a barrier between the different year groups at all. There are lots of activities running throughout the course where we got the chance to talk to other students, and get to know each other more.
What kind of projects did you get involved in during your first year?
The projects in first year were all very broad, and there was a chance to experiment throughout the different briefs. In one module we completed a short animation and the possibilities were endless in how you were able to develop your ideas. We also got a chance to work on modules which allowed us to collaborate with other artistic disciplines, such as photography and set design. This encouraged students to be experimental and think outside the box.
What have you enjoyed most about your course so far?
It’s hard to pick just one thing, because I honestly love it all! I think if I had to choose it would be the fact it focuses on various different artistic aspects and allows us to try everything out - there really is no limit. It is as broad as you want to make it!
Have you been on any interesting trips?
There are lots of opportunities when it comes to trips. They've varied from visiting museums in Birmingham, to going to New York! I've also been involved in day trips throughout the year to places like Liverpool and London where I've visited different galleries and museums.
Have you had any opportunities to work with people from the illustration industry?
Throughout the year there have been optional side briefs that are often live briefs from companies within the illustration industry. I personally had the chance to create an illustration/concept art for the company Mojo Nation, where the brief was to re-design board game art for the game “Mysterium”. There was also another opportunity this year to illustrate characters and a cover for a children’s book. These sort of opportunities for me are very important, and this course certainly gives plenty of them.
What advice would you give to someone about to start the course?
I never had plans to go to university and was instead more interested in trying to get into the industry straight away. However, coming to university (and in particular this course) has been the best decision I’ve ever made. The course really is about you and your journey in becoming an illustrator. It is enriching and allows you to rediscover yourself. The possibilities are endless and you are encouraged to be creative and experiment with new things.
My advice to future students would be to try to be as open minded as possible. The more open you are, the more you will benefit from the course. Being open minded and experimenting can lead you to doing something that you might not think you will enjoy or want to do, but in fact does the complete opposite - it broadens your knowledge and helps you find something new that you like and connect with. Try new things, don’t limit yourself, but most importantly, have fun!