‘I am an illustrator and ideas maker, drawing every day objects and creating portraits preferring to use traditional methods.Using topical subjects combined with a sense of humour to shed light on to my opinions, much of my work is based around perceptions of people and how the media can twist that. I’ve always been interested in this from reading my Dad’s Private Eye magazines and newspaper illustrations in primary school. I am also a friend of beer and american sitcoms.
I’m studying Graphic Arts & Design at Leeds Metropolitan after imagining I would take fine art from a very young age, due to thinking how the hell could I incorporate this in to making an income. There is also a strange understanding of what ‘Graphic Arts’ really is, I’ll tell people and they will assume that I sit at a computer all day. Once when explaining to someone what I did & that I was an illustrator they responded with ‘I guess you could illustrate.. Harry Potter books or something.’
‘The course is broad enough to be able to explore all mediums and create your own briefs with no restrictions on what medium you can use, with tutors that have enough experience to help you in that situation. It’s important to be able to find a balance between creating your own briefs and working for clients, it keeps you grounded in a way that your opinion may not always be the right one.
Last year I focused a lot of my time creating and curating pop up shops around Leeds which showcased new and upcoming artists and designers, who wouldn’t normally get the chance to sell their work on the high street and changing the way people saw retail. With a small creative collective we managed the sourcing of products, branding, designing and social media ourselves and were featured on Creative Review, BBC Radio 5 Live, and local websites and newspapers.’
‘I feel it’s I’m important to make sure you broaden your references, and to get inspiration from all different fields, as it’s easy to get distracted by a style. Go somewhere you’ve never been and get out of your comfort zone. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut. I’ve been told that we need to take anything we can get, even if it’s unpaid, but also that we need to be selective of our future projects. Each person in the industry will have their own take on what’s right and wrong – you need to just find what works for you. Your eggs should not all be in one basket and it’s the best lesson i’ve learnt.
It’s intimidating working alongside designers who are fluent in Adobe Creative Suite, and we’re constantly made to think that this is the only way to succeed within the industry – I feel that working traditionally with basic knowledge of the programmes can put you in a good place, as you don’t rely on your macbook to solve everything but find alternative solutions. At the very last minute you should take your artwork to edit.’
‘I am currently working on a campaign called ‘Beer Is For Girls’ looking at the attitudes towards females drinking beer, prints to be featured around Leeds City Centre soon. My other work is focusing on the lives of celebrities to be made into a publication to be shown at my degree show.
After studying in May I will continue to work freelance, staying up north against the pressure that everyone creative should move to London. Something big is happening in Leeds at the moment as independent places are popping up each week and are supported by a great community. As of right now I would not limit what I want to become in the future. My final year exhibition starts 9th June at Leeds Broadcasting Place, aka the rusty building.’