Through my recent reflections on the ever so slightly turbulent path I steered through my undergraduate education, I have come to appreciate one factor that unites my diverse experiences: passion. This passion, ignited by the challenges that the dedicated and eclectic collection of people that I had the pleasure of calling my tutors for the past three years cast my way, is something that I will continue to harbour and provoke by seeking out my own problems to solve. Kingston equipped me with the creative skills to embrace all kinds of situations and I think some of the results of this approach to education are emerging to me only now that I've been away from it and living in the harsh graduate world for a while!
So, what am I up to at the moment? In the past few months, I've collaborated with my two lovely house mates on a pitch to The Old Vic, had the pleasure of visiting Rome twice and enjoyed collaborating on a comic or two, due to be published in the next few months. I've also been brushing up on my character observation skills through working at my local pub and spending every spare second preparing for an interview for a dream internship opportunity, which is taking place on Thursday. The internship hinges around devising and facilitating design for social change and, as much as I hate the suspense of the interview process, I'm really enjoying researching all the important issues I'll have a chance to discuss. There's also a chance that I could pick up an internship at a well known publishing house, so there are lots of exciting opportunities all around.
Something else that's really helping me in my job search is the experience I've gained through things like the Student Ambassador Scheme and being a Student Caller. Not only have I developed skills in communicating with lots of different age groups but I've done lots of administrative tasks from market research to co ordinating events. Although I wasn't as involved in the scheme as other people with different workloads and course contact time, I'm still very lucky to have picked up a super set of skills along the way.
Thinking about now, I may have said goodbye to lots of my excellent course mates but I know there are a handful that I will stay in touch with if not forever then for the foreseeable future. The vibrant international community at Kingston has inspired me to live abroad for at least a year within the next five years and I can't wait to visit some of the people I've met now that they've scattered all over the world. I'm really grateful to the University for introducing me to all these fantastic people, students and tutors and support staff alike, and sustaining my thirst for knowledge, which I hope to pursue further through the exciting projects I'm engaged in at the moment and also applying to the Royal College of Art for a postgraduate course next year.
Hi again! It's been a few weeks since I last posted-it's been so incredibly hectic recently, what with finishing my degree, getting my portfolio sorted and trying to find a job. We have two degree shows, one internal one at Kingston and one at Rochelle School in Shoreditch. Last week we hung our internal show and on Saturday had a private view in the afternoon, which I combined with Father's Day celebrations at Local Hero in Kingston and then Ittenbari in Soho. After all that hard work and then a glimpse of relaxation, it's proved a little difficult this week to get back into the groove of working, despite the lovely, inspiring and exciting things we saw at the first ever East London Comics Art Festival (ELCAF) on Sunday. I've been jotting down a few ideas though and after I've done a couple of very important but somewhat mundane jobs, like finishing our online gallery for our degree show website and re-printing some things, I can get cracking on those.
On the jobs front, I'm getting in contact with a couple of galleries about maybe selling some of my prints and books, as well as trying to find some more steady work vaguely related to the design field. I'm sending out samples of my work to a select group of studios, as well as getting back in contact with industry people I've been lucky enough to encounter over my time at Kingston. Hopefully, next week's D&AD New Blood festival will yield some positive results too! Every year, the festival showcases the new talent graduating from creative courses across the country. Kingston Illustration & Animation always has a stand, which contains all of our portfolios, as well as a group portfolio with a double-sided A3 sheet representing each of us, as well as a selection of student work on the walls and the table. Happily, two of my books have been selected for the table. Tickets for the festival are free, so if you're a creative student at any level, I'd recommend that you come and take a peek-it's on next week from the 27th-28th in Old Spitalfields Market.
After New Blood, there's our external degree show at Rochelle School and then we can get on with our graduate lives, especially after receiving our final results on 20th July. I've still got to plan my space in our external show since I want to change it a little from what I've had in the internal one anyway and the space is different too. Finally, it's my birthday on Friday! I'll be 22. I'm a bit worried about breaking the post-21 age barrier but I'm looking forward to eating a celebratory Caribbean meal from down the road, seeing some friends old and new, and going to dance the night away at Plastic People in Shoreditch.
Hello again. Over the past couple of weeks, I have mostly been settling into my new house, tying up loose ends at the old one and finishing lots of work! Last week I used the paintings I made whilst in Jordan last summer to make a reportage project about water, or the lack thereof in that part of the world. It was exciting to see everyone's work in the crit on Friday and now we have a couple of weeks to refine our projects before submitting them to the reportage award, the winners of which will get put into a publication, which is exciting. Speaking of competitions, some people on my course entered the D&AD student awards this year, and from our year, two people won best in year awards and Esther Robinson has been nominated for a yellow pencil, so congratulations go to them!
I still love my new house and the commute to Kingston isn't that bad - it takes about an hour, which provides valuable napping time in either direction. This week I've been in university trying to sort out our final sponsorship push for our degree show, which will be at Rochelle School in Shoreditch, as well as making a start on the website for the event and finishing off my book about Cairo. I only have a couple more weeks to go and I have quite a lot of things to do but I'm sure it will be fine. This weekend I'm going to Occupy London's ‘Meet the 1%' and er, drawing it, as well as making a new narrative and a special book for people with specific learning difficulties like dyslexia and dyspraxia, which often go along with short term memory problems.
I'm very happy today because we finally have the internet. I've been relying on a dongle with not much data and my phone, but now I can surf guilt-free from morning till night if I want. That is, if I didn't have so much to do. I really enjoy working though and I hope I'll soon be lucky enough to get paid to draw, write and make books all day. I'm hoping to volunteer with a project that's based in Hackney and involves encouraging young people to use their writing skills soon, as well as take part in a new section of the market near Columbia Road which will sell books and the like. It's becoming quite exciting, this graduation business, so if you're feeling a bit apprehensive about starting this new phase of your life, university, and what comes after it, it seems to me that it's actually quite a healthy feeling, especially if you can use the energy that comes from that apprehension to do positive things that not only make a difference to your own surroundings and your community, but hopefully your future too.
Course: Illustration and Animation
Level: Alumni 2012
Other information: I came to Kingston straight from school. I undertook a work placement at MRM London for a few weeks in April 2011. I am a Kingston University student ambassador. I chose Kingston because... It has a very good reputation for Illustration and Animation, with good industry links. It is also close to London, which is full of amazing galleries and nightlife. I got to where I am now... I went through several career choices before I settled on illustration. From the age of about fi...