What made you choose Graphic Design?
I chose BA (Hons) Graphic Design at Leeds Arts University not only for it's great reputation, but also because after browsing around at other places, I felt it to be the best environment for me. As it's a specialist Art University, I felt that all the facilities I needed were right here and accessible.
What do you really enjoy about studying at the University?
I enjoy the intense structure and nature of the course. I feel that it pushes you to help you create the best possible work. It's also good that as you move through the years you get more independence and freedom to take on the work that you really want to, in order to gain the best portfolio for when you leave. I also enjoy how we are encouraged to collaborate with people within our course and also cross-course. There have been multiple opportunities for this throughout my three years here.
Tell us a bit about what you think about Leeds as a city?
I think Leeds is an amazing place to be a design student. The creative scene keeps growing bigger year on year and this spans across everything from the arts to music. There are loads of great bars that are popping up around the city that are perfect places to meet other people who are on the same wavelength as you. One of these is the brilliant Belgrave Music Hall and another is The Social which is Brudenell Social Club's new inner-city venue.
What are the studios and facilities like at the University?
The facilities at the University are perfect. No matter how big the concept you have is, there is usually a member of staff and appropriate facilities that help you achieve your plan. Some examples of processes I've experimented with over the three years are Screen-printing, Embossing, Spot Varnishing, Foiling, Letterpress and Various Book Binding Techniques to name just a few and there is always a member of staff around to help you learn each and every process.
What are you currently working on?
I'm currently working on concept development, branding and layout for the Graphic Design Yearbook with two other students on my course. It's a great opportunity because it's a live brief with a fairly big budget for us to create something which will help showcase some of the work that comes out of our course and also celebrate the hard work we've all put in. I like to think I specialise in branding within design. This is an area which I feel I'm drawn to and which my work is the strongest.
Where do you draw your inspiration?
I draw inspiration from various different places, not just other pieces of design. There is a bit of a motto on our course which is that 'Real life is more important than Graphic Design'. I think this quote is true because it's easy to get so caught up in your work that you fail to interact with the world you’re living in. I like to make sure I set time aside to always learn more. Whether that’s going to an exhibition, watching a film or even going for a pint down the pub, there are always things everywhere than can inspire your work. It can be a conversation about a particular subject or it can be an object you find on your walk home. I generally think I get inspired by the world I live in, and this is what makes me want to solve some of its problems through design.
What do you plan to do after graduating?
After taking part in a few different Internships throughout the three years on this course, I got on quite well with one company in particular who are based in Liverpool. I was lucky enough to be offered a full-time job there as a Junior Designer which will start when I leave in June. This is something which I feel privileged for and makes me relieved that the hard graft of three years has actually paid off. I want to continue to work in the North of the UK because I feel that its creative scene deserves to grow and become just as big as London and I'd like to be part of that growth.