Ashleigh Benson is a Textile Design alumna who graduated in 2017. She is a Surface Pattern Designer and Illustrator.

What did you enjoy about your time at Leeds Arts University and how did the course help you in starting out professionally?

The thing I enjoyed most about my time at Leeds Arts University was the course resources, the studio space and the print room especially. The course, my tutors and the Workshop Instructors gave me the perfect amount of freedom to explore my own pathway and working style as well as guidance to help me improve my working and thinking. The final major show and New Designers, London was my stepping stone into working professionally, but working to briefs and writing my own really helped me to establish a working relationship with design, my work colleagues and my customers.

What did you do after leaving University?

After leaving university, I worked freelance for a short while, creating artworks for wedding invitations and wedding table settings. I also applied for work placements and other opportunities following New Designers. I was offered a test job for a fabric design and printing company that is based in France who I now work for full-time. I am now living in France but travelling often to London and the UK to present my designs to English customers.

Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to work in your field?

Working hard, loving what you do and looking forward to learning would be my advice to others, definitely spend time exploring your practice and look forward to the challenges that come with it when you find something you love.

Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

I am currently working a variety of projects and customer bases, spanning various age ranges and countries, but I look forward to attending Premiere Vision 2019 and also working with more graduates and new designers soon!