Current student Leo Watson chats to us about his love for the BA (Hons) Illustration studios, what he gets up to during the week and how he can create 'unapologetically' at Leeds Arts University...

What does a typical day/week as a BA (Hons) Illustration student involve?

A typical week as a BA (Hons) Illustration student (subject to COVID-19 regulations) involves one in-person workshop per week, as well as two online lectures. The in-person workshop lasts the full day and always helps me explore new ways of working. The studios are also available to book during the week. We often have visiting professional talks from practising artists too, which are really exciting!

Image: Courtesy of Leo Watson

What do you specialise in and what are you working on at the moment?

I specialise in queer art and art about the trans experience. I love to experiment with media and create mixed media responses to my experiences as a queer trans man. I’m currently working on my second studio brief titled ‘Illumination’ in which I’m creating an editorial illustration responding to a poem. 

Image: Courtesy of Leo Watson

How does Leeds Arts University help you develop your practice? 

Leeds Arts University provides a space where I can create unapologetically as well as providing regular feedback sessions, from both my peers and tutors. It’s easy to see what other angles can be developed and to keep objectivity over your work. I feel like this has helped me come so far in terms of creativity and openness in my work!

Image: Courtesy of Leo Watson

Tell us which resources and facilities you use the most, and how they help you develop your practice.

I love being in the studios - they have lots of natural lighting, mixed medias to work with and industry standard Apple Mac’s to use. I also use the printer/scanners a lot to digitalise and print off work. I’ve been using these to print and sell art prints, which has been really helpful to develop my practise and work more professionally!  

What advice would you give to someone considering studying BA (Hons) Illustration at University?

I would say - go for it! The atmosphere of the University is amazing, it’s incredible being surrounded by other artists. The course is accommodating and provides space to experiment and to specialise. There are lots of opportunities to try new things, the course leaders are really passionate about their subject and I’ve enjoyed every second of the course so far.


Header Image: Courtesy of Leo Watson