We caught up with BA (Hons) Illustration mature student, Kyle Prior, to talk about why he chose Leeds Arts University, what he enjoys about the course and his plans for when he graduates...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?

I previously studied on the Access to HE Diploma course at the Vernon Street campus, so I was familiar with Leeds Arts University, it’s fantastic resources, knowledgeable workshop instructors and the colourful culture that comes with studying at a specialised arts institution. I learned a lot during my time on Access, and given the outstanding reputation of the Undergraduate courses I wanted to apply for, I decided that choosing Leeds Arts University would allow me to continue that learning.

What made you select BA (Hons) Illustration?

I was working in Digital Marketing when I decided that I wanted to come back to university to study a creative subject. I had been interested in illustration for a while, specifically for movies and video games. However, I wanted the freedom to fully explore my practice, grow my skill set and not be limited by any specific industry, Leeds Arts University’s Illustration course was the perfect way for me to do this.

What do you really enjoy about your course and the University?

Apart from the wealth of resources and workshops, which are some of the best in the country, I really enjoy the sense of community that comes with studying at a smaller university. Whether you’re in the cafeteria or the studio, the atmosphere is one that people can feel comfortable in. It’s the perfect environment to create work in and it provides a great platform for collaboration.

What do you plan to do after university?

My focus has moved away from movie and video game illustration to book illustration. World building, storytelling and character design are still a huge part of my practice, it’s just manifested differently. I plan to work as a freelance illustrator, focusing primarily on children’s books. I’m currently mid-way through producing a full book proposal that I’ll be sending off to publishers before graduation.

What makes Leeds a good place to study?

I’m originally from Leeds, so I’ve been here most of my life and thought I knew the city, but being a student here has shown me an entirely different side of Leeds. It’s a fairly big city with plenty of opportunities, but it’s still cheap and small enough to get around on foot or by bike. There’s a great music scene and some incredible gig venues, loads of places to eat and drink in the city centre and in Hyde Park, there are events of some sort pretty much all year round, and it’s really easy to get nearly anywhere in the country by train.