Current BA (Hons) Illustration student, Megan Naylor-Wardle, tells us why she chose Leeds Arts University, her love for Leeds and what her plans are after she graduates...

Why did you choose Leeds Arts University?

I initially studied on the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design course at the Vernon Street campus before starting my degree. The reason I decide to stay on at Leeds Arts University was not only because of the fantastic facilities but the atmosphere of the University. Also, because it is a specialist institution, with people on different courses that are all creative, it makes for an existing and creative atmosphere. With it being small you get to know people from other courses well which is not just great for collaboration but also building your network of people and becoming part of a community of creatives even when you leave.

What made you select BA (Hons) Illustration?

The staff are passionate about their subject and are currently working in the industry. This means that they have a strong knowledge of how the creative industry is currently working and this is then passed onto us to enhance our understanding. All the staff who work on the course and in the workshops are incredibly supportive and will help you and your work any way they can. In addition, the course has guest speakers come in regularly to talks about their practice and how they found the first few years after graduating. They also invite industry professionals in to come and look though our portfolios and give us lots opportunities to talk to them. 

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

The resources and facilities are fantastic and the supportive and creative atmosphere allows you to flourish. It is very much about you and your practice and where you want to explore it.  It is hard work but so rewarding. The University and the course set you up well for graduating and are there for you beyond that. The course staff are incredibly supportive in seeing you through the degree and beyond. Throughout the degree they help prepare you for dealing with client, expenses, self-promotion such as websites and building a network of people.


What do you plan to do after university?

When I graduate, I am going to be a freelance illustrator, specialising in publishing and editorial illustration and I’m currently sending work out to industry professionals, working on briefs and building up my portfolio. I am also applying for the Creative in Residence scheme they run for graduates at the University. The scheme is open to graduates from the last five years to encourage their practice further and grants them access to the University’s facilities. I’m also applying for national and international internships in various print studios.

What makes Leeds a good place to study?

I’m from Leeds and have lived here all my life, but being a student has shown me an entirely different side to the city and life here. It is a much more a student-centred city than I initially knew. Support for students living in Leeds is wide reaching, both from the University and externally. It is very affordable to live in Leeds; travel costs are really cheap and it’s easy to get around by foot. Leeds is growing and improving constantly, from the flourishing music scene to the host of independent venues, restaurants and shops, making it a refreshing and vibrant place to be.