Current BA (Hons) Illustration student, Megan Ojari, 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?

Originally, I intended to go to university in London and I even got the offers I wanted there. I came to my Leeds Arts University interview because I didn't want to cancel last minute! On the interview, the whole campus felt like a perfect fit, and it just felt like this was where I belonged. It completely changed my mind about where I wanted to study, as the facilities were the best I had seen, and the staff were open, friendly and encouraging. I hadn't realised how specialist and unique the University was until my interview, when I experienced the community of the institution. 

What made you select BA (Hons) Illustration?

On my Foundation course, I was able to experiment with different pathways which led to my love for the versatility of Illustration. I was torn between Illustration, Graphic Design and Textiles courses initially but I found the approach to Illustration was a good mix between creative image making and communication, which really suited my way of working. The course at Leeds Arts University appeared to have an extremely open and experimental ethos, building you towards establishing a strong professional portfolio and firmly grounding you with integral skills for a career in illustration.

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

The working environment in the studios is such an inspirational experience every day. The small class size means I know everyone I share a studio space with and feel confident asking them for advice. Collaborations are really common because of the direct contact with other creatives, not just in illustration but also in different fields. Opportunity’s come to you which expand your skill set and allows you to meet new people. The course lecturers are also really supportive in everything I do and help guide me and push myself to the limits, allowing me to become the creative practitioner I was to be. They’ve taught me that there’s never ‘bad’ work, just different ways to learn.

What do you plan to do after university?

I recently won the Student Union President election, which means I'll be staying on at the University working within the Students' Union to plan events and work between the students and staff, I'm really excited to start! I will be able to give something back to the University that has taught me so much during my time here. I will also have access to the facilities with the University which will allow me to continue my person practice and also fitting in some freelance work. After my president role finishes, hopefully I will have worked as a part-time designer for a year and then jump into working full-time as a freelancer or working in a design studio.

What makes Leeds a good place to study?

I'm from Sheffield but moved to the Peak District during secondary school, so I wanted a change and to be in a city which is really vibrant, safe and friendly which has a lot going on! I love the vast amount of art events there are in Leeds, exhibitions, workshops, events and art markets are held all the time. The city really makes most of the creative community it has. There's also a really accessible student vibe to the city, especially since our University holds a really good relationship with the Students' Union at the University of Leeds.