Heather Nunn – BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate

Current job title: Freelance Printmaker

Current location: Watford and Plymouth

“Selling three pieces of work to very important people – two during my degree show and one before – was the most incredible feeling and a big confidence boost.”
Tell us about your career path since graduation.

After a successful interview as a screen print technician for a clothing manufacturer, I only managed a few weeks working in such an industrial environment; however, I am glad I now have the experience behind me. I am very lucky to have two commissions to keep me busy before I begin an associate position with the University of Plymouth, beginning September 2017!

How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?

I had absolutely no idea about printmaking before starting my degree. Now, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else!

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Having confidence in myself and being patient in the knowledge that it takes a lot of time and hard work to get noticed as an artist. I am incredibly lucky to have been noticed in my final year, which has provided me with work before even graduating!

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

It is only the beginning for me. Selling three pieces of work to very important people – two during my degree show and one before – was the most incredible feeling and a big confidence boost.

Imagine you were about to start university again - with the benefit of hindsight - what would you now tell yourself to have done differently?

I don’t believe I would have done anything differently. I worked incredibly hard from day one, putting my heart into all of my work. However, I don’t think I would have worked a job part-time as this caused a lot of stress and sleepless nights for me. On the other hand, I am very proud of myself for managing to do so.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the same line of work?

Do what makes you happy and be who you want to be. Be prepared to work hard all the time!

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

I initially began studying environmental science, but within four weeks realised it really wasn’t for me and was successful in my application to transfer to fine art. Due to its location and the specialist scientists researching within the University, I was (and still am) still able to continue my passion for the environment and work alongside different charities, environmental elites, and scientists to create my work. I truly believe being situated anywhere else would not have had the same benefit to me.

What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?

I learned what printmaking is and I learned who I want to be.

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

During my second and third year, I worked alongside incredibly skilled printmakers in addition to the sustainable Earth department at the University. These people have helped me to progress and have the confidence to be the artist and the person that I am.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

The phone call I received from my tutor informing me of the sales of my work during my degree show. It was so unexpected and such an exciting time for me.

Do you stay in touch with other University of Plymouth alumni or lecturers?

My luck continues as I have been invited back to work as an associate in the print studios from September 2017. In addition to this, I remain in contact with the Sustainable Earth Institute and have been invited to produce work for them.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with University, and why?

I absolutely would. The University of Plymouth supports its students and provides numerous opportunities to undertake work placements, opportunities to work alongside different faculties and to pursue your passions.

Is there anything else which you would like to share with our current students?

As with everything in life, you only get out what you put in.

Inspired by this story?

Learn more about BA (Hons) Fine Art. For more information about our range of courses within the School of Art, Design and Architecture, please visit the school page.

Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other alumni from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business are currently doing, please visit the art, design, media and performance interest area.