Current employer: Self-employed
Current job title: Freelance illustrator
Current location: Wiltshire
“The homely feel I had in the studio is something I miss dearly now. As everyone was in the same boat, it was easy to slide over to another person’s desk and have a chat, get some advice, eat some cake.”
Tell about your career path since graduation.
Since graduating I’ve been taking on commissions and working on a few children’s storybook ideas with which I hope to approach publishers. I was very fortunate to work on a walk book project titled ‘Moor to Sea Without the Car’ which I wouldn’t have heard about if it hadn’t been for my course leader, Ashley Potter. The book was published on the day of my graduation so it was lovely to receive a physical copy of my illustrations in print!
Has your career path changed since graduation?
Since ‘Moor to Sea Without the Car’ was printed I’ve had a few offers of jobs, mainly leading drawing out days with school children and teaching them techniques and skills. This has led me to thinking about teaching as another career path. However, my main goal of getting a children’s book published is still set in my mind for now.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?
Don’t stop drawing, even if it’s just a doodle a day. But don’t make yourself sick of it: have breaks, go to galleries, read books, be inspired by others.
How did studying at Plymouth help you?
Studying at Plymouth helped me to realise that it isn’t just my parents that want to stick my drawings up on the fridge. It’s such a wonderful feeling when I get thank you emails and photos from people who’ve commissioned me. I’m more critical with myself; always seeing things I could have done better even with something I drew the day before. I’m learning every day and hopefully getting better every day.
What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?
My favourite memory of studying at Plymouth has to be the odd moments in the studio. Such as breaking out into song or dance, hiding pictures of celebrity chefs under tables… we did actually work there from time to time! The homely feel I had in the studio is something I miss dearly now. As everyone was in the same boat, it was easy to slide over to another person’s desk and have a chat, get some advice, eat some cake.
Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?
It’s very easy to talk to the lecturers and they’re always sending opportunities to me even though I’ve graduated! I’m very grateful to them and I know I wouldn’t be as confident in myself without them. Stay in contact with your course mates and the illustrators you made contact with. When I feel unsure about something I’m working on, getting the opinions of others can be a great source of constructive criticism and praise.
Inspired by this story?
For more information about studying illustration, please visit our BA (Hons) Illustration page. 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 and Humanities are currently doing, please visit the art, design, media and performance interest area.
Image by Ross Ingielewicz, www.rossillustration.com
Moor to Sea without the Car
Come on in and get your copy of this unique walking guide, created by our talented students, from any one of our on-campus cafés
The book contains 11 walks that range from an afternoon stroll to a challenging hike, which can be sustainably reached by public transport.Find out more about the book