Slaney Hopkins – BA (Hons) Illustration graduate

Current employer: Diggers Forest School

Current job title: Creative Adviser; Freelance Illustrator

Current location: Hampshire

“Plymouth is one of the most relaxing, student-orientated universities I know. It actually cares about its students, and the city itself is extremely homely.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

As soon as I finished university I became the creative adviser for Diggers, a local company which provides activities for pre-school children. Alongside this I have had freelance clients asking for illustration for their businesses. My aim is to become self-employed.

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career (or that you’re most looking forward to)?

I have had an interview with a magazine where my work will be displayed in the next issue, and I have a photo-shoot lined up in Cornwall at the end of September, just after my graduation. I am very excited about these projects as both can lead to much bigger things.

What, if anything, would you have done differently at university?

Maybe see more of Plymouth and learn more software; but, overall, I would not change anything.

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

Stick at it, it is worthwhile. Illustration, as a creative subject, demands a lot from you and at the end of university I was juggling a lot of projects and was having very little sleep. But I had a lot of determination to do well, and I guess it does pay off.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

The facilities were amazing. I also loved the range of sports societies and exercise classes which were available through the Students’ Union. I would advise new students to give a sports society a go and to take up an exercise as this definitely kept me on track. Plymouth also has so much to offer and has the most amazing library which got me through my dissertation.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

This question is way too hard for me because there were so many great memories. I was always in the studio with my friends and we had a lot of laughs together; plus, we went to lots of social events which were terrific.

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

I am in contact with some lectures and I also do illustration jobs now and again for a few faculties.

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

Yes. Plymouth is one of the most relaxing, student-orientated universities I know. It actually cares about its students, and the city itself is extremely homely. As I am used to the countryside, Plymouth was the only university which could really provide me with an excellent degree and natural scenery on its doorstep. Also, the campus and campus markets are the best; the food is amazing!

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, Humanities and Business are currently doing, please visit the art, design, media and performance interest area.

Image by Ross Ingielewicz,

Image by Ross Ingielewicz,