In a follow up to yesterday’s Graduates 2009 catch up here are the remaining students, what they’ve been up to in the last 12 months and the advice they would give to those student’s leaving university this year…
Rose Blake Kingston University
Since graduating, I decided to continue my studies at the RCA, which has been really fun. I’ve been concentrating more on making stories and work in book format… I’ve made three books since graduating, and I’m working on my fourth now. I have tried to dedicate these two years to really pushing my personal language, and it’s been pretty difficult, but I think it will be worth it. My advice to everyone graduating this year is probably the same as everyone’s: stay honest, keep pushing your personal work as well as doing jobs, don’t fall into the trap of only working in one style (which I nearly did when I first graduated), don’t work for free.
Alan Clarke University College Falmouth
After graduating I did a work placement at Browns design in London, I then got a job as a junior designer in Cornwall at Gendall design, where I worked for seven months. I have just moved back up to London where I spent some time junior freelancing at A+B Studio and am now on placement at The Partners. I have done a small amount of freelance work as well. Advice wise, just work hard, make as many contacts as you can, get placements and as much experience as you can. Ideas are currency in graphic design and that is what employers are looking for.
Jack Featherstone Chelsea College of Art and Design
After graduating last year I moved straight into a studio with my friends Kate Moross and Hans Lo. Since then I have kept myself very busy with a mixture of freelance projects and work carried out in collaboration with my studio, under the collective name We Are Iso. Getting used to making a living from creative work has been a huge learning process, trying to juggle the fun creative side of work with the money making aspect. I think its really important for anyone about to graduate to start homing in on the area they want to pursue and to start making connections within it. Networking has become a very important part of the job and you can put yourself at a real advantage if you start early.
Annett Holand Central Saint Martins
Straight after my final hand-in, I started a two-month internship at Practise. At the end of the summer I moved to the Netherlands where I started a Master program at the Werkplaats Typografie (WT). In the beginning we did a lot of travelling: an introductory workshop in Turkey and one week in New York where we participated in the New York Art Book Fair. Back in the Netherlands I have mostly been working on self-initiated projects: Transform, the graduation project of a LCF fashion journalism student (collaboration with Yves Schweizer), the catalogue for a zine fair in Zurich (collaboration with Anna Haas), a publication for an artist of the Dutch Art Institute. Most recently I’m reorganising the WT library together with a fellow student, Lu Liang. One year later, I’m still/again a student. I can recommend it to everyone who wants more time for research, personal projects and experimentation.
Joseph Mann Glasgow School Of Art
The last 12 months since graduating have been both challenging and exciting. The challenge has been trying to balance personal work against work that is going to enable me to pay my rent each month. The excitement has come from meeting and working alongside some amazing people in the industry I’m passionate about. This has given me the encouragement to pursue my creative practise and ambition to excel in what I believe. Which is why my advice would be: meet as many people as you can, be enthusiastic, and don’t be scared to throw your self into unfamiliar places.
Simon Memel Camberwell College of Arts
“I’ve enjoyed life without college, I thought I’d miss it. Without the pressure, I feel that a genuine enthusiasm about my work and the work of others has been able to develop. I’ve done some work at the ICA including an internship with Sarah Boris the designer there, that was an interesting place to be. I’ve done a couple of jobs that were very boring and badly paid, lesson learnt there. I’ve also recently returned from India which was very inspiring. The distance allowed me to reflect on my situation back home and to make plans for when I returned. My advice to students is that panicking about getting good marks is not only futile but that it will also make getting good work done more difficult (and that’s the bit that matters).
Chris Pell The University of Brighton
After leaving university I found myself without a house, a job and most importantly without a desk! So as you can imagine it was difficult to produce work in the first few months of graduating. The main focus was earning enough money to stay down here in Brighton, so I got a job in retail to pay bills. I began receiving commissions, which I found frustrating being in the position I was, but I worked around it by borrowing desks, scanners and computers off friends. A lot people leaving university probably won’t be in the same position as me when they leave, whether it be financial backing or if they let’s say live in London but for those people who are left broke and without a job all I can say is that it’s hard! Just allow yourself drawing time and fit it around whatever free time you can make for yourself.
Frode Skaren Oslo National Academy of the Arts
I’ve been very busy with clients, personal projects and also with my now 9 month old girl, and I recently finished redecorating the studio. I’ve mainly done illustrations and only one or two graphic design jobs, hopefully it will be more graphic design in the future – to keep me interested in both professions. My passion is still to screenprint my own designs in limited editions, look out for a uglylogo shop! No matter if I had zero jobs one month or too many jobs the other, I worked hard and always believed in myself and that I could do this. And I think this my advice; Work hard. Make your own opinions on things. Good enough is not good enough. Fail and fail some more. And like a great Norwegian designer recently said; “Stay away from wooden boats, dogs and TV, and you’ll do just fine”.
Lizzy Stewart Edinburgh College of Art
This year has been manic but good. On top of moving house twice, travelling back and forth across the country a good twenty times I’ve been fortunate enough to have had some great opportunities. I joined Eastwing agency in August, and have just about managed as a freelance illustrator since then through commissions and selling prints etc. In January I did a joint show with Christopher Bettig at the wonderful Here Gallery in Bristol, then a solo show in Leeds in March as well as a handful of group shows all over the place. In the coming months there’ll be some new Sing Statistics stuff (the publishing venture I co-run) as well as some personal projects and tentative collaborations. My advice would be not to stop for too long once you’ve graduated. Having a break is great but you reach so much momentum around graduation that its worth capitalising on. Start working on new stuff while you’re still used to the structure of university/college and working constantly.
Jamie Thompson Camberwell College of Arts
To be honest I’ve been in a bit of a work trance for the last year. It’s been worth it and I’d be a hypocrite to advise graduates not to try and do too much at once. It’s been really great getting more involved with projects at Kin for University of the Arts and a film for the artist Jane Grant, while also having the opportunity to develop my own work at the Bartlett and outside work for some artists and record labels. Advice for anyone who is thinking about doing a masters but feel they might get left behind by not working is don’t worry, the industry will still be there in a years time (depending on the state of Icelandic banks & volcanoes of course). On the other hand working at the same time is possible and you’ll find that work feeds into uni and vice versa.