We thought it might be nice to talk to some alumni as universities across the planet open their doors so that the student populace might stumble in, adjust to the down lighting and settle themselves into studious half-slump for three terms. First up is photographer Dan Wilton whose people heavy portfolio includes the likes of James Blake, Dizee Rascal and S.C.U.M, shot in the raw with an impossible sangfroid. Dan didn’t go to art school, he studied environmental biology at the Royal Holloway and graduated in 2001…
The images start with a photo of Frank (more about him in a sec) taken while Dan was still at university, the rest of the photos are a nice little cross-section of where his work is at now.
What advice, based on your own experience, would you offer those still studying?
I think it was during my second year that I really started to realise my interest in photography. Unfortunately I wasn’t studying photography – I was in my second year of studying environmental biology. Basically I chose the wrong course, so it’s a slightly tricky question for me to answer!
What other university experiences helped you on your way to what you’re doing now?
Without a doubt, it was having access to a darkroom. I remember my housemate Frank (pictured) coming home from a darkroom course he’d just started with a set of black and white negatives and prints.
Up until then I’d been playing around with photography but I’d been processing everything in a local lab. I’d never actually thought how you go from a film to a final print. I was intrigued so the following week I went along with him and that was it – I was instantly hooked. A year later I was running the darkroom and teaching darkroom tutorials.
What are the inspirations and resources that you would share with your student self?
- Director Nick Roney on taking The Lemon Twigs to his grandparents’ house
- Designer Lennart Van den Bossche’s typographic work combines "logic and beauty"
- Meet the speakers: Carl Burgess, Oscar Hudson, Mirka Laura Severa and Olivia Ahmad
- Varied, playful and slightly odd drawings from Japanese illustrator Summer House
- Thomas Colligan’s zine encourages us to appreciate the small things in life
- John Feely on capturing life in “remote” Mongolia and learning a new way of living
- Grope Sans: a very rude typeface by Bompas & Parr
- Japanese graphic designer Ryu Mieno creates type-heavy works fizzing with energy
- The reductive and exacting work of graphic designer Laura Prim
- Why creative education for advertising is stuck in the dark ages
- Leipzig-based graphic designer Anja Kaiser takes us through her portfolio
- Nicolas Jaar releases Network, a book inspired by radio