Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Where to go ... where to go ...

This, unfortunately, is going to be an image free post ... yes, I know ... BAD Mithi ... but sometimes, I just haven't had the time to do any art. And that's what it seems like these last couple of days ...

I've been running around doing open days to try and work out where to go next university wise. Last Thursday we had a couple of talks specifically for us by the London Met design and graphic design people. The graphic design here didn't appeal to me, but the design course was presented to us by a practising illustrator. They are changing the course somewhat to be more studio based, and there was the opportunity to do illustration within the design degree. I hadn't contemplated staying on in London Met - it's put a spanner in the works now!

Yesterday I visited the University of Westminster campus out in Harrow. Their illustration course looked interesting, especially since their big thing was that they encouraged people to apply their creativity on non-standard illustration pathways. For example they had a student who was working in ceramics, drawing directly into clay. Having open access to the print, ceramics, metal and woodwork studios whilst studying illustration really appealed to me as I'm a maker as well as a drawer. But other than that, it didn't jump out at me.

This morning I took the train our to Kingston, which is a lovely little town just on the outskirts of London, by the river Thames. I made sure to get out there early so that I could have a look around first - must say, it seemed lively and nice, and only a 28 minute train ride from London (16 minutes of you go from Surbiton). Anyways, Kingston University's illustration course has to be one of the most renown ones in the UK, and I'm always a bit dubious of places with too big a reputation. But I wasn't disappointed - as I arrived we were shown to a room where some of the first years were showing off the portfolios that got them into Kingston in the first place - VERY high standard. Made me realise that I have to put in quite a lot of work if I want to get in here. Later we were given a talk by the course heads. First we were shown some student final year work - wow! that's the kind of work I want to produce! The Kingston course is quite traditional as in they are very drawing based. In fact the whole of the first year is devoted to drawing (the second year being devoted to ideas generation), and students keep doing life drawing classes well into their final year. I also managed to corner a third year student who gave me a personal tour round the place (where I saw Jonny Hannah, an illustrator hero of mine, having a tutorial with some of the third year students). Yes, it's good, they work you hard, they have connections with the biggest in the industry and they really prepare you for a life as an illustrator. But it was a larger class size distributed over the same amount of resourses as the other unis, and my other worry is that it was so much drawing based, that I wouldn't get a chance to do my more crafting/collaging/embroidering other type of image making.

After I got back from Kingston I legged it to LCC to have a look at their book arts and design course. It's not illustration per se, but it has an illustration basis, and it also has something I really like which is book arts. As I arrived so late, I got to speak to the course director personally. He showed me some of the work their students had produced and it was lovely, but I could tell straight away that as much as I would love to be on this course and enjoy doing the work, I wouldn't get that introduction and networking into the illustration industry which I think is very important if I want to survive as an illustrator.

Well, I've still got a bunch more to go to - I'm gutted to not be able to go to Brighton and Falmouth, which are another two very renowned illustration degrees in the UK, but I'm sure I'll be able to find people to talk to about them, and I've got enough other ones to go to to keep me busy. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

Carole said...

Good luck, Mithi! I think gut feel can really help you to choose the right place. Do you feel you'd be happy there for three years? Would it inspire you? Did you like the kind of people that you met? Did you admire the work?

I'm sure you'll make the right decision, and I'm sure you've got enough talent to get you there. :)