Helena studied an art foundation diploma in Manchester where she began to build her confidence as an illustrator. She was always interested in UAL because of its world-class reputation, but it wasn’t until she visited an Open Day at Camberwell College of Arts that she knew it was the perfect fit. The opportunity to live in London as a young artist confirmed her decision, and she has never looked back.
“I moved to London from Manchester. I was slightly nervous at first, but I met so many amazing new friends who were all in the same boat. They soon started to feel like family, and my advice to anyone considering making the move to London would simply be not to worry! Just make the most of the opportunities and get to know the city. London began to feel like home really quickly for me.
Through UAL and the Illustration department I’ve built up an artistic network that has helped me feel prepared to enter industry. It’s made me feel comfortable that I’ll still be in a creative network when I graduate from UAL and won’t be overwhelmed by what can be a tough industry. Throughout my three years of study there’s been so much guidance, especially through talks from visiting artists and UAL alumni, who come in and share their experiences.
I’ve managed to gain valuable work experience through contacts at UAL. Personally, I’m aspiring to work as an art technician within the University next year so I can stay in a creative environment. My tutor has put me in touch with previous students who followed similar paths, and I’ve been able to shadow them in their jobs. In my second year, I was given the opportunity to work with an art class at a primary school. This changed my outlook on Illustration completely, and inspired me to explore the educational, skills-sharing side of the field.
One final tip I would give to new students is to enjoy every second of your time here and meet as many people as possible! From tutors and friends to artists and visiting practitioners – they will be connections you’ll have for life.”
BA (Hons) Illustration, Camberwell College of Arts
Images © Alys Tomlinson