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Creative Exchange 2020: Portrait of a Graduate

The Creative Exchange exhibitions are a showcase of AUB’s knowledge exchange activities.

This year’s exhibition focuses on AUB alumni and their journey, from student to practitioner. It is a celebration of the diverse creative careers of Arts University Graduates over the past decade. The exhibition was on display in the Northwest Gallery of AUB 17 February – 19 March 2020.

Further details about the exhibition programme, including a full list of curators and contributors, can be found on TheGallery.

Graduated, BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design (2016)

www.meawarburton.com
www.meawarburton.wixsite.com/costume

Overview

Mea Warburton is a Wardrobe Technician travelling around the world with Cirque du Soleil’s show, Amaluna. This sees her working on thousands of beautiful costumes and hundreds of performance footwear every day. Her creative and confident approach has enabled her to go from a Dresser to Wardrobe Technician responsible for an entire shoe department. Upon graduating she started touring with Amaluna in Manchester and has now toured South America, Canada and North America. Mea made the most of the opportunities presented to her, progressing to become a back-up clown on Amaluna. She is the first female wardrobe technician to become both a technician and a performing artist in the history of Cirque du Soleil.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

It’s very difficult at first to survive financially. I got an internship and I’m not going to lie, it was very difficult. You need some financial support, family or savings, something like that. But I didn’t have either of those things and I survived! You will too. It will be alright. It just means living on beans on toast for a while.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

Be yourself – don’t try and be someone you’re not. At the end of the day that is not what people want from you. Be yourself but also be respectful and know your audience.

Building a network is actually a very easy thing. People think that it’s difficult but it’s not. You just need to speak to people in your workplace, build relationships with people.

I’m still in touch with people from my internship. Living in the environment we’re in today, the culture means it’s very easy to contact with people, so keep your name out there. The costume world is so interlinked, I know people at Cirque du Soleil who know people from Bournemouth, it’s so bizarre. Keep in contact with friends, Uni friends, people you work with and jobs will appear.

You have to show your skills, the skills you learned at Uni. For example, someone gives you a project, do it to the best of your ability and be quick! Show them you can do it.

Be confident but don’t be cocky, don’t be arrogant. You are being invited into someone else’s wardrobe, in Circus du Soleil we’re a family and this is someone’s home.

Take every opportunity you can get, even if it feels like a bit of a leap. My life really changed when I got into Cirque du Soleil. It was such a big jump from living at home, even from working on opera, I flew to South America by myself to be in a circus!

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

On Costume Performance Design, I did basically everything in the first year and learnt a lot as a result. In the second year, I began to specialise in Costume Supervision, which I’d never heard of before and I was super passionate about it. For Supervision, you need to know everything anyway! You need to know making and interpretation, design, painting, making props… you need to know about it. As a Supervisor, you have to be super organised. Making bibles was a skill I learned at AUB that I rely on today, I love to make bibles for everything. It’s so satisfying!

What has your career pathway been like so far?

My title is Wardrobe Technician, the company is based in Montreal, so the positions are very different from English and American film and theatre.

I worked in Costume for a year before moving to take charge of the Shoes and Crafts Department. I’m in charge of all the shoes on the show, which is a lot, all the leather and all accessories including specialist stuff for particular acts.

I mentioned my love of bibles, when I took overshoes I organised it all my way using how I learnt to document at AUB. There is so much detail that I could pass this bible on to a stranger and they could do it, the show would be fine.

What projects are you proudest of?

I’m proud of my career generally. Very, very happy. Talking about taking every opportunity

I auditioned to be a Back-Up Clown on Amaluna. They announced they were looking for one to cover the character Maihna and everyone turned and looked at me. I’d done the character’s make-up once, for personal development to learn how, and dressed up in the costume. I thought oh my gosh, should I go for it?

The audition was to be delivered to the Head Artistic Director in Montreal and we messaged back and forth because they weren’t sure if they were comfortable with the idea because I was a technician.

There was a big discussion, lots of people got involved before she agreed that I could audition. I sat down with Gabby, the clown at the time, really focused on the audition and what was going on and… they loved it! So I got the role. Which is so crazy.

I ran away with the circus at 21 years old and I am a Wardrobe Mistress and a Clown!

Graduated BA (Hons) Animation Production (2014) MA Animation Production (2015)

www.amybackwell.com
www.instagram.com/amybackwell

Overview

Amy Backwell is a London-based artist, her wacky characters visually capture her whimsical and surrealist visions. Amy wears multiple hats, one being the Emerging Talent Specialist for Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Walt Disney company known for their VFX work on films such as Stars Wars, Jurassic Park, Avengers and many more. Upon graduating, she worked at AUB as the Industry Liaison Intern during which time, she won the national award for Intern of the Year, awarded by Creative & Cultural Skills (CC Skills). She later moved to London to join ILM as their Studio Coordinator and within two years received two promotions: the first being Training and Development Coordinator and later, Emerging Talent Specialist, the first of its kind at ILM globally. Amy’s core mission is to inspire the younger generation with a ‘you can, too’ message. Her new role focuses on leading emerging talent programmes and strategy, making more young people aware of creative careers and opportunities available to them.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

I always knew that my path was going to be different than the orthodox journey of graduating from an animation degree and going straight into a commercial studio making films. Art and storytelling were always my passions growing up. When I was younger, I remember being that kid that loved making-up my own worlds and the characters that lived in them. I grew up reading lots of books. Roald Dahl was the main genius that inspired me as a storyteller. I used to love being lost in his books for hours and then scribbling down ideas for my own stories and illustrations. It was a form of magical escape.

I’ve always loved sketching out characters on paper and then making them into tangible creations, hence why I naturally moved towards stop motion. AUB was an amazing place to explore that. I quickly realised that I didn’t necessarily want to pursue a career as an artist working for big movies as I was always a designer and independent artist at heart. I was lucky to get work experience in a major stop motion company. It was an amazing experience however it also made me quickly realise that I wanted to design and create works of my own, not necessarily follow the lead of someone else’s idea.

I decided that the ‘sweet spot’ of being able to wear multiple hats is to have a job in the industry but working more with people and projects, rather than as an artist so I could save that for evenings and weekends. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed project management and working with people which is why I naturally took on the role of Producer in my final year. This led me to work on 3 short films at once. I grasped every opportunity whilst studying because I always knew teamwork and collaboration were essential in whatever industry you’re in. This ranged from being the student rep to helping out at exhibition events and teaching on the side. It’s important to go that extra mile whenever you can! You never know where that could take you.

At ILM, the bigger picture was always to step into a role working with schools and inspire young people but I didn’t know what the journey to that would look like. My first job was Studio Coordinator at Industrial Light & Magic. I’d met our Executive-in-Charge of ILM London, briefly at AUB and came away thinking this woman is so inspirational and she heads up the coolest VFX company in the world! The company that did the special effects and VFX for all of my favourite films, like E.T and Indiana Jones.

I saw they had the job advertised on the careers page and thought it was exactly the type of job I wanted to do! Working with people, coordinating lots of projects at once, championing diversity and being amongst some of the top creatives working on amazing films!

I thought I’d be bold and reach out to the EIC at ILM on LinkedIn asking to meet up for a coffee – that’s how it all started! The interview process was challenging, I remember it was at least 3 interviews in total but I just kept going and pushing through. I remember going that extra mile and even writing out ideas for events and projects if I did get the job. Another tip for young people, always put your own spin on any job application. I really wanted to work for ILM and I think it naturally showed.

To this day, I always say LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for getting yourself out there – you never know where it could lead you.

During the day, I wear my ILM hat as the Emerging Talent Specialist and in the evening and weekends, I make surrealist sculptures and illustrations. It’s utterly brilliant to be able to help motivate young people to get into such a magical industry and to be able to be a practising artist at the same time.

I’m really in my element in this new role. I get to travel around, meeting lot’s of new exciting lecturers and best of all, young people that may or may not know they want to get into our industry. I’m a real believer in the ‘you can too’ message. Not all kids have access to creative opportunities, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds so it’s partly my role to help change that!

Describe a typical day at work

This coming year is going to consist a lot more of day trips out to new territories. I particularly enjoyed my latest trip to Dundee where I got to speak to lots of young people about all the exciting careers you can do in VFX, and the fact that it’s accessible to everyone.

On other occasions, you might find me representing ILM at an ACCESSVFX event. For instance, last year we participated in New Scientist Live, a huge science and tech fair in London. It’s surprising how many parents and their children don’t know they can get into this industry if they love maths and physics! There’s a role for almost everyone in VFX. We have people ranging from fine artists all the way through to engineers and coders.

At the end of the day, I’m either having a call with San Francisco/Vancouver or checking in with whatever work experience students we have with us that week.

I usually get home at 20.00. I then have a quick bite to eat, maybe watch something funny or cartoons (I love Snoopy and Scooby-Doo!) I’ll then knuckle down and start sculpting or painting my latest character – I’m a surrealist artist and love making weird and wacky characters from my imagination! My process includes starting with an energetic sketch, usually in colouring pencil before quickly moving onto clay, paint and other tangible materials. It’s all about getting the idea down quickly with energy and not over-engineering it – similar to how a child creates. The fun comes from the imperfections of things out of proportion and exaggeration, it’s another form of caricature. I capture the essence of these characters in silly situations. They all have stories to tell and sometimes I leave it up to the viewer to interpret them. I also love composing music, so sometimes just sitting down at my piano for an hour or two really helps me relax and unwind.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Seeing how happy and grateful young people are, either when they have completed work experience with us or having an artist come and speak at their school. It might even be reading the little letters of thanks from children or their parents saying how one talk or even a bit of portfolio feedback has literally changed a young person’s life forever! I also love the feeling when you’ve helped coordinate a project in a team and it’s really successful! I love the energy that teamwork brings.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

Use the time you have to make connections, make friends, ask your classmates for advice and most importantly, have fun!

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

  • Be kind to yourself! If you believe you can, then you surely will.
  • Be a light to others and brighten their path.
  • Don’t get beat-up about people that don’t necessarily believe in you. Find the people that celebrate and support you and can be your cheerleaders and mentors. A closed-door or one that is difficult to open is made to stay closed if you’ve already fought it.
  • I’ve had to deal with a few bullies growing up so my piece of advice would be to realise that it’s most likely not you, it’s usually other people’s insecurities. There will be difficult people wherever you go so try and grow a thicker skin where possible but sometimes this just comes with time and experience.
  • Be bold! Reach out to people, praise someone for their good achievements, talk to someone if something doesn’t sit right with you. Don’t necessarily stay quiet (though there are times where that is needed of course!) I used to always try and talk to guest speakers that came into AUB, even if it seemed super daunting! People will always remember how you made them feel.
  • Realise that it’s ok if you’re not doing ‘that thing’ straight away.
  • It took me more than a year after I moved to London to get settled in my new role and surroundings before even touching a creative project again.
  • You can’t rush things! It helps to be driven but sometimes you have to accept that usually slow and steady wins the race.
  • Don’t get burnt out! I’ve only just learnt the importance of sleep, wellbeing and balance – it’s ok to say no when you know your limits. Your manager and friends will usually respect you for that too!
  • Ask for feedback and don’t be afraid of receiving it. If you want to grow and improve in your career, you need to be able to take constructive feedback and learn it’s not negative as it’s helping to propel you forward.

What developments are happening in your field that excites you?

There’s always new technology, new ideas and new narratives in my field. I’m quickly finding out that new start-ups are popping up all over the place and with amazing technology that we just didn’t have even when I was growing up.

In the field of my own independent work, I’m really excited about this exhibition as I feel there’s going to be an amazing movement of even more women getting their work seen in the world.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Try and get some work experience in whatever field you’d like to get into. Even if you’re not 100% sure what you want to do, try something!

Get into a studio if you can so you get a flavour of what working in a commercial studio is really like. Do your research and ask questions. For instance, I remember when our EIC at ILM explained what a job in production is actually like (not what I thought it was!) She was really honest with me and explained that it might not be the right fit for what I wanted to do. I’m an ideas person, I need to be in a role that has creative freedom. I really respected her for saying that as it most likely saved me lots of time and signposted me in the right direction.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

  • LinkedIn is an essential tool in our industry. We use it all the time for recruiting people and we encourage students to reach out to us on there, just to say “hi” and send us their latest showreels.
  • If you’re a student, there are so many meet-up groups that are accessible like, Bring Your Own Animation (usually everyone gathers in a pub and you get to speak to animators in the industry)
  • Try and get out to key events like FMX and Annecy if you can. If you can’t afford it, communicate that with your school. If they can’t fund your trip, there are plenty of amazing organisations that might be able to.

Graduated BA (Hons) Fine Art (2013)

www.hp-music.co.uk

Overview

Rachel DiBiaso is Creative Director at HP Music based in the south of England. HP Music is the No.1 recording and production studio in the region. As Creative Director Rachel has a varied role, from directing music videos to designing sets and creating album artwork. Rachel also manages and markets artists and distributes music, as well as being a song-writer, engineer and running the studio.

Rachel’s biggest achievements to date have been directing and filming a music video at Abbey Road Studios, creating album artwork for an award-winning artist and sponsoring the AIM (Association of Independent Music) awards. As the business has grown, it has allowed Rachel to develop her artwork, leading to recognition within the industry for her music visuals and song writing.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

Complicated! When I graduated from university I had no idea what I wanted to do. I started a role in the tech sector and took a short course in Digital Marketing, which lead me to work at website development agencies and digital marketing agencies. During this time I was working within the music industry voluntarily, working on music videos, songwriting and developing album artwork for artists. 12 months ago, I gave up my full-time job to be partnered in one of the biggest recording and production facilities in the south! I am also managing an indie rock/pop band and have had numerous successes within the music and performance sector. So it’s been mad, totally mad.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

A typical workday! Well, most days start around 10am, I head to the studio, where I can be either: teaching, songwriting, creating album artwork, doing a photo shoot, filming a music video, doing admin and finances (so dull), organising tours, speaking to labels, travel nationally/internationally! Every day is different and exciting! These days, I love the quiet moments where I am not rushed off my feet – but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?

I think seeing Artists develop and become successful is such a joy. The work behind musical artists is so vast, there are so many elements not many people see and understand, and it is a massive team effort. Seeing your marketing campaign, artwork or song do well, is such a rewarding feeling.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

I feel that I learnt more about myself in 3 years than I ever knew until recently. AUB was a chance to explore myself, I did some odd pieces of art at university and my lecturers were so supportive. Being in such a creative atmosphere, I never felt different – I always felt like I was part of one massive family.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

Honestly, it all comes down to being so versatile, polite and being your true personality. Being a hard worker is key, and running your own business is no easy task. I learn every day and I think taking Fine Art really helped, it’s such a broad subject, much like the music that you learn so many skills you can utilise.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialists or sectors?

I work with Booking Agents, record labels, Producers, Engineers, Videographers/Photographers, Musicians, Artists, bands – basically anyone! Music is a specialist field and there are some incredible jobs that are so inspiring to work with.

What specialist/sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

I would really love to work with more actors and dancers and have an array of people to pick from for music videos!

What are the main things people do not realise about your job?

A lot of people don’t realise that music is not just an ‘A list career’, most of the success is behind the scenes – and there really is no music without the songwriters, engineers, mixers, masterers. When working with an artist or band, there is so much more than just playing music! It’s a team effort and no singer should ever be afraid to mention it!

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

When there is pressure surrounding a release, festival or gig. I designed some artwork for an album recently and the label were making changes literally hours before the deadline. I was so stressed I would let the artist, label and fans down, but luckily it pulled together. There is always pressure to deliver something perfect in a short time scale – so it takes some getting used to!

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Not to take yourself so seriously! I was so worried about having a massive paying office job or the ‘sensible’ option when I graduated that I put my creativity to one side – and it took me years to discover it. I would definitely tell the old me to have adventures and stop trying to be someone that you’re not!

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

I think it’s crucial to learn business skills: finances, strategies, managing your time, understanding things like marketing, digital marketing and project management. I did some great short courses when I was ready to learn and those fundamentals have helped make the business so much more successful.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

Everywhere! Networking events, award ceremonies, after parties, gigs, online and offline – I always have business cards. I am always shouting about what we do! If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be working with the incredible talent that we do!

Graduated BA (Hons) Acting (2015)

Overview

After finishing my BA Acting course I started a podcast where I interviewed those from diverse backgrounds who were creating theatre: e.g Directors, Writers, Producers, Poets and more. This led me to a network of people who looked like me and had taken many different pathways to get to where they were. I was acting and touring with Little Angel Theatre for a bit and after that, I saw the Young Vic was doing a directing course for 19-25 year olds and the rest of it is history! I now am the 6th recipient of the Bryan Forbes Bursary for directors at the National Youth Theatre (NYT).

What has your career pathway been like so far?

When you graduate with a BA in Acting you often really don’t know what you’re going to do or where you’re going to go. This was very well communicated during my time on the course.

Straight after graduating, I started working for a company called Perform doing theatre workshops for children ages 3-14 and then I toured a few children’s puppetry shows with Little Angel Theatre. During that time I moved to London and started looking for an agent and was lucky enough to get signed.

I started doing a podcast where I interviewed creatives from diverse backgrounds who were making theatre, such as Writers, Choreographers, Producers, Poets, Directors, and more. This led to all sorts of things. One being The Diversity School Initiative, of which I am a co-director. The Initiative was set up to hold drama schools accountable for their diversity and inclusivity, in both curriculum and overall student experience.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

A typical day? I don’t even know!

I’ve been working with the National Youth Theatre recently. In this case, I’ll typically get to Holloway Road just before 10 am and work till 6 pm, work being either rehearsals or a full days workshop. Or if it’s a performance we’ll be rehearsing one of the Rep shows during the day and then head to the theatre for an evening performance. Those are long but rewarding days. Then some days are sitting at home doing admin, finances and emails.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?

I get to travel; I’ve been to Beijing with Little Angel Theatre, Madrid, I’ve even delivered a workshop in Zambia. I’ve also travelled England on tour, getting to see places I wouldn’t normally get to see. Soon I’m moving to Manchester for a month as Associate Director on at The Royal Exchange on Rockets and Blue Lights.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

AUB really taught us to think about ‘what is your plan B? What other options have you got?’

Mine was workshopping. One of the biggest incomes I now get is as a workshop facilitator, working for a lot of different theatres. I started workshopping at AUB when I wrote an essay on Greek Chorus and I thought ‘I needed some young people to try this on’, so I emailed a local school and ended up being employed by them to deliver some workshops after my course had finished.

What do you find are the most in demand request for your skills base?

Being self-motivated and resourceful; know yourself. Most of the jobs and opportunities I’ve received have been just by meeting people who I genuinely have a connection with or a connection to their work. Or I invited them onto my podcast. I had to research a lot about the people I was interviewing. The amazing thing is most of the jobs I have today have been linked through people on my podcast.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

My job is heavily collaborative. A Director works with a lot of people such as Set and Costume Designers, Sound Designers, Movement Directors, Producers, it’s so important to be a collaborator. The best advice I got from an Artist Director was to go and see shows and find creatives that you really like and want to work with.

What are the main things people do not realise about your job?

It’s incredibly lonely being a Director – it’s just you with all these ideas that you share with other people but fundamentally you have to string them together. But it’s incredibly rewarding as well, so I don’t really mind.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

How time-consuming it can be. Reading scripts, researching, it all takes a lot of time. But I enjoy research, that’s why I’m doing it!

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Have patience. Things will come in time. Don’t stress about getting the ‘right’ job, the ‘right’ agent. Take your time. Really get to know people, get to know the sector. And live a life. Take that holiday. Do other things. My work is only informed by me living my life.

What developments are happening in your field which excites you?

There’s exciting work happening and changing the shape of theatre right now. More women and more diverse roles, however much more is needed and I’d like to see more of it. Also, diverse Producers, as these are the people who actually choose what’s going on.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

See how you can make your stamp in your community. Not everything needs to be in London, you can do good work and build networks in Manchester, Bristol, Leicester, Sheffield and more.

Having another stream of income is really important. Be confident and build income using your theatre skills but not necessarily in theatre. Being a Teaching Assistant was really valuable and I got to learn a lot about the city I live in.

Graduated BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology (2018)

Overview

Elsbeth is a CAD Merchandising Operator at Burberry, creating 3D CADs for Womenswear and currently developing 3D knitwear and swimwear. Upon graduating, Elsbeth became Graduate Intern within the fashion department at AUB. Following this position, Elsbeth joined British luxury fashion house, Burberry as a Freelance Digital Product Creation Assistant for 3 months. During this time, Elsbeth interviewed for a permanent position within the company and later became a member of the CAD team. During her time at Burberry, she has worked on a variety of projects. The most recent was with the Product Engineering and CGI teams to support the development of the TB Monogram Down capsule collection. This collection was developed entirely in 3D and these assets were then used in Burberry’s first online game. B Bounce, which has exceeded 1 million plays, was created to celebrate the launch of this collection.

The following opinions are held solely by the author, Beth Flannigan, and are not representative of Burberry.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

My first job role was as a sales assistant in a local fabric shop near where I grew up. I went on to work in sewing machine sales and demonstrations and worked in various other roles within the business.

I interned for a Couture Bridalwear designer during my second year at AUB and learnt key skills but also that beading and tulle were definitely not for me! I also shadowed a few different people in different fashion roles and took every opportunity to be working in London.

In my first graduate job, I became a Graduate Intern within the fashion department at AUB. I learnt so much within 10 months and I was able to understand how it feels to be a member of staff at the university as well as a student, which allowed me to see university life from a different perspective.

Whilst working for AUB I was encouraged to approach contacts within the fashion industry. I had a contact at Burberry and knew that they were looking for people with skills in digital fashion as they had advertised an opening online.

I invited Burberry to come to the Graduate Fashion Week 2019 show to see AUB’s amazing digital fashion work. After meeting many students they approached me and we discussed potential freelancing roles. Shortly after, I was invited to interview for a contractor position and started at the HQ in London.

Before Graduate Fashion Week 2019, I applied online for a permanent position at Burberry and was called to interview for this a few weeks after I started freelancing. After a few rounds of formal interviews and tasks, I was offered the role of CAD Operator for Womenswear and started once my freelance contract was over.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to see that my work has been used across the business and that people are using it to make decisions on a physical product. Seeing your work on official documents is really exciting!!

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

Technical skills from talented and knowledgeable tutors and technicians in the department. I learned that tutors push you because they know what you can achieve and even when it seems really difficult to keep going, you often surprise yourself and you also learn a lot about yourself in difficult situations.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

My digital technology skills. I learnt how to use Lectra Modaris during my studies (digital pattern cutting and 3D simulation software) and learnt CLO during my time interning. I have used both software programmes in my roles but use CLO on a daily basis.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

As a CAD operator, I mainly work with Merchandising, but I also work with Product Engineering and Product Development. We wouldn’t be able to do our jobs without collaboration. In any creative field, you need people with all different skills to achieve amazing results.

What specialist/ sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

I would love to collaborate more with people who work with virtual reality software. I have collaborated on a test to see if VR and 3D product can work together and it was really exciting to try this out. I would love to do some more work on this.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

A lot of people don’t realise that 3D garments, depending on what they are used for, need to be just as technically perfect as a real garment. The software we use is not automated and it takes a lot of time and knowledge to be able to make 3D garments look real.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Working within CAD, there are very short windows of time to create 3D products and get it sent to the teams who need it. As the teams expand and we become more skilled, we take on more categories and it’s very exciting that my team and I are at the forefront of this development.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

You’re in the right place and on the right track. Don’t worry about where all these other people are going, just work hard and if you want something, go out and get it. It’s ok not to know where you’re going straight after uni, but keep yourself motivated and do something you love while you figure it out. Also, give yourself a break sometimes!

What developments are happening in your field that excite you?

The technology is becoming more advanced and more exciting and because we use it every day we’re learning a lot about how it works and testing out new tools that are not available to everyone. This helps the developers of the software to see what works and doesn’t.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Think about how many people are going for the same job you are applying for and really consider if you could learn some new skills and develop yourself to make you different and stand out.

Get experience where you can but make sure you are being treated fairly for your work. Try to get as much experience within the field you’re interested in and set projects for yourself to keep your portfolio up to date.

Think outside the box. A company might not be in a creative field but they need creative people within their business and you can thrive there. You might find you discover a new role which is more suited to you.

If you want to start your own business then definitely go for it but through studying at AUB you will have been educated about ethical and environmental issues, so make your business lead by example and one that others should follow - make a change!

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

Social media is a great tool if used properly but think about how it could enhance or stop your chances of making connections, and be aware of your online presence.

If you are able to, I think physically speaking to people is the best way to make a connection in business. Email is great but there’s a point where it’s easier to pick up the phone or meet them.

Try to attend events within your industry which interest you as there will be people at all levels who go and you can easily strike up a conversation with someone when there’s a common interest.

Use your connections wisely - your peer groups are also your contacts!

Graduated, BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design (2017) and MA Fine Art (2018)

www.morganandworth.com

Overview

After twelve years of higher education in the Arts, Kelly J Morgan started her own business, Morgan & Worth Millinery, where she could combine and execute her vast range of skills and unique methods of problem-solving. Kelly received her millinery training while studying Costume and Performance Design at AUB. It was here she discovered the pinnacle of her interests lie in the history and psychology of dress and of course, hats. Morgan & Worth Millinery offers bespoke hats commercially to the public and produces historical/theatrical headwear for film and theatre. Her work often utilises vintage or rare materials and will soon be viewable on Netflix.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

A large portion has been development: developing products, structures, brand identity, content and connections. In addition to learning the market and a couple of big jobs.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

It depends on whether I’m working for my commercial millinery brand or as an individual for a film or theatre production. If it’s for my business I'm by myself in my personal studio, either working on hats or admin and marketing content. If I’m on a production, I’ll travel and work at their studio with their team. I’m hoping to move my personal studio into an artist community so I’m not working alone and I have other people to bounce ideas off.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?

In addition to satisfying a constant need to make, and doing what I want to do with my life, I really love working on set and for films. It always feels like I’m trying my hand at making a bit of history.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

I couldn’t pick one thing. AUB gave me most of my technical making skills and all my contacts, which have allowed me to get where I am.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

I wouldn’t say that I have found one thing to be most in-demand. It's important to be flexible and up for going to and making whatever is always needed.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialists or sectors?

I collaborate with a lot of different people. I work consistently with Photographers, Makeup Artists, Models, and Business Consultants when it comes to Morgan & Worth Millinery. But when I work for production, I can be working with Costume Designers, Supervisors, Actors, Costume Makers...and so on.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

I’m always amazed at how irrelevant some people find costume to be. I often hear ‘I don’t even look at the costumes’. I can’t help but think, ‘of course...they’re not naked. If they were naked it would be a whole different movie!' There is great information and power in costume, and great time and consideration goes into every article of clothing on screen, in an image, or on a stage.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

For my personal business making every single decision on my own, as well as often working alone can be really challenging.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

I studied higher education for a long time and had multiple graduations, but I guess the underlining advice I would give is ‘trust yourself’. I think I listened to other people and tried to meet their exceptions for far too long.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

How to think professionally as a business while also maintaining passion and freedom to artistically create. They are two very different mental spaces. I think another big part of it is learning and realising what works best for you, and how do you work at your best.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

I’m still learning to be active on Social Media. I’m a really private person so I’m not custom to posting. Honestly, most of my connections I have met at AUB, or on various jobs and through word-of-mouth.

Graduated BA (Hons) Modelmaking (2017)

www.uk.lush.com

Overview

Conor Bacon is a 3D Design Technician who is responsible for designing and producing the moulds used to create the large collection of LUSH cosmetics products: from bath bombs to soaps and everything in between. This has led to him designing over 30 of LUSH's exclusive products for their first-ever bath bomb exclusive store in Harajuku Japan. He has used his knowledge and experience to produce architectural models within the company and has helped develop tooling and packaging designs. Conor has helped push the level of detail found in products and has become an important part of the company's Research and Development (R&D) team.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

A fair few interviews after graduation, the opportunity to work for LUSH came up and I jumped at the chance. I took part in a video interview and then formal interview and was offered the role of 3D Printing Technician. I have now been with the company for 18 months.

Describe a typical day of work.

My workday starts at 7am and finishes at 3pm, although this can change day-to-day. The majority of my time is spent in the Innovation Lab at Unit 1, LUSH's home of R&D. From here we work closely with the Designers and Compounders to create moulds that are suitable for the products being made.

Although most of our designs a 3D printed we use various processes to reach the final goal, such as CNC milling and laser cutting.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Being part of a company which values both the welfare of its staff, as well as the environment is fantastic. Not only do LUSH create amazing products, but the opportunity to work on products that raise money for charity is also rewarding. I find great satisfaction in knowing our work can help these causes make a real impact.

What's the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

My time at AUB allowed me to experiment with multiple processes and taught us to think outside the box. This has meant when needing to solve a problem, I am able to think about many different solutions and processes.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

Most of my time is spent designing 3D objects using CAD software, whether that's for a new product range, tooling design or packaging. Due to the flexibility with CAD design and 3D printing we are able to help many areas of the business.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

We mainly collaborate with the product inventors to bring their ideas to life but we also work with outside engineering companies to produce tooling that we are not able to produce in house.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

In terms of model making, I think people are surprised by how much variety there is in the job roles we take on after graduation. The course really gives students the opportunity to explore various techniques and lays a foundation of an extremely versatile skill set. People often assume that digital design is only useful if you wish to create rigid, hard-edged designs but we are able to use various techniques and software to create designs which are far more natural and fluid.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging part of my job can be the workload. LUSH is a very responsive company, which can mean juggling multiple designs at a time at various stages of the design process as well as producing multiple designs per day.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Try not to panic too much, or stress yourself if you don't get the job offer. Every opportunity allows us to grow and even if interviews aren't successful it can still be a great experience. Secondly, when you do get the job, believe in your skills and your knowledge; it can be easy to think you aren't ready or prepared for a certain job but remember, no-one expects you to be perfect on day one, and you wouldn't be there if they didn't think you could it.

What developments are happening in your field which excites you?

3D printing is an extremely exciting industry to work in. There are always new advances in the technology that we keep a close eye on.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

I think the most important thing is a well put together portfolio. Potential employers or clients will want to see what kind of work you can produce and the different processes you are familiar with. The best way to show them is through a portfolio. Studying at AUB really helped me produce work not only to degree standard but also helped me create a solid portfolio that showed of my skillset.

Graduated BA (Hons) Costume and Performance Design (2012)

www.katemcstraw.com

Overview

Kate McStraw is an independent Creative Producer working across the arts and cultural sector with individual artists, independent companies and national organisations. Graduating from AUB in 2012 Kate has worked as a Theatre Designer and Creative Producer for some of the most significant events in the UK, including the opening celebrations of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events in Weymouth. Other highlights have included being part of the producing team for Inside Out Dorset festival since 2014, designing for The Royal Shakespeare Company’s First Encounters: The Tempest (2016) and an artist commission with Museum of Memory in 2016. At present Kate is producing work with visual artist Anna Berry, dance companies Yorke Dance Project and Cohan Collective, theatre companies Green Ginger and Butterfly, performance artist Viv Gordan and integrated circus company Extraordinary Bodies, each presenting a range of work in 2020-22. She has also been recently awarded Arts Council England Project Grant funding for a research & development period of a new musical concept she is creating. Kate’s career has been wide and varied. Using her inclusive approach to creating sees her work at a range of scales, as well as supporting diverse artists and working in ‘non-traditional’ and unusual spaces such as caves, car parks and woodlands.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

It’s been really unexpected and full of constant surprise! I trained in theatre design and whilst studying I started producing events too – I wasn’t even aware of what a ‘producer’ was until this point or that it was a career option and began through ‘learning by doing’. Once I started creating events I was hooked and have since had a really varied journey as a designer, producer, marketer and commissioned artist. In 2015-16 I had an influx of design jobs and felt this may be the direction of my career again, but soon realised that I like the variety that comes with being a Creative Producer more and have since mostly focused my work within this role.

I’ve worked on an eclectic mix of events, from outdoor arts festivals to visual installations, site-specific events in unexpected places like caves, to touring shows around the UK and Europe. I also work in lots of different art forms: dance, circus, outdoor arts, contemporary theatre, live art, traditional theatre classics, as well as running workshops for emerging creatives. What I love about producing is that I am able to initiate projects myself, support others in getting new ideas off the ground and work within existing or established projects. I could never have imaged how this was going to evolve at the start of my career – it has been a real adventure and I have learnt to embrace the unpredictability! I feel very lucky to be doing what I do for a living, especially as I had no idea this job even existed when I began.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

There is no such thing! Every day is very varied and every day can change very quickly from what I might have planned at the start of the week. I’m always working on multiple projects with different artists and organisations, so I need to remain as responsive as possible as they each develop. Some days I might be working from my home office at my desk and feel like I’m answering a stream of never-ending emails. Other days I might be on-site visits to see how a piece of work might fit within a festival or in the landscape. Sometimes I am working on funding applications, company/project strategy, or project evaluation. Another day I might be in a rehearsal studio providing creative input. And other times I’m hands-on with set painting and costume sourcing or helping with a show get-in. And of course, there are days when I am at the opening night of a show or an event when everything comes together and we get to share it with the public. It’s this variety that I love about my work and the creative industry.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?

When an artist or organisation asks me to work with them on a project or idea they’ve been developing – being asked to support something creative, to help nurture that into a live event or piece of art, that’s a real honour. And then seeing how the public engage with it when we’re finished – sharing something we’ve created, with a live audience, is a really special experience.

What has been the most valuable thing you've learned from your time at AUB?

I think for me it was being part of a creative community where I gained a real working sense of how the different industries connect and how we could collaborate with one another to make things happen. Drawing together a range of different skill sets and bringing the right people together for a project is a really key part of my job now. I think AUB provided a basis for understanding how these pieces fit together and how much we have to gain from working with one another.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

Project management, people management, fundraising and being able to work with an artist or creative team to help ideas to be realised.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

Collaboration is at the core of what I do day-to-day. For example, in a recent theatre show I produced (Intronaut’s by Green Ginger) we collaborated with an animator, composer, director, dramaturg, devising performers, designers, fabricators and a creative access consultant. Working with an animator was a new experience for me and they brought the skills to be able to embed creative captioning and animated graphics to the show in a really inspired way. At present, I am working on a kinetic visual installation (Breathing Room by Anna Berry) where we are collaborating with engineers, steelwork fabricators and a lighting designer to create a touring large-scale outdoor piece. Every project requires different skill sets and ideas are made richer by collaborating with people who have different perspectives and expertise to offer.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

That great art requires a lot of admin and that there is scope to be creative in all areas of making things happen. Producers do a lot more than find and manage the money!

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

A constant juggling/balancing act of multiple projects running on various timelines.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

  • Follow your instinct; it rarely lets you down.
  • You can do anything, but not everything.
  • The work will come if you work for it.
  • It’s always OK to ask for help, ask the ‘stupid’ question and not know everything. No one expects anyone to know everything (except maybe Google).

What developments are happening in your field which excites you?

I’m really passionate about the inclusive practice and representing diversity, whether that be in audiences or the artists I am working with. There is a lot of change especially in representation in the arts and acknowledgement that the sector needs to do a lot of work in this area – but it is definitely moving forward, and more and more people are challenging the status quo. It feels like a very exciting time to be making work and a shift is beginning to happen, meaning diverse artists are taking more space and being provided with more and better opportunities.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

It really varies between industries, but generally speaking, you need to consider whether being freelance (self-employed) is the right fit for you as you’ll need to be organised with sorting self-employment registration, tax returns, keeping your receipts, knowing what expenses you can claim, how to invoice people and manage your own finances, as well as being able to find and pitch for work. Alternatively, you may feel better suited to working within an organisation in an employed role. Many people do a bit of both or spend time trying each out.

Having an online presence is a really useful tool to signpost people to your work; whether that’s a website, online portfolio, LinkedIn page, etc. and it’s important to make time to keep these updated.

For those who are still making decisions about their creative career path I would suggest seeing as much work as possible, from a range of art forms i.e. circus, dance, theatre, outdoors, installations (remember many places will offer discounts for under 25s and outdoor events are usually free to attend). Also, volunteering at events, ushering at an arts venue or being a steward at a festival are great places to get experience and a better understanding of who and what is involved behind the scenes. This may be a work placement whilst you’re studying or volunteering on your weekends or school holidays. It is also a great place to begin networking by meeting the people who are creating the events you’re interested in.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

I find most of my work comes from recommendations now or people I’ve worked with before asking me to work with them again. The key to this is working well within a team when you have work and getting on well with people both collaboratively and personally so they want to work with you again. Keeping in touch with people and having a genuine interest in the work people are making is a big part of this; I find that Social Media is a useful tool for me to know what’s going on and share updates about what I’m working on and post on relevant groups to help my name get recognised.

Recently I worked with Strike A Light Festival, who I have been following for a number of years going to their events regularly and saying hello, as well as following/reposting on social media. When a job came up with them we had already interacted on several occasions, so they recognised my name – they recently told me this had helped them offer me an interview.

I also try to attend several industry events each year to meet people in person and these also help me keep up-to-date on what is happening in the industry – events like Devoted & Disgruntled is an annual gathering of people working in the performing arts and is a great place to meet people from across the UK and engage in some really interesting conversations.

Graduated BA (Hons) Illustration (2017)

www.peterhenderson.co.uk

Overview

Peter Henderson is a freelance illustrator and motion designer currently represented by the Folio illustration agency. Peter specialises in vector images, GIF animations and smooth motion design. In his final year at AUB, he was awarded with a D&AD New Blood pencil and a Vimeo staff pick for his final year animation, which gained 250,000 views. In the two and a half years since graduating, Peter has worked with companies all over the world including: The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Apple, Siemens, Boots, Rolex and many more.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

Within my first few months of graduating, I got repped by Folio, one of the world's leading illustration agencies. I continued to reach out to art directors and landed my first role as a freelance Motion Designer for the Wall Street Journal within two months. This really kicked-off my career and I continued working with them for two years. I took on more and more freelance work through the agency and had to balance up to five different jobs at once. In the last year, I've worked with various clients all over the world and still love every second of it!  

Describe a typical day at work for you.

I'm lucky enough to work from my home office, meaning I can roll out of bed, grab breakfast and begin work all within five minutes. I usually start my day about 8.30 and aim to work until 19.00, with several breaks throughout the day. However, my schedule is often more sporadic than that. Some days I only need to work a few hours and others I will work from 7.00-midnight, it all depends on the project and deadlines. 

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

For me, the most rewarding part is a happy client. When I finish a project, the brief has been met and the client's happy, it's a great feeling. 

What has been the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

AUB really taught me the business skills I needed to navigate the illustration industry. It also helped me to value myself. It gave me the platform I needed to reach out to industry.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

At the moment, I'm getting more and more animation jobs. I think being an Illustrator and being able to make your work animated is crucial to a lot of the digital work that's now coming through.

Who do you tend to collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialisms or sectors?

 In the last year, I've collaborated with lots of other Illustrators, animating their work, which has been a really fun experience and great opportunity to meet more clients. 

What specialism/ sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

I would love to collaborate with UI (User Interface) designers and developers at some point and have the chance to work on an exciting app. 

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

Although my illustrations focus on flat vector styling, I actually recreate a lot of my work in 3D to be able to animate it more easily. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

For me, the biggest challenge often comes with balancing life and work. Being able to say "no" to projects is hard for any freelancer, more so in the early stages. 

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Don't be afraid of big clients, the working relationship is often just the same as with small clients. 

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

I love technology so I'm super excited for the crossover happening between motion design and AR/VR (augmented reality and virtual reality). 

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

If you're planning to freelance, it's important to think about budgeting as pay may come through later than expected. Make sure you have a reserve in case work becomes quiet.  

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry? 

Most of my connections come through my agent, but I try to stay in contact daily with other Illustrators and Animators on Instagram. 

Graduated BA (Hons) Make-up for Media and Performance (2017)

www.thebeautyumbrella.com

Overview

Since graduating, Beth has successful started her own company called The Beauty Umbrella. Utilising the skills she learnt while studying Make-up for Media and Performance, she teaches makeup lessons to clients and has developed her own brand of beauty accessories including a 25-piece makeup brush collection. One of the most successful parts of Beauty Umbrella are the make-up party experiences. These parties are about teaching a group how to create all the looks they want but don't have the know-how! Beth frequently exhibits at local events and delivers educational talks on Social Media. Beth will be exhibiting and speaking at the Beauty & Wellness Expo in Bournemouth on 8th March 2020.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

My first official paid job out of university was in software support, something I happen to be good at but nothing to do with my real profession as a makeup artist. After looking for jobs in my field and in my area (Dorset) and realising these were limited, I had to take a different path to pay my bills. All the jobs I wanted were in London and unfortunately, that just isn't an option for me. I decided to take matters into my own hands and set up my own company with the hope that one day this will be my main source of income.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

A typical working day for me is 9am-5pm working in an office of 8 people. Sometimes I travel around the UK, out on the road training for my office job. Then as soon as I get home my 'real job' begins! Writing blogs, chasing clients, Social Media up-keep, searching for events I can exhibit at, taking online courses to learn new skills. I spend most evenings and weekends pursuing my dream for The Beauty Umbrella, which is pretty exhausting whilst also working full-time.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

The most rewarding thing about my job is that I get to help people learn a new skill which can help them to feel better about themselves. I get calls, texts and people approaching me telling me how all my makeup tips and tricks have helped their confidence or their daily routine, and that really makes me feel good.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

The most important thing AUB taught me was to be self-motivated. I would not be able to work two jobs all in the name of my art and my passion, if I hadn't been to uni. I've learnt how to sit at home and push myself to do work, research by myself and produce outcomes with no help.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

I collaborate all the time for my job, with Hair Stylists, Beauty Therapists, Photographers, Web Designers, Product Manufacturers, Business Consultants, Accountants, Lawyers... and probably more! AUB was so interactive and pushed me to collaborate so much that it comes naturally to me now, and it's one of the best parts of the job! 

What specialist/ sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

I would love to collaborate with more editorial work and try to get adverts in magazines and ultimately, my products in shops.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

People don't realise that makeup artists are NOT beauty therapists! Big difference, people! I don't do eyebrows or waxing! I think people don't understand how diverse the skills set is either. I always get employed to do 'pretty' makeup but I have a range of prosthetic and theatrical skills under my belt as well. 

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect of my role right now is that I am a one-woman band. I am not at the stage where I can hire anyone just yet. Therefore, I have to take on lots of roles to run the company, like the accounts - this is not my forte! Just being in such a competitive industry is really difficult.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

I was really under the impression that to be successful I would have to move to London and as my peers moved there and started getting jobs I got really depressed. I wish I hadn't wasted all that time being sad as eventually I created my own opportunities and I am really excited for what the future holds. I'd just say, don't focus too much on what everyone else is doing!

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

A new age of gender-neutral, non-binary and blurring the lines between male and female is approaching. This basically doubles my potential clients and makes the makeup industry less focused on a female audience - a very exciting era! 

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

You definitely need a way to support yourself first and foremost because at the start of your journey, being a self-employed artist can be a struggle! Make sure you are safe and secure whilst following your dreams, making sure you have the basics! 

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

I use everything I can get my hands on! Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. I also try to attend groups like South West Women in Business Network (WIBN).

Graduated, BA (Hons) Graphic Design (2014)

www.thesyruproom.co.uk

What has your career pathway been like so far?

We started our company direct from leaving Uni. We didn’t do what you were supposed to do, get a wage, learn how the industry worked. It was definitely the hard route. It took us a long time to become profitable, or even function as a business!

We had to work hard for a long time, but we had no debts and supportive girlfriends and families that let us stay on their sofas. We’d go to scrapyards and get scrap metal sort it out and sell it to industry to raise some money. There were bad times, we slept in cars, showered in the gym, but it was fun as well as testing. As business partners, we stuck with each other and supported each other through it. And we’re still here and really passionate about what we do. It’s been 5 years of a lot of fun.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

About 10am we meet for coffee at our office, a converted Butcher’s, in Boscombe. And then it’s all about project management, we’re more organised now that we have an employee! We sort out what we need to do this week, what we need to do today. We keep in touch with our fabricators on a daily basis. When we’re installing we assemble a crew and it’s all hands on deck and putting in crazy hours till the project is all up and done.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

Having ideas and realising those ideas, creating something where you stand back and get that ‘wow’ moment. We pride ourselves on delivering high quality in a short time frame so every project is a challenge and it’s really satisfying when you make that happen.

When we started, because we were so young people would assume we didn’t have the knowledge or skill to do what we were proposing. But now we have a core group of clients who know and trust what we do and will recommend us to their clients because they know they’ll get quality work. We’re now working with big clients, with big budgets and lots of risks but they know we will push ourselves to create spectacular experiences.

We didn’t get to go travelling or anything when we finished Uni but now we’re in a position where people will pay us to travel around the world and make stuff. It’s the best.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

Get out of your comfort zone! We did graphics which is awesome but it’s a crowded market, making physical objects in the workshop, with a graphics mentality but developing making skills taught us more. The challenges we overcame gave us the skills we built our business on.

We were massively encouraged by staff at AUB, they always backed my corner and they were focussed not just on being successful on the course but thinking about what was going to come after for us. You need to think about what you’re going to do after Uni, how you’re going to eat, where you’re going to live. Same with a business, part of your head always needs to be planning an exit strategy for when the current job ends.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

We work with all sorts of trades to fabricate out builds, metalwork, carpentry, printers, sign-makers, neon specialists… We source everything in Bournemouth and Poole, there’s incredible skills round here.

We’re the middlemen that have the vision for these big projects and tie it all together to make it happen.

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

I love new projects and looking for new innovations, achieving what hasn’t been achieved yet. Generating cool ideas for what we can physically make all around the world on a large scale with serious budgets.

The paycheck stays the same if you get a bigger budget you put that into making a better project, something that you couldn’t have done before that gets you recognition an opens up more opportunities.

Graduated BA (Hons) Modelmaking (2018)

www.ovik-crossway.com

Overview

Alex is a design engineer at Ovik Crossway in Dorset, a company that specialises in custom-built storage for armed response vehicles and vehicle conversions. Originally trained as a qualified mechanic in Glasgow, Alex also has experience within the defence sector in the Middle East. Alex moved from Scotland to Dorset to undertake a BA in Modelmaking, developing his skills in 3D design. During his time at AUB, he spent a year in London working as an intern Modelmaker for Foster and Partners, one of the world’s leading architectural firms. Upon graduating, Alex has worked in various roles, which include: Technician at Tom’s Studio, a bespoke pen maker in Bournemouth, Technical Build Assistant for the Short Sounds Film Festival (2018) and Gallery Technician for Arts University Bournemouth.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

During my studies, I practised as a freelance maker at Tom’s Studio, a high-end pen maker based in Bournemouth. I also worked in AUB's gallery as a technician. Once I graduated I continued to work freelance in the area, supporting some really interesting projects, such as the build of immersive art and sound installation for the Short Sounds Film Festival.

Whilst all this offered me some great experiences, ultimately I was seeking a full-time role, so I applied for various technical jobs in Dorset. I sent my CV into Ovik Solutions, a specialist prototype maker for defence and security and was soon asked to come in for an interview. My ambition has always been to work in the engineering industry, so this has been a great opportunity.

Describe a typical day at work

I work near Dorchester and my normal hours are 8.30 - 17.00. I’m usually office-based, where I design concepts and prototypes using Solidworks. I split my time between the office and the workshop where we tend to use hand-tooling and mechanical based equipment.

Each project is different, requiring different design solutions and methods of manufacturing, which makes every day a little different. Projects can vary in length, from a few days to a few months, depending on the size of the delivery; for example, I might be working on an armoured truck or tactical equipment.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

Certainly, Solidworks, CAD skills, industry contacts – these are things AUB does really well. AUB offered a great opportunity to learn from industry professionals as all of the tutors have been professionally practising for years, so have built up really good networks.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests of your job?

Probably my knowledge of the full design process: from problem-solving through to build. We have a lot of client interaction, so catering for the client’s needs is also very valuable - being able to translate the requirement into a workable design solution.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

We work with the Police service a lot (one of our clients) and various UK and overseas military, police, security forces. We also work with other small specialist companies that are involved in sheet metal work, laser cutting and high-security locking systems. As each project is different it depends on the type of skills needed to complete it. Most aspects of the project can be managed in-house.

What things might people not realise about your job?

As well as being in the office designing, I also spend time building the designs in the workshop, so I get to be involved throughout the design process. It also gives me a break from sitting behind a monitor all day!

What developments are happening in your field that excites you?

The developments in digital design, such as the graphics and usability of programmes like Solidworks. As a result, computers need to be faster, with more processing power in order to run these programmes efficiently. A personal impact is that it can help me to do my job much quicker but more broadly, it's making manufacturing techniques more precise which improves the tolerance of components and the performance of prototypes.

Graduated BA (Hons) Dance (2019)

www.pdsw.org.uk

Overview

As a recent graduate, I have been working to expand my experience in the arts by doing freelance work whilst also doing part-time hospitality work. Alongside this, I was given the opportunity to work as the graduate producer for a collaboration project run by AUB Dance. This has given me the opportunity to experience a producer role within a project, something that I aim to do full-time in the future.

I have recently been appointed as a Young Trustee on the board of trustees for Pavilion Dance South West, meaning I now have an opportunity to represent young people in the south and create a greater impact on arts and dance, something I feel very strongly about.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

I felt really lucky when I got what I thought was a creative job straight out of AUB. However, it became quickly evident that I was actually in a very uncreative admin role but working for a creative company. After realising that it wasn’t for me I’ve been pursuing freelance work and collaborative projects.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

In my freelance work, it's probably being able to help create the final product from someone else's vision or story and being able to make those visions come to life.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

To try everything and strive for anything. Before uni, I was very happy to stay in my comfort zone but since graduating I have really tried to push myself to be adventurous and go for things I may have previously been too scared to try.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialist or sectors?

I mainly work with other dance industry practitioners who are often delivering their own work. Sometimes I work or reach out to Graphic Designers as part of my freelance work. It's great to learn from other people and develop an appreciation for their skills.

What specialist/ sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

Maybe filmmakers. Film has always been a big interest of mine but I just haven’t had the chance to explore that pathway, yet!

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

With dance work, it’s probable that you have to have a lot of transferable skills that can be used in the delivery of dance to make is as understandable as it can be for a wide range of people. This often means thinking on your feet a lot!

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Probably just to enjoy the summer and your time with university friends whilst everyone is still together. Make time for this before starting to think about getting a job and sorting out a ‘plan’ for the future.

What developments are happening in your field which excites you?

Definitely the use of technology. I’m so excited to see the range of new work that comes from the use of progressing technology and how it will change the way we make and view dance work.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Being able to drive has helped me a lot. It takes away the worry of being able to travel for projects, especially if something is in a hard to get to a place - which is often the case outside of cities!

Graduated BA (Hons) Arts and Events Management (2013)

Overview

Rosanna Dean has a diverse event management portfolio within the music, sport and tourism sectors. Previous roles include Head of Operations for End of the Road Festival (UK), Artist Liaison Manager for Groovin The Moo & Laneway Festivals (Australia) and Venue Operations Manager for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (Australia). Her current position is Event Manager for The Tank Museum (UK), organising their annual events programme, including Tankfest – the world’s largest display of moving armoured vehicles, which hosted 23,000 spectators in 2019. Outside of day-to-day work, Rosanna is a Trustee on the board of Dorset Mental Health Forum and provides event consultancy work, including being a published contributor to the 2019 Goodfellow Publisher’s ‘The Principles of Festival Management’.

What has your career pathway been like so far?

My career path has been primarily events focused, whilst dipping into tour management and television work on the side when I have found the time. Despite initially starting in major tourism events with the team at Bournemouth Council, my specialist area for quite some time was the music industry with full-time positions including Head of Operations for End of the Road Festival and freelancing in Artist Operation Management for music festivals across Australia, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Outside of my music experience, I have been fortunate to work on two national mental health conferences in Western Australia and fulfil venue management contracts for two of the world’s largest sporting events: the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London (2012) and Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (2018).

Having done a full circle, both professionally and geographically, I’m now working back within the tourism sector of Dorset fulfilling the role of Event Manager at the Tank Museum in Bovington. Here, I am in charge of the annual events programme of Dorset’s largest indoor attraction including their signature event Tankfest which attracted 23,000 ticket holders in 2019.

Describe a typical day at work.

90% of my work is office-based 9am-5pm and I spend the majority of this time with my head stuck in spreadsheets organising everything from staffing and event schedules, to trader applications and varying event budgets, with the support of my two events team employees. When not at my desk, I am quite often found holding meetings with contractors and suppliers as well as other department leads at the museum, to ensure they have maximum involvement in the events programme. When it comes to event days, the average working day lengthens and I find my daily steps have crept up from constant site walks and checking that the event build, the day itself and the breakdown is running as it should, troubleshooting as I go. One minute I could be dealing with a VIP, the next a blocked toilet!

What's the most rewarding aspect of your role?

When I first started at the museum, the most rewarding aspect was developing the logistical and financial planning of their existing events in a way which meant delivery was easier for the museum staff whilst both customer satisfaction and revenue increased. As a registered charity, it is crucial that we do not make a loss with our events as all money made is put back into the museum, enabling other departments to fund some of their restoration, preservation and educational goals.

Over a year into the job, however, I now find the most rewarding aspect is having the opportunity to bring in my own, new event ideas, ones that have a wider positive impact to those who surround the Museum. 2019’s biggest reward was the Keep on Track event to coincide with World Mental Health Day. Not only was it a brand new successful event logistically, but the feedback on the impact it had for those who attended was truly moving and as a result it is now a fixed addition in the year planner.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

One of the main reasons I chose to student Events Management at AUB was due to the fact you were required to organise events each year. These annual live projects, combined with the required work experience model, provided key ‘real-life’ skills in the industry, particularly in regards to networking and collaboration. Furthermore, due to being encouraged to work with different students on variable projects each time, effective project and people management proved crucial to success in the course and, more importantly, in work after graduating.

What do you find are the most in demand requests for your job?

  • Good administration and project managing skills, particularly in regards to managing multiple projects at once.
  • Strong people management and communication skills.
  • Ability to work well under pressure.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job do you work with other specialist or sectors?

I frequently find myself liaising with a wide variety of individuals from contrasting sectors. These include, but are not limited to: security planning with the MOD & Police; health and safety planning with the South West Ambulance Service, Dorset Council and Dorset Fire Service; event supplier booking with variable contractors ranging from marquee and toilet hire to musicians and staffing; and partnership development with charitable trusts and larger international brands in the gaming and engineering industry.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

There are three key things that always seem as a surprise:

  • Events take months of planning. In this case, our biggest event, Tankfest, has a planning process that is continuously rolling and in many cases we will plan for two years time whilst also organising the current event alongside organising the rest of our events programme.
  • The job is 90% administration. Site days are great, but they are few and far between in reality!
  • It’s not all glamourous. I have been fortunate to have mixed with some very high profile people. However, it really can be a situation of speaking with them one minute, and the next minute you’re dealing with a block toilet, or worse, a fire!

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The pressure. The events programme is hugely responsible for the museum’s annual charity turnover and if I don’t meet my targets, other departments can’t fulfil their forward plan. We also have a lot of people attending with varying opinions on what’s good/bad/could be improved so whilst meeting your internal team’s needs, you also have the pressure of wanting to ensure the customers/guests have a great and time and, even more importantly, feel they had great value for money and want to come back.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Get work experience in various event sectors to see what you do and don’t like in the industry before getting tied down into a full time position, you’ll gain some valuable contacts from doing so. Also, make sure you take some time to travel, whether it be for work experience or getting ‘itchy feet’ out of your system (and it doesn’t have to always be international). It’s good to explore and see different cultures. The experience of travelling has an unpredictable way of helping and inspiring people to focus on what they might want to achieve when they’re ready to commit to career plan.

What developments are happening in your field which excites you?

The more digital/online based style of events fascinate me – a much wider audience without the venue capacity restrains – online gaming and e-sports in particular spring to mind. Furthermore, I am fascinated with light shows. There is something quite amazing about how much of an impact lighting and projection can have now in event settings. Finally, environmental initiatives have become a key focus, and rightfully so. Events produce so much waste and I’m keen to get involved in finding ways to ensure this no longer is the case.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Particularly when I was freelancing, exploring where I was going to based and how long for was a deciding factor on assessing potential income and whether the job was worth the financial risk.

As for facilities, particularly when freelancing, I never sought an office that required rent and where this suited the client, I would just work remotely in order to keep costs down – I’d wholeheartedly recommend this going forwards, just ensure you know how to switch-off and hide the work away when you’re having a day off.

Logistically, a driving licence has always proven key and I would recommend all event professionals hold one, regardless as to whether or not they are city based with good transport options.

Graduated, BA (Hons) Photography (2014)

www.kymcox.com

What has your career pathway been like so far?

I had an operation on my spine when I was 19 and for six months I wasn’t allowed to sit down, so I got a 'standing up' job selling cosmetics in Debenhams. One day, my friend had a barney with her Area Manager manager and decided to call it quits and head to the Job Centre that lunchtime. Whilst there I saw an advert for a 'Trainee Fingerprint Expert' and thought, "I'd like to do that", (although I wasn't the one looking for a new career!) The application forms were in the police station so we trotted round there, all big shoes and big hair (it was the early eighties) and they asked me to match some fingerprints and I did and I got the job! I loved it and became an expert in classifying and identifying scenes of crime marks with fingerprints held on record and preparing evidence for court.

I eventually gave it up to raise a young family and live overseas in Luanda, Angola. We also lived in Baku, Azerbaijan where I established and ran a series of 'Digital Photography' classes for ex-pats and Nationals. Each series of classes worked towards an exhibition of the work, all-in-all it was an absolute hoot! It was then I decided I'd like to teach Photography at GCSE level when we returned home to the UK.

On returning, I passed AS-Level Photography and photographed bubbles for one of the units. At the time I discovered soap bubbles and films are fascinating subjects to work with. The more I looked into it and the more I became amazed with their application and relevance to physics, biology, mathematics, architecture, fashion as well as the established symbolism throughout art history. It was great and really exciting and the more I fell in love in with them.

I now specialise in photographing and working with bubbles, largely in collaboration with Prof. Stefan Hutzler, Leader of the Foams and Complex Systems Group, School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin - It’s a fascinating area of research and as a result, my work has been exhibited London's Science Museum, New Scientist magazine, New York Times, BBC World News and much more. On the 4th February 2020, I was awarded 'Macro Photographer of the Year 2020' by the British Photography Awards and 'Close-Up Photographer of the Year 2019', (in the Macro category). Three of my photographs was shortlisted for Royal Photographic Society Science Photographer of the Year 2019 and was awarded a Fellowship of the British Institute of Professional Photographers.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

I frequently work through the night - it’s quieter and allows me to fully concentrate more. I get up around 1 am or 2 am - reply to 'urgent' emails. However, I do prefer telephone conversations over emails, (during normal working hours).

Strangely, I don’t actually spend much time photographing! There’s a lot of research involved so I put a fair amount of time aside to think, work things out and carry out even more research. Then there’s a lot of experimentation in creating bubble mixtures and solutions - fortunately, I have a well-equipped lab in my studio. Sometimes a mixture solution can take months to achieve a good working consistency. I also spend a fair amount of time designing, planning and building studio rigs. In my line of ArtScience work, nothing is ever straight-forward.

What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I spend plenty of time just looking and watching the bubbles and soap films! In general, Photographers will tend to notice things others miss or scoot over. In general, Scientists don’t have huge amounts of time just to observe in the same way. My role means I need to continually make close observations of the subjects and to understand their behaviour and phenomena and on occasion, discover something new: which is what happened with my 'Bubble Chains' - a new discovery for Science! I'll be credited as the main author for a Bubble Chain Physics Paper that will be submitted for Peer Review and Publication sometime this year – not something that happens to many photographers!

Communicating these ideas to the public is key and so very important to me. Exhibiting as part of the Science Museum's 'Science Photographer of the Year' was a big achievement for Stefan and me. Neither of us could have anticipated such a display on our own, in our own professional worlds but by collaborating we did it. Working together creates something really special. Our ArtScience collaboration has been brilliant.

It’s amazing what bubbles and films can do and how investigating them has led to everyday objects and processes that you wouldn’t necessarily imagine. Bubbles in a confined space automatically self-organise into the most space-efficient configuration. This has a profound effect on materials science and the development of glass, plastics, fire-fighting foams, bulletproof vests, even toothpaste! I could talk for hours about the science!

I’ve worked with bubbles for a long time but I still get excited and butterflies when I’m into a real good shoot or a particular line of research.

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

I’m a future-thinking person, I don’t like looking back. I’d say... don’t waste time. Stop doing what you’re doing if you don’t enjoy it. Chalk it up to experience, find something else and move on.

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

I’m always looking for something new. I regularly attend a conference every two years on the latest scientific research and thinking on foams to get inspired. I saw a paper on the effect of sound waves on bubbles, which inspired my latest project. I’ve made a frame and set-up a rig and I’m playing different types of music to see the effect it has. A friend came to see it and I played one of her favourite pieces of music and it created a real emotional response. She thought it was beautiful. It gave me butterflies too!

Graduated, BA (Hons) Animation Production (2015)

boxbeatrobot.com

Overview

Ed Smith is a Director, 2D Animator and Illustrator based in London. He makes 2D animations, often with a mixed media element. His work has a strong visual aesthetic, coupled with psychological depth and varies from the character-driven through to experimental. Ed has experience working on short films, music videos, commercials and TV. His graduation film Police has been screened at festivals around the world. His short film Hair was aired on BBC Four in 2018.

What has your career pathway been like for far?

My first job was an internship at Red Knuckles in London working on a music video. This was an entry role, 2D cleanup, and was only expenses paid. Luckily I could commute to London from my home. I was also very lucky that it started the week I moved back from Bournemouth. I then worked another internship at a different studio at the recommendation of a guy I had worked with at Red Knuckles. Then in 2016, I started a Masters degree at the National Film and Television School in Directing for Animation. I did this for two years doing occasional jobs but mainly focusing on the course. Here I made my graduation film, Police, which later got staff picked on Vimeo when I released it online.

After NFTS, I have mostly been freelancing in 2D Animation and Cleanup and After Effects. In 2018, I applied for and received funding from the BBC and British Film Institute (BFI) to make a short film. The film is called, Hair, which I directed with a small team of friends and students. This involved a lot of extremely hard work over six months. This was shown on BBC Four. Since then, I have been working various jobs; most notably I was lucky enough to get an animation role on The Tiger that Came to Tea, which showed on TV this Christmas. This was a tough but rewarding experience. I also worked on a music video for my band, experimenting with a new technique. I have directed two shorts in collaboration with a Scottish online comic called Butsay, which has been very fun.

Freelance work started off patchy, sometimes I had months between jobs and unless I had a project on (such as the music video) it could be soul destroying not knowing when a job would come. Often, many would come at once (within the same minute) and I’d have to choose. I also had moments when I’d have to turn down a really good opportunity having committed to something else. However, in the past six months work has picked up and I mostly get jobs from people emailing me, and not vice versa. I am finding I am getting booked for a new job before my current one ends. Though projects can still fall through and dates move all the time.

Describe a typical day at work for you

My workday can vary vastly from month-to-month, dependant on job. I either work from home or in a studio. I would rather the latter as I don't like being alone, though working from home occasionally can be nice. I have also done projects where me and a friend work at each other's house, which has the benefits of working from home minus the loneliness, which can help your motivation.

I have worked in many different studios, some have two or three people, some have hundreds. Sometimes we are all working the same project and sometimes the people around me are on different jobs and we don't interact. They all have different vibes, different work ethics. Some have strict hours (usually 9.30am-6pm/ 10am-6.30pm) and if they don't its an unwritten rule that you put in that amount of hours. Sometimes projects require you to work overtime, and you often feel obligated to do so as you want to be hired with them again.

Some places have a table where every eats lunch together, or people want to go out for lunch, some places there isn't and everyone eats at their desk. If this is the case, I usually try to go for a walk after eating or invite people to lunch with me. One place I worked at had a free lunch, which was nice! Some places are full of just animation people who all understand how the job works, some places aren’t and the people you work for are honestly clueless about the job you do, which can be frustrating. Some jobs are easy, some are hard and stressful; some are tedious, some engaging. Sometimes all at once.

The main factor that makes a job good or not is whether you have good people around you who make you feel comfortable. At first I felt scared in every new place I went, like an imposter, like I didn't fit in. Everyone seemed to know each other. But now, as I do more and more jobs, I am more relaxed in new environments, plus I start seeing the same faces and you soon realise all the freelancers know each other. So my typical day can vary, I can travel far or not far at all, to a good job or a bad one with great people or no people, or not so great people.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

Again, I am always changing roles so I guess that is the most rewarding aspect. There is variety and when I don't have work I can work on my own creative projects. I guess whether I am working or not if I am being creative, whether making my own work or problem solving someone else's, I find it rewarding. Sometimes I just end-up doing the tedious job or re-doing something because the client wants a insignificant change.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at aub?

I learnt a lot of things at AUB but the one thing I notice when I meet others who didn't go to AUB is that they haven’t learnt to draw properly. Even some of the top animators I meet are terrible at drawing anatomy, 3-dimensional drawings, weight of characters, etc. I think that's the number one thing that the Animation course at AUB hammers into you: good drawing is the centre of everything in animation. Particular 2D but I think if you can draw well it’ll help with 3D and also Stop Motion.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialists or sectors?

I mainly collaborate with other Artists and Producers. Artists being animators, storyboarders, animation assistants, background artists, etc. Producers and the Production team are those who organise the project.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

The main thing I find people who aren't involved in Animation don’t seem to realise about my job is - that it is a job! I mean this mostly in relation to clients. If I work for a studio, they are working with an Ad agency or Record Label, who is paying them; who in turn works for a big client who pays them. In this situation, everyone knows we are doing a job. If I work one-on-one with a client however, often people email me requesting some big Animation project and seem happy to offer me £100 or something, almost as a token for a job that will take a month! They are often aghast when I send them a quote for a month's work. I have on multiple occasions had to explain that this is my job and I need to earn money for food and rent and stuff, to which the response is usually “I guess I hadn’t really thought about it."

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

The most challenging aspect is working with new people all the time, meaning it's harder to speak up if you think you are being treated unfairly or blamed for something that wasn’t your fault. You don’t want to upset people and make a bad impression as people are more likely to trust or side with someone they know. This does get easier with time and you learn how to read people or work out when might be the right time to say something (or bite your tongue).

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

Don’t stress about every moment of interaction or work you have in the industry as if it will make or break your career. Though some things are important not to mess-up, it's not the end of the world if they do and you can move on. Also if you aren’t stressed, you’ll find that things become much easier because you aren’t constantly worrying all the time.

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

Netflix is commissioning Animations, Shorts and Features and they are good. I think it’ll open up people to a world of Animation they didn't know existed beyond Disney and Dreamworks.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Saving money for when work is slow and not over-working when doing your own projects. Otherwise, you’ll just end-up stressed and depressed.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

Every way possible. LinkedIn is okay...it's not great. It can be one of the worst places in the universe as it's mostly full of people spreading motivational messages and writing hot takes on business, but I've definitely 'connected' with some people there.

Events and festivals and having a drink with people is the best way to get to know them, especially if you aren't talking about work.

Working with them is another another great way, as you're in the same boat so you can bond. Just make sure to talk to people, again not always about work, so go for lunch or some drinks when someone suggests it. This is how people can remember you and then they're more likely to email you asking for your work. Businesses can be worried about hiring unknowns without a recommendation from somebody. Often there is a lot of money and future contracts on the line so they can’t afford someone who may have a good portfolio but is terrible to work with.

Graduated, BA (Hons) Modelmaking (2010)

What has your career pathway been like so far?

My first job after the BA was working on Steven Spielberg’s Warhorse making weapons and leather accessories for the armoury department. I met my partner while working on Warhorse and she influenced me in my views and interest in fine art.

After working on a couple of films I saw a modelmaking job advertised with the artist Alex Hartley based in Devon and subsequently worked on and off with him for 3 years. This furthered my interest in fine art, which led me to my role with Brian Clarke Studio, again an advertised post.

The position with Alex Hartley was on a freelance basis and I also worked during this time in a care home in the south west. Having regular work in the care home gave me the security to spend a couple of years developing my own sculptural practice. I often reflect on this time setting up my own workshop and going it alone. It has been an important part of my journey in learning about how I work and where I want to be.

Describe a typical day at work for you.

I am based most days at Brian Clarke Studio in London, from 9.30-17.30. I am either in the workshop or at the computer making architectural models or developing designs to facilitate the production of Brian’s artworks. I would definitely say that there is no typical day. We are a small team of only 12 in total, so we help each other out where needed, perhaps hanging artworks in the studio space or just putting up shelves!

What's the most rewarding aspect of your current role?

I feel really lucky to be working in such a unique company. I find it very rewarding working in a small team and enjoy being able to manage my own time in the projects I am responsible for.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your time at AUB?

On a practical level, learning to use Rhino software has helped me a lot in my current role. Having computer skills is a big part of what makes me valuable at the Studio. I also place great value in my friends and fellow students from AUB. I learnt a lot from the various approaches to modelmaking and I still recall the people and the skills that I came across and it continues to inform the way I work.

What do you find are the most in-demand requests for your skills base?

I think to be able to solve problems quickly and effectively whilst maintaining a high standard of work; knowing to what level something needs to be done and adapting as things change.

Who do you collaborate with to do your job? Do you work with other specialists or sectors?

Yes, we work with other design teams, such as architects and interior designers. We also work with metal and woodworkers.

What specialist/ sector would you like to collaborate with that you don’t currently?

I would like to work more closely with furniture makers, especially those who share my passion for working with wood.

What are the main things people may not realise about your job?

How long it takes to make even seemingly simple things.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

My commute! I love my job and it's worth the journey across London but on a bad day, it can take me 2 and a half – 3 hours to get home to my family!

What advice would you give yourself on graduation if you knew then what you know now?

I would say relax and remember you have learnt a lot of things on the Modelmaking course that makes you very much in demand.

What developments are happening in your field which excite you?

I am excited about the crossover between design and the concern for the environment. I'm also excited by innovations in technology, which can help designers to be more environmentally-friendly in their working practise.

What practical things do you need to think about when building a creative career?

Having a driving licence is definitely a valuable practical skill to be able to offer employers! I guess you need to think about whether you want to be employed or self-employed. It's useful to know yourself – running your own business isn’t for everyone.

How do you network and make connections with people in your industry?

I follow people I am interested in on Instagram. I find it really useful to see how others are innovating in my field and connected fields. For most creative companies their Social Media accounts are their main public platform. Social Media is a great way to find out about public events, such as talks and open studios where you can meet other makers.

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