MA Fine Art alumnus, Rebecca Strain, travelled from Aberdeen to Bournemouth, meeting alumni along the way. She tells us about her A – B journey.

“It’s being really cool; I can’t believe it’s been a month, its gone really quickly. Its been really tiring as well, being in transit all the time and not knowing where you are going to put your head down every night, but meeting all these people and seeing all the different directions people have gone in, from this one base to where its all taken them.

I think I was just so impressed by what people were doing. Without art things just don’t exist. Everything in the world needs to be designed and  has to be thought about. Meeting those people you get to see the start of process, they were coming with ideas and making things happen in the world. Some of the things were quite small scale, but others were huge. Big film production, a lot of it I can’t speak about, because they are in the process of being made. It was really inspiring seeing the determination of people because its not easy, its not an easy path to take and there are up and downs. Sometime its amazing and people are doing really amazing jobs and other times you are sat dong the crap paper work.

There are a lot of people free lancing and within the creative industry, a lot of things are project based. Whilst you are doing them its really intense and you’re part of that, but then it sort of drops. What I have noticed is that everyone becomes aware of that quite quickly and able to manage that. Whilst one project comes to an end there is another one coming. Even when there is not and there are a few months of gap, this one guy went to France and he met all these people he would never have met before, it was a really good experience. Another girl, had 11 weeks were she was looking for work, but she knew that it wasn’t some sort of crazy dream, she was qualified and experience and she was going to get work, maybe not tomorrow but it was going to be soon. She was going to do it and she would be back on the horse in no time. Tt was that kind of drive and determination and the trust that people had in there own abilities.

My journey was like a lot of our creative pathways and careers, the forks and the turn and the dreadful bits. You start off and you think right, I’ll start here and then I’ll do this and then this and I’ll end here, and that’s not how it works at all! You start off and you go with what is happening. You go with the flow, you find out what’s happening, you get distracted by something. If its interesting you go with that, and its quite interesting because the physical journey, I would have like to have a GPS tag on me and actually see what that was like, map it out.

As I say, its not easy. The creative industry is not easy and people are working really hard for really rewarding work. What I really noticed is that when I was here, like everyone else, there’s this feeling of an extended family while you’re at AUB. It’s very small, everybody knows each other, you recognise each other in the corridors, people are working with each other helping each other out. Whilst I was working out in the big bad world, I found is that the AUB alumni were continuing to maintain that kind of environment. They were maintaining those kind of relationships with their colleagues, with new people they were meeting and creating these kind of supportive environments and being open to collaboration, continuing the ethos. It’s and extended community. It could be like dog eat dog but its not. People are supportive and helping each other and its great.”

What is your One Piece of Advice?

“Be undeterred by months or even year of struggle, because you will get there.”