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Class of 2020

plymouthart.ac.uk

A triumphant celebration of work from PLymouth College of Art’s BA (Hons) Illustration Class of 2020.

Thirty-three graduates share their work, their aspirations and inspirations — as they finish a degree during the strangest time of our lives.

@illustrationPCA


BA (Hons) Illustration

True Grit

Meaning: True resolve, determination, or strength of character.

The team behind this publication Editor & Art Director: Sam Rowe Copy Editors: Ben Wright Bridgette Ashton Claudelle Williams Corinne Mildiner Jason Hirons Jay Rowe Jim Rowe Mel Brown Naomi Batts Phil Trenerry Steve Panton Tommy Parker Contact: BA (Hons) Illustration Plymouth College of Art Tavistock Pace Plymouth PL4 8AT illustration@pca.ac.uk

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Printing Newspaper Club Room 103 South Block 58-60 Osborne St Glasgow G1 5QH

Fonts Headings: Citizen OT Bold by Zuzana Licko Body: Karla Regular by Jonny Pinhorn

Copyright All rights reserved. All images are copyright to their respective owners and may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the owner’s express written permission. This publication or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the editor.

Published in July 2020


Class of 2020

Table of Contents 3

Plymouth College of Art

Introduction4 Donatienne Borione

6

Lo Axenderrie

8

Ashtyn Botterill

9

Ivy Brooks

10

Gemma Brown

12

Caitlin Angell

14

Julia Burley

16

Cecily Goff

18

Elena Chopping

20

Faye Cullen

21

Matt Brampton

22

Rebecca Withers

23

Becca Brealy

24

Maddison Alexia Wass

26

Conor Mullin

28

Sean Morgan

30

Jua O’Kane

32

Beth Davies

34

Emma Maddie

35

Ali Durman

36

Poppy Goldsmith

38

Izzy Hazard

40

Emma Groves

42

Keri Lock

44

April Howard

46

Jamie Shannon

48

Kezia Lovell

50

Jess Holloway

52

Katie Lynch

54

Tyler Sankey

55

Ariel Buhlmann

56

Rebecca Mortimore

58

Charlotte Leadley

60

Index of Information62


BA (Hons) Illustration

To the class of 2020 Let’s start big. Working through a whole degree is an absolutely epic achievement under any circumstances and should not be taken lightly. Even when the world is ‘normal’, it’s easy to skip over the weight of the thing as a whole; get caught up in the granular mundanity of the day-to-day. But there have been a thousand of those day-to-days: Hundreds of hours of toil, joy, excitement, frustration, tears. No one ever told you it would be easy but you did it anyway (and discovered it wasn’t).

Introduction

The other thing no one told you was that you’d have to work through a world-changing global pandemic — the kind of event that we’ll read about in history books. The kind of thing that even our parents and grandparents haven’t lived through. The impact this has had (in a societal, institutional, and personal sense) defies description. How do you adapt and deal with something that affects every part of your life? For us as lecturers, the solutions are temporary. We will work from home and, eventually, our jobs will return to normal. It involves some practical difficulty but for us this is transient. For you, the finite experience of your study has been bent into a new shape. The future we were all certain would happen simply won’t. We replace it with consolations of varying success (this publication being one of them) but it can’t change the fact that you must now mourn the expectations you had to let go of — and that’s a really uncomfortable thing to do.

You have prevailed though. We’ve seen you reach new heights of tenacity and optimism as a group, as well as empathy and community — with a stubborn refusal to let something like a virus get in the way of your friendships and peer feedback. We talk with you often about responsibility when it comes to your studies and this experience has really highlighted the value you place on them. In the collaborative effort that is teaching and learning we literally could not have done this without your enthusiasm and resilience. So, thank you. We hope your own pride matches how immeasurably proud we are of all of you. Not just for the work, the drawings, the assessments; but the stuff in-between too. You are more than students, you are more than illustrators, and you are more than this degree. You did it!

“Kid, you’ll move mountains!” —O  h, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr Seuss

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Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

To the others If you’re reading this bit you’re probably a friend, family member, someone from industry, a prospective student, or a just a nosy graduate. What you’re holding is a rich celebration of exciting work and insightful answers from the BA (Hons) Illustration Class of 2020, Plymouth College of Art. If we could have made it longer, we would have done (but Newspaper Club wouldn’t let us print more than 64 pages). To the friends and family: All that pride we spoke about on the last page will pale in comparison to yours. Enjoy leafing through this small part of all that hard work— and make sure to get as many funny and embarrassing stories as you can out of them.

To the prospective students: Three years ago — all of these grads were just like you. Before they learned how to be degree students; before they made these lifelong friends; before they learned how to shape clay and glass and put together colour palettes — they were like you: wondering if this is the right thing to do; or certain that it is; or discovering illustration for the first time. If you’re wondering about studying with us — let this help you make the decision. Soak up the pictures, soak up the words. To the industry and commissioners: The work speaks for itself here so we think you’ll agree that it might be best to hire this lot sooner rather than later — before they get too busy to take on new work. You’re in for a treat.

From Sam, Ben, Mel, Phil, Bridgette, Caroline, and Jason

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Donatienne

Donatienne is a french illustrator based in Plymouth, UK specialising in bold, textured editorial work.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I think it’s a good mix of developing an artistic practice that you really enjoy doing, but also knowing how the industry works and the business side of it.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I do a lot of thumbnailing, and I take inspiration from everywhere. From films I watch to particular places or colours I see while wandering in my city.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Probably the freedom that comes with being a freelancer! As an editorial illustrator and a very curious person, I also really enjoy reading and illustrating very varied subject matter.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? I think the line between work and life can get blurry quickly so I don’t hesitate to put limits on my work days.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about?

Borione

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? My dad is a collector of french and belgian comics from the 1980s, I used to read them a lot as a kid and I always like to revisit them when I’m home as they are an endless source of inspiration.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I’m always super excited to see new work from Cristina Daura, as well as Thomas Dantony, Matteo Berton and Sua Balac!

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Can you describe the kind of work you make? I make mostly editorial illustrations with bright, saturated colours and rough textures, and I also make screen prints!

I’m really excited about my final project - it’s been a long time coming and I’m experimenting with some new stuff, I can’t wait for people to see it.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— donborione.cargo.site Instagram——— @dntbrx Twitter————— @don_borione

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donborione.cargo.site

"The line between work and life can get blurry quickly so I don’t hesitate to put limits on my work days"


Lo

BA (Hons) Illustration

Lo is a multidisciplinary artist based in Oxfordshire, working in a broad variety of media.

Website—— loaxenderrie.com Instagram— @lo_axe.jpg Twitter——— @loisaxenderrie

“It has been really empowering having complete creative control”

Creating a music video for my own song, ‘Patchwork Man’. It has been really empowering having complete creative control of my work, especially since I have such a personal relationship to the work.

Axenderrie

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I have notebooks full of short phrases or ideas that I build upon to create imagery of all kinds, from drawings to lyrics! I’m very introspective, and spend a lot of time with my own thoughts; so usually I come up with ideas when I’m in the bath or sipping a quiet coffee. I’m going to need a waterproof notebook!

Can you describe the kind of work you make? Like sinking your teeth into a slice of a roulette-wheel inspired cake.

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What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? From 1-1s with tutors, to group crits, to THEN eventually speaking in front of all of my peers in the Assembly, talking about my own work has been one of the hardest things for me to overcome.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? There are important lessons to be found in the smallest of tasks you’ll be surprised by what you learn when you’re not expecting to learn anything at all.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? I was, and still am obsessed with modelling clay. I used to make miniature food for my Sylvanian Families and Barbies. I went to a family wedding once and they had goodie bags for us kids, they were all very impressed when a 12 year old me made Gromit the dog like it was no problem!

loaxenderrie.com

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

A pattern and print illustrator, with a love of animals and botanicals.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Being confident with your work and to keep making.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I usually become fascinated by one specific animal or plant and it tumbles from there.

Monet’s lily pond, I went to visit his garden and studio when I was very young. I have fond memories of reading a book about him as a child.

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I always listen to music when working; King Krule, Mount Kimbie and Kurt Vile have been the soundtrack to my latest project.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

“I usually become fascinated by one specific animal or plant and it tumbles from there”

Botterill

ashillustrates.co.uk

Ashtyn

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

Try everything, use the college’s resources and create work that isn’t typically ‘illustration’.

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Website—— ashillustrates.co.uk Instagram— @ashtynbotterill


Ivy

BA (Hons) Illustration

Just your average illustrator trying to make their mark in this industry.

“Believe in yourself. You have potential. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here” What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? I created a sort of mock smoking campaign as the final outcome of one of my modules. I was excited about it, motivated, and determined to create something really great. It was definitely the most fun I’ve had on a project in a really long time.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Motivation. This is something I really struggle with. You can have all the talent in the world but I believe motivation is what really makes or breaks an illustrator.

Brooks

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? The best bit would have to be the feeling you get when you finish a piece of work. Just the feeling of awe, like ‘wow I did that’. Just don’t stare at it too long or you’ll start to hate it.

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Plymouth College of Art

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Believe in yourself. You have potential. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? Children’s Books. They get me every time. When I’m going through a creative rut, I look through some of my old books. My all time favourite is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I’m not sure. Recently I’ve been creating really personal and thought provoking work. I just feel more connected to a project when it’s something I connect to or even struggle with.

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I’ve been really into films, all from different genres. If I’m ever feeling stressed or anxious about the world around me I just pop on a film and escape for an hour or two. Currently my partner and I are watching New Girl. It’s hilarious. In times like these we all need a good laugh.

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Website———— ibrooksillustration.co.uk Instagram——— @ibrooksillustration

ibrooksillustration.co.uk

Class of 2020


Gemma

BA (Hons) Illustration

“I really enjoy reading and researching and bringing this into my work�

Brown

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A mixed media illustrator taking inspiration from her surroundings and history to produce her work.


Plymouth College of Art

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I love the research process. I really enjoy reading and researching and bringing this into my work. I always work in a sketchbook which helps me see the developments in my work and keep it all in one place. It also means I can go and work somewhere else, moving around while working keeps me engaged and influenced.

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What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? Going to Berlin and meeting professional illustrators living in the city. It was so insightful seeing how and where they work. It is also really reassuring that there are actually illustrators making a living drawings and working in beautiful studios.

Website———— gemmaillustration.co.uk Instagram——— @gemma.illustration

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about?

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

At the moment I am writing and illustrating my own history book about powerful tudor queens. I am very excited about this project as it is the biggest project I have done so far and cannot wait to finish it!

I get to use my art to voice my opinions and shed light on things/situations/events that are important to me.

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I’m currently rereading Harry Potter!! The illustrated book version which is just incredible and is filling me with inspiration. I love historical period dramas so I’ve been watching the Tudors, Versailles and Outlander. I am also listening to historical podcast ‘You’re dead to me’ and educating myself about our country’s heritage.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Don’t try to change the way you work just because others use different methods to you. Your work will be so much better when it is your own!

gemmaillustration.co.uk

Class of 2020


Caitlin

Take a dive into Caitlin’s disconcerting, illustrated world of colour and texture.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

Although there have been specific stand-out opportunities that have really stuck with me (such as exhibiting at the Tate Modern, and working on issue one of LAUD magazine), the course and university as a whole have meant even more to me than these rare and exciting projects! Just attending lectures and tutor sessions has impacted me more than anything else. Being able to discuss my work with such talented tutors and peers has had unrivalled value, it has taught me so much and has spurred me on to become the enthusiastic and driven illustrator I am now.

Creative doubt. Everyone has moments where motivation is lacking, but as an illustrator if you are hit by art block it can really take its toll. Most are lucky enough to have other hobbies, but when your main past-time is also your work, it’s quite easy to feel pretty lost. If you feel unable to create work it can definitely make you doubt your abilities – but after a few days of frantic messy doodling you can usually snap out of it...

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Somebody with drive and enthusiasm. Your work doesn’t often just speak for itself, personality and dedication will almost always have an impact on the connections you make in the industries that you want to notice you.

“Personality and dedication will almost always have an impact on the connections you make”

Angell

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What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Enthusiasm is absolutely key. You 100% get out what you put in, and this means that if you want advice on your work, you have to be open to giving it to others; this sort of discussion is always introduced in group crits. This doesn’t mean you have to have all the confidence in the world, just a simple ‘I like the colour palette!’ will go a long way. I have seen many examples of students being fed up with their projects, but these are the people

that don’t have the enthusiasm to think outside the box. Every single task is set as a jumping off point, with each brief being open for you to adapt it to suit your personal interests, so if you don’t like the sound of something, you should always adapt it to get the most out of it as you possibly can!

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I am constantly checking up on Tim Presley’s Instagram for anything and everything creative. He is one of my favourite musicians (check out his projects, White Fence, DRINKS and W-X for some cool noises) and is also a brilliant illustrator. I love seeing the abstract inky messes he makes, which never fail to make me jealous of how good he can make loose work look. In contrast, I always find myself absolutely mesmerised by the bizarre, colourful nature of Gill Waynor’s creations. We clearly share a love for medieval manuscript artwork, as I can see a lot of inspiration within his pieces. His strange compositions, content and imagery are things I strive to have the imagination to be able to pull off myself.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? After being reunited with my boyfriend and his brother after far too many weeks, I feel like I’ve been writing more of my own music than listening to other peoples, and will hopefully have something to show for it relatively soon (keep your eyes and ears peeled!). But to give some recommendations that actually exist on the internet, Modern Nature, Oog Bogo and Handle have released some brilliant records this year that are definitely worth an explore, with a special mention to WITCH (from the 70s, so not so recent), whose music has recently been very inspiring! Although lockdown has given me a lot of time to pick up a book, I don’t think I will ever prioritise reading. I am forever being nagged by my boyfriend to start John Peel’s biography that he gave me for christmas, but I am still half way through a book about robins by Stephen Moss (also given to me in December). I have spent far more of my time watching films (mostly on MUBI, which is definitely a good alternative whilst cinemas are closed), and binging Chernobyl over two nights (I know I’m late to the party but I was scared I’d be too squeamish to manage it).

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caitlinangell.com

“I am constantly checking up on Tim Presley’s Instagram for anything and everything creative”

Website———— caitlinangell.com Instagram——— @illustraitlin Twitter————— @illustraitlin


Julia

Julia is a traditional scientific illustrator specialising in botany, ornithology and medical subject matter.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? Holding my first solo exhibition. After volunteering to paint several murals in British Red Cross shops I was allowed to use a shop space as a gallery to display and sell my work.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Art history mainly. I will always look to the pioneers of the subject for inspiration when first starting a project. For example for botanical studies I would look at the sketches of Victorian explorers.

How do you promote yourself and use social media to get new work? I apply for a huge amount of competitions and briefs to promote my work and hopefully gain commissions. I find social media to be less successful at gaining work than responding to call outs and briefs.

“I will always look to the pioneers of the subject for inspiration when first starting a project”

Burley

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Comparing old work with new and seeing the evidence of your practice.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? The V&A and Natural History museum always have beautiful collaborations.

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Class of 2020

Website———— jb10674596.wixsite.com/website Instagram——— @juliarocciaart

@juliarocciaart

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Plymouth College of Art


Cecily

Cecily Goff is an illustrator specialising in portraiture with fun, botanical elements.

BA (Hons) Illustration

“Neil Buchanan can probably take the most credit for getting me into art”

Goff

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

How do you come up with and develop your ideas?

Growing up, I think ‘Art Attack’ was the first sort of introduction to art that I’d ever had. My dad and I even went to and took part in an ‘Art Attack’ event in Hyde Park! Neil Buchanan can probably take the most credit for getting me into art. Second to this, it would have been Quentin Blake’s illustrations, particularly his book ‘Revolting Rhymes’. His work got me really excited about drawing and I could see for the first time how my doodling and mindless scribbles could be turned into a lifelong thing. I’m not sure if it counts as when I was a kid but I adored Winshluss’ work and still do! I saw one of his exhibitions in Paris when I was 14 and it helped me to decide what path I wanted to go down career-wise just as I was being encouraged down the academic route.

I tend to get a lot of my inspiration from people I see, whether it be from fashion magazines, TV or those around me. From there, I’ll take something that has inspired me to draw and maybe thumbnail a bit though I usually like to just jump in with a picture and play around with it as I go. For commissioned work, however, I will do much more sketching and colour-arranging so the client can make decisions along the way. It avoids any situation where you spend 10 hours on a portrait for them to tell you to change something!

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What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? I’d say that it’s probably being your own critic and losing confidence. It’s difficult to not be hard on yourself and compare yourself to other great illustrators. Also, deadlines.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— cecilygillustration.com Instagram——— @ceciiilyg Twitter————— @ceciiilyg

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

I’m working on a Webtoon adaptation for Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’ for my final project and I think it’s quite exciting. It’s become a bit of a passion project and has allowed me to research more into the 60s as well as just have fun with adapting a classic story!

Most probably my ‘Prayers for the Cheesy Chips’ zine I made for my first Uni project this year. I also had a lot of fun with the map of Plympton I was commissioned for!

I’m an avid Law and Order fan! At the moment, I’m binge watching Law and Order UK re-runs, but Special Victims Unit will always be my go-to. Alongside this, the latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, directed by Autumn de Wilde, has become a massive inspiration for me and my work. It’s just so pretty and instantly boosts my mood!

Experiment as much as you can! Don’t worry about keeping to a ‘style’ because it will change. Just enjoy the process and the opportunities given to you that enable you to play with different mediums and styles. It makes it a lot easier to find what you like and what you don’t and can avoid an early burn out!

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I think you’re successful as an illustrator if you illustrate! Whatever it is or however frequent it is, if you illustrate something then it fits the job role fairly successfully, I’d say.

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cecilygillustration.com

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about?


Elena

BA (Hons) Illustration Elena Chopping Is a London based illustrator whose work explores curiosity with the world around her and forgotten stories that tie into them.

Website———— ec10676322.wixsite.com/elena-chopping Instagram——— @elenachopping

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

There’s not one particular experience that has stuck with me during the degree but rather the overall experience of my peers and being surrounded by so many passionate, hardworking people. Being able to bounce ideas and experience off them.

I don’t think there’s one big thing. You could produce the most incredible work but if you don’t have the drive to put yourself out there it’s all for naught. On the flip side you could be promoting yourself and your work left, right and centre but if you don’t take the time to improve and produce work it’s all pointless. Being a good illustrator is all about balancing different aspects.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? Your hobby is now your job and you have to find something else to do as a hobby or you’ll burn out. I personally like building terrariums.

Listen to your peers and never take criticism personally — people aren’t there to rip into your work and put you down. Often they’ve just seen something you maybe haven’t.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? Owen Davey for sure, His ‘about’ series of animal fact books are stunning and super informative for Children or adults. Also Im really looking forward to new things from Luke Healy; he’s the author of ‘Americana and the act of getting over it’ and I’ve kinda fallen in love with his work this year.

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“Listen to your peers and never take criticism personally”

@elenachopping

Chopping

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Creativity is Faye’s cure.

Website———— freeingfaye0.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @Freeing_Faye

Faye

“It’ll be a rare opportunity that your days are filled with making giant bird costumes” What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

I think the entire experience has changed me. I started the degree with little self belief, expecting to be finishing my degree facing a bleak and dismal future. Yet continuous support, making friends, ridiculous projects, stress testing and many sneak-outs for an early lunch will always stick with me in my heart.

Do all the dumb shit. Whinge about it but still do it. All those ridiculous tasks that your tutors are setting you like decorating biscuits, scribbling and drawing with bamboo, just do it. Put up and shut up because one day, you will look back and be grateful as you realise all that ridiculous stuff did help you develop in the long run. As you realise it helped you explore new tools. Be able to get comfortable with imperfections. Remove yourself out of your mind and learn to have fun. Besides, after you leave university and become a proper working adult, it’ll be a rare opportunity that your days are filled with making giant bird costumes and board games with your friends. Embrace this being the most exhausting thing in your life right now because it won’t always be that way.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Whatever is annoying me most about the world at the time of starting a project.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Using the whacky stuff that comes out of my left hand in order to help make the positive changes I want to see in the world. Also being twenty two but still able to shamelessly buy a box of crayons and glitter.

Cullen 21

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? The Gruffalo by Axel Scheffler will always hold my heart.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? Bodacious nonsense.

@freeing_faye

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?


Expressive illustrations centred around social issues and current events with a graphic style.

Website———— bramptonmatt.cargo.site Instagram——— @bramptonmatt

“There’s some inherent instability that comes from working in a creative and competitive field”

Brampton

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Being confident in your work and putting yourself out there.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I start with some loose sketches inspired by the idea or brief and then start thumbnailing and making roughs. My work begins in a sketchbook and my final outcomes are usually digital.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? There’s some inherent instability that comes from working in a creative and competitive field. Pursuing a predominantly self-fueled career can be a very daunting and overwhelming prospect.

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Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? I’m very excited to launch my new website with some snazzy personal branding. I’m excited/nervous to finish my final outcome for this course!

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? Ariel Davis, Alva Skogg, Louis Fratino, Clive Hicks-Jenkins

How do you promote yourself and use social media to get new work? Engaging and interacting with my audience, finding good people to interact and share with. Uploading work in progress is a great way to share your process and keep your account active.

bramptonmatt.cargo.site

Matt

BA (Hons) Illustration


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Instagram—— @r3dqu33nillustrator Twitter———— @red__queen__art

Someone who is not afraid to stick to what they believe in and to portray their beliefs in their artwork.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Drawing what I love to draw but to also be given challenges through clients and briefs that land on my desk.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I follow many creatives and some not well known creatives but I’m always excited to see new things they post because I’ve always loved looking at other people’s work.

Withers

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I’m currently watching Ghost Stories and reading Twisted Tales of alice in wonderland and listening to a wide range of music from rock to classic to songs from games or anime or fan made music for video games.

@r3dqu33nillustrator

Rebecca

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

“I’m currently watching Ghost Stories and reading Twisted Tales of Alice in Wonderland”

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Rebecca is a quirky illustrator that enjoys drawing cartoon characters and creatures.


Becca

Becca is an alternative illustrator working mainly with traditional pen and ink mediums.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

This last project has been my stand out favourite. Despite Covid-19 disrupting college and missing out on time in the studio, I’ve still thoroughly enjoyed the process at home. I’ve been able to discover what I love creating the most throughout this last year and I feel this HEX. SEX. TEA & CATS project has really brought it all together. I’m confident in the direction of my self-led work and have been able to fully, unapologetically express myself.

In my second year I had the privilege to intern at a local non-profit art studio and I had the opportunity to participate with the Plymouth Art Weekender event. It really stuck with me because I wasn’t involved as an intern, I was asked to participate on my own merit. It was also working for this studio that really boosted my confidence in my own work as well as giving me professional networking experience.

I still can’t get over that people would give me money to do the thing I’ve been doing and obsessed with doing ever since I could hold a pencil the right way up. It blows my mind.

Quentin Blake! I adored his illustrations (and still do) in the Roald Dahl books we had. My particular favourite was The Twits, I loved how grotesque they were and the illustration of Mr. Twit recoiling at the sight of his wife’s glass eye at the bottom of his pint was my favourite.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Spend some time every day looking at other artists’ work, whether it’s on social media or your classmates and visually consume as much as you can. But most of all, do what makes you happy.

“I still can’t get over that people would give me money to do the thing I’ve been doing and obsessed with doing ever since I could hold a pencil the right way up”

Brealy

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How do you promote yourself and use social media to get new work? I’m always on Instagram. I use the platform to promote my shop, network with other artists, find new artists to follow as well as just general daily inspiration and keeping up to date with current events within the industry. I also use Facebook and Twitter to post about new ideas and new concepts. My own website is currently in the pipeline.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I work mainly in pen and ink, sometimes digitally. I tend to err on the side of macabre and absolutely adore Wicca and witchcraft themes, I’m a complete horror buff and love dark art and illustration concepts.


Class of 2020

Website———— etsy.com/shop/brealyillustration Instagram——— @brealyillustration Twitter————— @brealyillustr8

@brealyillustration

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Plymouth College of Art


Maddison Alexia Wass

BA (Hons) Illustration

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? I think the best thing about being an illustrator is that no matter what you are creating, you are always on an incline to become even greater, the second that pen hits the paper, you know that you’re already improving with every mark you make.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? I find that the worst thing about being an illustrator (for me anyway) is how quickly you seem to burn out. You find yourself on a roll, illustrating your best work only to find that you don’t want to draw for the next couple of days, tired and creatively drained from working.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Something I really struggled with a lot was taking critical and all constructive feedback personally, especially in the beginning, I always used to think it was my peers responding negatively to my work. Please don’t do this, really listen to what your peers and lecturers are telling you, it’s not an attack, it’s help. After I realised this myself and learnt to listen to their feedback, I found that my work improved greatly. I’m at a place with my work now that I would have never thought I’d be, and I’m grateful.

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Maddison is a London based digital illustrator who works a lot around natural female beauty.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

I really enjoyed working on my most recent project, where I created an emotional fiction comic book called "Solitude", where it touches on a deep-set feeling of isolation and loneliness.

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? I think the thing that has really stuck with me most, is being able to meet so many people with similar interests and aspirations, and be able to grow and develop aside each other creatively. Making amazing lifelong friends along the way.

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“You are always on an incline to become even greater — the second that pen hits the paper, you know that you’re already improving”

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I absolutely love work that is bright and vivid imagery so I fall in love when I see Olive Hide’s work. The sense of storytelling and really saturated colours really make all of their work stunning.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I find that I have a very stylised way of working, I work a lot with the female figure and I make that very clear in my work. When asking a friend how a third party would describe my work, they said it is very "bubblegum-esque", and I definitely agree.

@maddisonwass

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

Website———— maddisonwassillustration.com Instagram——— @maddisonwassillustration Twitter————— @maddisonwass


Conor

Conor Mullin is an illustrator, designer and animator based in Plymouth. He creates strange, abstract worlds in his work.

BA (Hons) Illustration

“I like to sit down and explore a topic as much as I can —the projects I enjoy the most are those where I get lost in the research�

Mullin

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

How do you come up with and develop your ideas?

In second year I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to create a mural for the College. I was commissioned to design a time line of the College to go in one of the corridors. This mural really stuck with me as it was my first proper commission, which was an experience in itself, but has allowed me to leave my own mark on the College.

A lot of research. I like to sit down and explore a topic as much as I can, the projects I enjoy the most are those where I get lost in the research stage, resulting in tangent after tangent. I feel the more fascinated in these tangents I get the more this shows in the quality of my work. Areas I like to look at for inspiration when going on these tangents often revolve around weird tales and folklore alongside cheesy sci-fi posters and book covers from the 50s-80s.

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Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— conormullin.co.uk Instagram——— @conorscribbles_ Twitter————— @conorscribbles_

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? The hours. As you work your own hours it’s hard to get the correct work-life balance. When not doing work it’s easy to feel guilty that I’m not working.

Try new things. It’s easy to stick in a comfort zone but the more interesting work I have done has been a result of pushing my comfort zones. The College is great for that as there is so much varied equipment around the College that it’s worth utilising this. I remember finding the sand blaster in second year which allowed me to take a more tactile approach to my work.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I always get excited to see new work from James Yeo, art director and illustrator behind Left Handed Brewery. I really love his use of bold colours and the abstract nature of his work. Another illustrator that I look forward to see work from is Kyle Meyerdierks. Kyle has a real knack for world building and creating unique and interesting stories through the form of Choose Your Own Adventure stories on his Instagram posts.

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conormullin.co.uk

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?


Sean

Sean is an artist who enjoys exploring the everyday through texture, shape and humour.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

“I want my knowledge and ability to be used for the better of others”

Morgan

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I don’t think that your "skill" as an illustrator is what makes you successful personally. I believe an illustrator is more successful if they use their illustrations to change people’s outlooks on the world. Not to sound preachy but we have this ability to use images to show people something in a way that is more engaging and emotive than I think words can be. I believe that you are a successful illustrator, not if you have piles of awards and book deals lying around your massive house, but if you can create change for the better with your work.

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My experiences in attempting to set up the Riso Charity Print have stuck with me the most. Even though I ultimately failed in setting up the project and publishing the first print before graduating. It has been a brilliant series of failures that has taught me a lot. Thanks to the problems and successes in attempting to set it up, I have a much greater knowledge in how it all needs to work and what I need to look out for. It is something that I am going to try and properly set up postgraduation. Doing all of this has also really made me aware that I really want to use my artistic skill and knowledge for a purpose. I know that despite the problems I encountered. I want my knowledge and ability to be used for the better of others.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

The fact that I get to make a living being creative and making art, as simple and corny as that sounds. The ability to wake up and know that my plan for today is to draw, really is bloody brilliant.

Stop caring about having a style or not having one. I spent all of first year and the start of second year trying to refine and stick to a style. But after that I tried to just let it go and do what I enjoy and experiment, like I should have been doing in first year. It made me a much better illustrator as a result and now I am getting what you would consider a style naturally.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I think recently it’s becoming harder and harder to describe what kind of work I do. Which is something I like and also hate. I like to make things that make people laugh.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? This is something that I’d imagine everyone says but it would genuinely be work from Quentin Blake. It’s most people’s first memory of illustration after children’s books and has always stuck with me, even though my style is definitely not similar. I think his work is always in the back of my mind, subliminally. Just thinking about his messiness and forms does help to get the creative juices flowing.

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? The most fun project I have had was my application for the secret 7". It was a spot illustration that went onto a 7" vinyl cover in response to the song "Come Over" by The Internet. It was so fun trying to condense the themes of the song and the feel of the band all into one spot illustration.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? The worst part of being an illustrator is that when the thing I love doing the most and that is a large part of my life is also my job, it can be very hard to separate my views on myself with how productive I am being or how good I think my work is.


Class of 2020

Website———— seanmgnart.com Instagram——— @seanmgnart Twitter————— @seanmgnart

seanmgnart.com

31

Plymouth College of Art


Jua

Jua is an Irish, non-binary illustrator who makes colourful, cerebral work about identity.

BA (Hons) Illustration

O’Kane

How do you promote yourself and use social media to get new work?

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

It’s maybe an unconventional tactic but I try to be as honest as possible in my work and I think people respond to that vulnerability? People are much more likely to share or comment on something that provokes their mind, beyond just being a pretty image. Recently I made an infographic explaining police abolition that gained a lot of traction on Instagram.

My graduate project has been really hard work but so exciting, it’s an idea I’ve been slowly developing for years and seeing it come to fruition has been so rewarding.

Get lost in the process. The Tories are paying your rent for the next three years, so milk Boris for all he’s worth and have fun! Also: respect your body! There are no prizes for burning out, periods of rest are necessary if you want to make your best work.

The ability to listen, absorb and thoughtfully interpret. We live in such an image saturated culture, so being able to process various influences and create something new and unique to yourself is essential. I’ve learnt that regardless of what I like in other people’s work, there’s a way my body naturally wants to draw and that’s something I pay attention to. Harnessing your own unique perspective on the world is essential.

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What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? Speaking at The Assembly for the first time was special. It was a testament to how much confidence I’ve gained from my time studying and made me realise I definitely want to pursue teaching in higher education at some point in the future.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? I was the character designer and artist for "Inertial Drift" which is coming out August 7th for Switch, PS4, Xbox and PC!


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— juaok.com Instagram——— @jua.ok

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? Reading: "The End of Policing" by Alex S. Vitale Watching: "The Last Dance" A documentary series about the Chicago Bulls Listening to: Lady Gaga’s "Chromatica" and Rina Sawayama’s debut album "Sawayama"

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What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

Having to treat your passion as a business! For me it’s important that I maintain a personal artistic practise alongside doing more commercial work.

Seeing people really connect and identify with your work. I like making things that remind people they’re not alone in their feelings, so when I accomplish that it’s very rewarding.

juaok.com

“Being able to process various influences and create something new and unique to yourself is essential”


Beth

BA (Hons) Illustration

Bethany Davies is a fashion illustrator and designer who makes patterns and draws fashionable ladies with long legs and creepy claw hands.

Website——— bethdavdesign.myportfolio.com Instagram—— @bethdavdesign Twitter———— @BethDavDesign

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? Degas Ballerinas! Always will be my favourites since they’re so delicate and elegant and absolutely stunning!

Being able to adapt your thinking and way of illustrating to a client’s brief whilst still keeping your artistic voice and also being able to communicate an idea clearly in your illustration.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? Sometimes I get so many ideas of things I want to draw/create that I don’t know where to start or which one to choose.

“You never know what weird thing you might enjoy or be good at”

Davies

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What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Experiment with everything, you never know what weird thing you might enjoy or be good at.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? It’s still in its early stages of planning but I’m collaborating with my sisters to launch a fun little capsule clothing line.

@bethdavdesign

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

An observation based illustrator, taking inspiration from plants, buildings, and objects in museums for her illustrations.

Website——— emmamaddie.co.uk Instagram—— @emmamaddie.illustrations

I typically like to draw from life, so if I see a building that I really like, or some scenery that looks nice, I’ll draw it or photograph it and draw it at a later date.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? I’ve always loved drawing and getting the chance to do it as my job is amazing.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Experiment with everything, even if you’ve done it before, there’s loads of equipment to try too and it might help you come up with ideas you’d never thought of before.

“Experiment with everything, even if you’ve done it before”

Maddie 35

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

I’ve been a fan of Rodney Matthews work for ages, not sure how young I was when I found it but I still love his process and final pieces.

I’ve been watching some Netflix shows like ‘The Order’ and re-watching Steven Universe, and listening to a lot of 80s rock to motivate me whilst I’m working.

emmamaddie.co.uk

Emma

How do you come up with and develop your ideas?


Ali

Ali is an illustrator who uses ink to create textured and expressive illustrations that focus on the everyday.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? For me, it would have to be my space comic that I’m working on right now. The narrative is inspired by the mass of junk that is left out in space and the strange radio waves that are often found out there. In working on this project I get to be really playful with my mark-making in the imagery and have the chance to explore a lot with shapes, texture and colour.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? To me, a successful illustrator is someone who is able to take their mistakes and learn from them, not be afraid to push the boundaries of their work, and has their focus on the work that they want to make, (rather than making work that they think will make them popular).

“To me, a successful illustrator is someone who is able to take their mistakes and learn from them”

Durman

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about?

Getting to spend my time being creative and sharing my ideas and visions with a wide range of people.

1. Don’t worry too much about style right now, your work will change a lot over the next 3 years.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

2. Take up every opportunity that seems interesting to you.

Right now I’m working on some self-initiated projects, with the focus being on making comics, as this is an area I’m really interested in and want to do more work with. The main one I’m working on, I actually started during a 24-hour comic challenge and is about two girls who go ghost-hunting in an old, abandoned house.

How mentally draining it can be. Despite being able to do something I enjoy, it can be difficult to not only find a balance in work but to also not compare yourself to other creatives.

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3. Don’t take criticism to heart. I know that’s hard to do but trust me, people giving critiques are only trying to help you improve your work, it’s not an attack on you. 4. Have fun with it!

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? Noelle Stevenson - I love their work and how inclusive and personal it feels. They’re great at delivering both funny and emotional narratives through their illustrations. Their comic Nimona is one of my favourite reads as it combines fantasy with humour, but also has well-developed characters and a lot of emotion in it.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? The work that I create usually consists of a lot of inky washes layered upon each other. I like to use a lot of texture and mark-making in my illustration. In terms of colour, I try to explore and experiment with different combinations, but more often than not, I often use blue, pink and purple as I think those colours work really well together.


Class of 2020

Website———— alidurmandraws.co.uk Instagram——— @alidurmandraws Twitter————— @alidurmandraws

alidurmandraws.co.uk

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Plymouth College of Art


Poppy

Poppy is a printmaker and illustrator who focuses on themes of body imagery, communication, poetry and natural imagery within her practice.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

Goldsmith

For me, a bad day at work is getting drawn into a downward spiral of getting hooked on a social media tangent. The internet is such a useful tool for illustrators, but I think when you get pulled into seeing so much illustration content it can sometimes make me feel inadequate, which then leads me to not doing any work. So learning how to balance my time of being a conscientious internet person and active illustrator is something I’m still working on!

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? I am obsessed with Sophy Hollington and the printwork that she creates as well as Joohee Yoon, Molly Mendoza and Amber Vittoria!

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

How do you come up with and develop your ideas?

How do you promote yourself and use social media to get new work?

I think being able to call yourself an illustrator is pretty cool. I used to feel really coy when people would ask me what my degree was, but now I jump at the chance to tell people I am an illustrator. It’s such a cool job title and I think it piques people’s interests when you tell them. They are naturally curious as to what that means and what you do, it’s essentially practise in being your own hype-man and builds confidence within yourself!

Experiences that have stuck with me from my degree are the opportunities to be involved with wider college projects. One in particular that has stuck with me is joining an artist talk with printmaker Sarah Gillespie, which was organised by Painting, Drawing & Printmaking. I really liked hearing how she had developed as a printmaker, and what opportunities she has been given from being so dedicated to her craft. This was definitely an influential moment from my degree.

I think a lot of what comes from developing ideas comes from confidence. That believing that any idea is a good starting point and getting into the habit of just writing anything down in a journal helps to start working out where they could lead to! I also think just immersing yourself in the media can be so beneficial, either watching a TV series, reading a book, or just trying to say ‘yes’ to more experiences can all lead to a spark of a new idea or join the dots between loads of unconnected ones!

This is something I am still trying to figure out for myself! I think posting regularly is definitely the way forward. However, I got into the habit of only posting fully-rendered and complete project work, whereas I think it can be helpful to post the in-between works too. I know I can relate to an artist or brand more when they show the human side of their social media! So I wouldn’t be afraid of showing processes, where you work and general day to day illustrator things when building an audience online!

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Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

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“Just trying to say ‘yes’ to more experiences can all lead to a spark of a new idea or join the dots between loads of unconnected ones!”

@poppy_goldsmith

My favourite brief that I have worked on this year is the Penguin Student Design Award! This is a project that is really central to the ‘Creative and Professional Development’ module we contribute to throughout our degree. I decided that being in my third year, this was the last time I could take up the brief, so I really wanted to have a decent go at it! I chose to focus on the adult non-fiction book (A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson). I got to draw loads of cosmic shapes as well as botanical imagery, which I think was a really rewarding brief to focus on as the imagery and way I liked to draw for that task then fed into my personal practice and really pushed me in the right direction for starting my final major project.

Website———— heyaitspoppy.wixsite.com/poppygoldsmith Instagram——— @poppy_goldsmith


Izzy

BA (Hons) Illustration

Hazard

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? I was an avid cartoon-watcher as a child (like most people, I’d assume) and wanted to be an animator for a long time. Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends was one of my favourites. Avatar The Last Airbender has probably stuck with me the most though.

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Izzy’s bright and cheerful work is often people focused and best suited to editorial work.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I’d say most of my work is best suited to editorial illustration. My illustrations are usually focused on people with slightly exaggerated features. I enjoy using fairly bright and colourful palettes to draw the eye in, and where it is appropriate, I like to portray a sense of humour as well.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— izzyhazard.com Instagram——— @izzy.hazard

“I take a lot of inspiration from fashion photography that I see on Pinterest” What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I take a lot of inspiration from fashion photography that I see on Pinterest (although that may not be obvious when looking at my portfolio) as well as being inspired by the illustrations posted by other illustrators I follow.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Being able to take what I love doing (drawing) and make a real career out of it. I think it will bring a huge sense of pride and accomplishment when I am at the point of being able to fully support myself from illustration work alone.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? If you get to uni and you think you already have a style, you do not. It might be hard to hear but it is true. Don’t force yourself into a box so early on in the course and just enjoy the process of drawing. Get weird with it.

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izzyhazard.com

I have recently been commissioned to create three illustrations centred around adults enjoying the world of play. I chose to include lots of board game paraphernalia as well as other imagery that might evoke nostalgia such as old Nintendo Game Boys and Lego figures. This commission was very enjoyable because the theme was broad enough to give me plenty of ideas to run with when thumbnailing. Also, although the three illustrations were for personal use rather than for commercial use, they would still be applicable to editorial illustration. This means they are also now assets to my portfolio.


Emma

Emma is a passionate illustrator who uses digital collage to create her dreamy illustrations. She specializes in storytelling, children’s illustration and character design.

BA (Hons) Illustration

“Having like-minded creatives in the same studio, and talking to these people about my work is the experience that stands out to me”

Groves

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

I think it’s the worry of not finding work to support yourself, especially if you’re a freelance illustrator or having to juggle emails, and tax and the ‘other stuff’ alongside illustrating and I think that makes the job more stressful. Another one is not being motivated to make illustrations.

Just go for it, draw all the time, make crazy illustrations that don’t make sense because your style and quality of your illustrations will definitely change over the three years that you’re at university.

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What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? I think having like-minded creatives in the same studio, and talking to these people about my work is the experience that stands out to me most because it was very helpful. My lectures were fantastic and were always there to talk to about anything. I think these things helped make my university experience amazing and worthwhile.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? A really exciting project I’m currently working on is illustrating a children’s book called, An Evacuee Story. This book follows a child through her evacuation to a Bodmin farm in World War 2.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I think that if you enjoy illustrating and it makes you happy, that’s when you have become a successful illustrator.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? For me I think it’s being able to do what you love as your career. I also think working for yourself is very rewarding, and being able to be flexible and maybe travel while you work. That kind of thing I think is really nice about being an illustrator.

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? The project I had the most fun with and really enjoyed was making Christmas card designs for the Tate. They both won the competition, which really boosted my confidence in my illustrations.


Class of 2020

Website———— emmagroves.co.uk Instagram——— @emmagroves_illustrations

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

I’ve just started reading Eragon and that has been giving me lots of ideas for artwork. I’ve also been watching This Is Us on Amazon, and it’s amazing, but you’ll need tissues because it’ll make you cry. I’ve been listening to lots of reading playlists on Spotify and they have lots of movie soundtracks in them that are instrumental and they really inspire me to draw.

When I was younger I loved the Snowman and anything Beatrix Potter, and still love them today.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? My more recent work is aimed at magazines, but I’m also interested in children’s illustration. I’d say my work is shaped by my experiences mixed with my imagination and is whimsical and dreamy.

emmagroves.co.uk

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Plymouth College of Art


Keri

BA (Hons) Illustration

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

Lock

What springs to mind is the first time I saw my work in a physical book form. Entering year 1, it was difficult to visualise my work professionally printed, so seeing it encouraged me to continue working towards my goals.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I believe what makes a successful illustrator is persistency and determination. It’s one thing to be good at drawing, but another to make it your career!

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A narrative illustrator and concept artist with a passion for nature, fantasy and adventure.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— kerosalie.com Instagram——— @kerosalie.draws

“I get the most excited seeing new work from my fellow illustration students”

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from?

The hardest thing about being an illustrator for me is maintaining confidence in my work when things don’t necessarily go to plan. Working through the art blocks and the stress is hard work. However getting through that and finishing a project that I can be proud of is totally worth it.

I’d say I get the most excited seeing new work from my fellow illustration students. However new work from Juliette Oberndorfer, Robert Frank Hunter and Dina Norlund will always excite me.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? I am currently working on a new narrative concept themed around zodiac astrology, including plenty of fun creature designs.

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Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? What springs to mind are the animated films and TV shows I loved to watch as a kid. It was shows like ‘Avatar The Last Airbender’ and films like Studio Ghibli that inspired me to create stories through illustration and animation.

kerosalie.com

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?


April

BA (Hons) Illustration

April is a Plymouth-based illustrator who creates bright, textured collage work.

“This project gave me a lot of insight into what the role of an illustrator is — and how to create work in a more professional environment” What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

Howard

The Babcock International brief I got through uni is one of the main experiences that has been really valuable for me. It was important for me to gain experience in creating a children’s book and this project gave me a lot of insight into what the role of an illustrator is defined as, and how to create work in a more professional environment. I was able to work on an array of skills including time management and communication, as well as learning how to develop my work in a way that makes sense to the client.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? I have a sketchbook that I keep and use to draw any ideas, still lives or observations I feel like, and then I take ideas from that and develop them further. I usually develop my ideas in bigger sketchbooks and quite often work out the colours for a piece digitally before I commit to creating it by hand.

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Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Rejection is the worst part about being an illustrator but is unavoidable because not everyone is always going to like your work. Every artist and illustrator puts a small part of themselves into every piece of work they create so it’s hard to have work rejected.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? Do everything you possibly can, even if it’s not something you are fully interested in or it doesn’t feel relevant. Usually by the time it’s over, you’ll have found a new love for it, or been able to learn something about yourself and your practice. Also, adapt everything to suit you. You never have to stay inside any confinement or box. Turn every part of a brief into something you are interested in and you’ll enjoy all of it.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? I am currently in the process of working with an organisation to come up with ways in which illustration and visualisation can be used to benefit those with dementia and Alzheimer’s, mostly with memory recall and just with giving them some joy. I’m also currently working on creating my own children’s book that I hope to publish in the future.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? Nick Sharratt and Eric Carle are two illustrators whose work I loved when I was younger and that I still love now. I still look at the way Eric Carle creates his collages and the textures for them. I also have a love of Charley Harper and Henri Matisse’s artwork and draw a lot of my inspiration from the way they created their pieces.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? I make bright, textured collages by hand. My work is usually described as decorative and is often created for a younger audience, focused mainly on children’s books and prints, but often also created to be used for packaging and editorial work.

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@aprilemmadesigns

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

Website———— aprilemmadesigns.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @aprilemmadesigns Twitter————— @aprilemmadesign


Jamie

Jamie is an illustrator who has a passion for creating playful patterns for children inspired by the beauty of nature.

BA (Hons) Illustration

“I usually spend time away from my desk conjuring up new ideas, then go back into the studio for development and production”

Shannon

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

The stress testing task during my second year was a really eye opening experience. Producing work under time pressure was exhilarating, but also nerve wrecking. It has taught me that having less control over your creative work because of time restraints can lead to successful results. It was great fun and actually turned into an enjoyable moment from my degree. Having the opportunity to visit Berlin with my classmates was an unforgettable experience. We got to visit amazing studios and galleries, but also spent sunny evenings in the local park.

The Soul Bird By Michal Snunit, Illustrated by Na’ama Golomb

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? Constantly doubting your ability and the work you produce. Sometimes it is nice to talk to a fellow illustrator and have a fresh pair of eyes view your work.

48

I remember my parents reading ‘The Soul Bird’ to me as a child. I always loved the simple and playful illustrations of the bird, and it has resonated with me through to adulthood. As an illustrator, I have a newfound love for this book and it’s artwork, and approach reading it with a new perspective. ‘Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’ was one of my favourite series of books as a child, and to this day I am still fond of the bright colours and exuberant characters!

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Sometimes I will be out walking my dog in the countryside, and I will have a burst of inspiration and energy to create a new piece. It very rarely happens at my desk. I usually spend time away from my desk conjuring up new ideas, then go back into the studio for development and production.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

I am currently reading ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. I like to unwind from a day in the studio by reading a few chapters of a good book.

Experiment, and have fun with your illustration work. Now is the time to discover new skills, and find out what you like and dislike. Making mistakes is the best part!

I like to listen to my very own ‘Chill’ playlists when I am completing my work, as it allows me to concentrate. Some artists featured include; Bon Iver, Charlie Simpson, Ben Howard.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Doing something you love everyday. Making work that makes you happy!

jshannon.co.uk

49

Website———— jshannon.co.uk Instagram——— @jamiesillustration


Kezia

BA (Hons) Illustration

“It’s lovely being able to create work that people enjoy”

Kezia Lovell is an artist who creates work using many mediums, with embroidery as her main focus.

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

Despite the surrounding circumstances, I have really enjoyed creating my work for my final major project as it gave me the opportunity to explore and push myself further with embroidery, as well as creating new make-to-sell work such as enamel pins, which was exciting!

It’s lovely being able to create work that people enjoy.

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? I have just really enjoyed meeting lots of different people, both students and tutors alike and creating friendships for life (lame, but true!).

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? I believe that in order to be a successful illustrator (or a successful anything, for that matter) it’s important to be two things: a hard worker and a nice person.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Mate, I wish I knew! Inspiration can strike at any moment, but it’s usually when I am just about to go to sleep (and 90% of the time, I tell myself I will remember it in the morning, but I never do).

Lovell

50

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? It’s often an inner battle when I create work, between one half of me telling me it looks good, and the other half of me saying it’s awful. It can be very tiring and frustrating.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? 1. Make the most of it, it goes fast! 2. Throw yourself into everything.

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I have recently discovered the band Little Big, and I love them! They were due to represent Russia in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, but of course that had to be cancelled, along with so many other things. The music video concepts and dances they create are genuinely amazing and I would highly recommend looking them up! I have also been listening to some of my other faves whilst in lockdown, such as Fats Waller and Hazel Scott (which are quite different to Little Big, but they’re all fab).


Class of 2020

Website———— etsy.com/uk/shop/KeziaLovell Instagram——— @love.kezia

@love.kezia

51

Plymouth College of Art


Jess

Jess Holloway is an illustrator, storyteller and lover of ugly things.

BA (Hons) Illustration

“The entire experience has been unlike anything else, and I’m really grateful to all the people that have helped make it for me” What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

Lipstick Tiger! The project began in a charity shop where I found a toy tiger that had red painted badly around its mouth and it absolutely inspired this character out of me. Lipstick Tiger is... you guessed it! A tiger who wears lipstick. He’s interested in fashion and parrots. And I’ve been busy making a comic, a fashion magazine, little clay figures, a big mascot head and more of him. He’s bigger than the project. And I have so many future ideas surrounding him as a character - this project just feels like the beginning of Lipstick Tiger.

In my personal opinion, I like seeing a looseness in the work. I look for discordance, messiness, naivety, charm - just something a little bit different. Something thoughtprovoking, narrative-driven, fun.

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you?

Holloway

The unexpected ones! Winning The Toy and Game Design Event Challenge against a hundred or so product design students with two of my peers. Being accepted into ELCAF and other illustration fairs just with work I’ve made during my degree. I’ve made fantastic contacts, submitted to amazing live briefs, I’ve surprised myself and seen improvement in myself and within my practice as I’ve progressed through the degree. Honestly, the entire experience has been unlike anything else, and I’m really grateful to all the people that have helped make it for me, and for all the opportunities I’ve had along the way.

52

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Might sound a bit sappy, but meeting all the incredible people I’ve met on my journey as an illustrator.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? Having a pot of ink that smells like off potatoes and nobody believing you.

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? You’ll get out what you put in! Try everything, have fun and engage.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about? I’m making a collaborative Lipstick Tiger publication that aims to showcase work across many disciplines from all sorts of creatives. I’ll be risographing said publication, and will be creating Lipstick Tiger goodies for anyone’s work that makes it in.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now? Does Pokémon count?

Can you describe the kind of work you make? It’s "lumpy", "soft" and "vivid".

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to? I listen to true crime podcasts, and occasionally an animal crossing podcast to lighten the mood.


Class of 2020

Website———— jessholloway.cool Instagram——— @toxinrabbit

jessholloway.cool

53

Plymouth College of Art


Adaptable natureinspired artwork.

Instagram—— @full__metal__jacket__potato

“A successful illustrator in my opinion is someone with an open mind”

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

I am currently listening to one of my favourite Podcasts called ‘My Favourite Murder.’ This is a true crime podcast hosted by two American women. It has a strong following of artists who create work inspired by episodes and the message these women put across which is "stay sexy and don’t get murdered!" Many people have got tattoos associated with this Podcast which I enjoy looking through.

A successful illustrator in my opinion is someone with an open mind, who’s willing to go out of their comfort zone. Someone who is coherent and cohesive with their art. A successful illustrator to me has their own style and their work displays their personality, thoughts and feelings.

I recently worked with a COVID-19 charity called Plymouth Pie Club. This charity’s work has been fundamental to aiding the vulnerable during the pandemic. I was asked to create posters for Plymouth Pie Club to help inform the community of the good work they provide. I was also asked to create a logo for this charity. This logo was worn on t-shirts by all the volunteers and line versions of the logo printed off for children to colour in. I had the most fun with this project because although I was unable to volunteer in person it was wonderful to work remotely and be of some help towards a good cause.

I loved Quentin Blake’s illustrations as a kid. I would often draw alongside stories I was reading and interpret the words on the page into illustrations. Blake’s work was catered so wonderfully towards its intended audience and beautifully enhanced Roald Dahl’s narrative.

I am watching Rupaul’s drag race season 1-12 for what seems to be the 100th time! This is one of my most favourite things to watch ever. The creativity within this programme is outstanding and so incredibly inspiring. It helps me generate ideas towards my work. It also gives me a strong sense of belonging, being of the LGBTQ community myself, it’s so wonderful to watch like-minded creative people being their true authentic selves.

Lynch

54

What advice do you have for students starting their first year? My advice would be to go with the flow and have fun! As the time goes by so quickly. Try not to have any preconceived ideas and be willing to try new things. Also practice good time management skills as early as you can as it’s something a lot of us struggled with, myself included.

@full__metal__jacket__potato

Katie

BA (Hons) Illustration


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Tyler

Website——— tjsillustration.com Instagram—— @tjsillustrate Twitter———— @tjsillustration

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Making something that conveys a narrative. As long as you do that (and fits in with the brief if it’s to a set one) then you’ve done the job. In terms of making a living off of it, having some form of business knowledge helps and not selling yourself short.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? You know how there are those fireworks that explode and then burst into smaller and smaller explosions and scatter all over the place? Kinda like that. Lots of tangents, research rabbit holes and spirals that make sense when you follow them but look a bit confusing when trying to write chronologically.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Making and exploring different processes, trying out new things, telling stories.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? Admin- still dull no matter how jazzy you make the forms.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

Sankey 55

Self - Marc Quinn (1991- present) - I remember coming across it whilst lost on a trip to the portrait gallery and being fascinated with it- not only for the material (what’s not awesome about a frozen blood sculpture) but also the fact that the piece changes over time, not only through new castings, but also due to the nature of the installation some parts melt more than others and the colours and textures appear to change each time you see it installed. It somehow seems to move whilst staying completely still, and due to the nature of it changing is never quite the same as you remember. It also helped to smash a load of preconceived notions about what counted as art and is still a piece I find really fascinating.

Can you describe the kind of work you make? It’s definitely more of a mixed media approach - I like to explore and experiment with a lot of different processes and textures, so my work tends to have a slight chaotic energy to it. I like to explore narratives and have a message informing my work, be it literal or more subtle.

tjsillustration.com

“My work tends to have a slight chaotic energy to it”

A mixed media illustrator who uses an experimental creative practice to explore an array of subject matter.


Ariel

BA (Hons) Illustration

Ariel’s illustration practice revolves around film, portraiture and nature, in predominantly narrative contexts.

“Usually ideas pop into my head throughout the course of the day”

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Usually ideas pop into my head throughout the course of the day, and I write them down as notes on my phone. Sometimes if I’m stuck with ideas, I look back on my notes and find an idea I had forgotten about and pursue it. I normally come up with a fixed image in my head of how I want it to look, but if I have multiple ideas for an illustration then I draw some thumbnails and combine different elements until I’m happy with it.

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?

Buhlmann

The project I have most enjoyed was creating the winter programme promo for Plymouth Arts Cinema. I typically enjoy film illustration so I knew this project would be well suited to me. I found illustrating in this context to be fun and I learnt a lot.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? Tenacity.

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator? I would say the hardest bit is confidently promoting your work.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? Chien-An Chou, Iain Macarthur, Andrew Archer, James Lee Chiahan, Elenor Kopka, Ori Toor plus many more!

56


Class of 2020

Website———— arielbuhlmann.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @arielbuhlmann

@arielbuhlmann

57

Plymouth College of Art


Rebecca

BA (Hons) Illustration

Mortimore

“At this stage, failure is your best friend and you’re in the perfect place to embrace it!” 58

Rebecca is an illustrator and maker from Cornwall creating bold and bright 3D paper art inspired by the fascinating natural world.

Any exciting projects or commissions coming up that you can talk about?

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator?

I will be launching an online shop before the end of the year full of my handmade creations!

The opportunity for creative self-expression among a great big community of unique people.

Is there any art you loved as a kid that you still love now?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

Nick Sharratt’s children’s book illustrations, where my love for illustration began and I continue to draw inspiration from. I find his work and style to be pleasantly nostalgic, full of personality and above all, timeless.

At this stage, failure is your best friend and you’re in the perfect place to embrace it! Mess up and make all the mistakes in this time because the most valuable learning will come from your own experiences.


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— planetrm.myportfolio.com/work Instagram——— @planet_rm Twitter————— @planet_rm

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator? A good idea and some determination.

Creating my small collection of greeting cards was so fulfilling and satisfying as it was a bit of a risk, but ended up being the significant push I needed in the right direction.

What experiences during your degree have really stuck with you? The times I was pushed out of my comfort zone, like interdisciplinary projects, stress testing week, some live briefs, dissertation writing and all the bad work I created. They may not have been the most enjoyable experiences but were by far the most memorable and valuable to my development.

59

@planet_rm

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year?


Charlotte

Charlotte is an illustrator whose playful and dynamic approach to image making is underpinned by the theory of illustration as a vehicle for social change.

BA (Hons) Illustration

What project or commission have you had most fun with this year? I’ve enjoyed all my projects for different reasons, and in a way all of them have fed into my final major project, so I would have to say this one! I really enjoyed creating the illustrations for my dissertation. Then, as I was researching and writing I also started outlining my creative agenda which is having a massive impact on my graduate project. I’m really excited to see the final product, which will be a culmination of everything I’ve learnt and discovered about illustration and my practice this year, so it feels very poignant.

What do you believe makes a successful illustrator?

What’s the worst bit about being an illustrator?

What advice do you have for students starting their first year?

Someone who has a unique perspective and a curious and open mind. Also, a person who likes a challenge and enjoys problemsolving. Being accepting and open to criticism and having a strong work ethic to match wouldn’t hurt either. I think the most successful illustrators are always those who are willing to put the time in.

You can’t switch it off - I’m thinking about illustration 24/7 whether I’m consciously aware of it or not. Is this the worst thing? Not necessarily, because in some instances it can be very useful. But it is also a tricky thing when you’re trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance and managing your time well.

Really throw yourself into the experimentation. Especially workshops. Try everything but don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve a certain style or finalised outcomes so early on, and try not to compare yourself to others. Have fun and enjoy the process, know that everything will fall into place with time.

What’s the best bit about being an illustrator? Creating things and thinking creatively, for a living.

“There’s only one you in the whole world, and you see things from a completely unique perspective”

Leadley

60


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

I’m always reading the news in the morning. Especially as an editorial illustrator I think it’s important to stay in the loop and keep your finger on the pulse, now more than ever. Finding out what’s happening in the world outside of my bubble really helps me to think in broader terms about the impact of my illustration - how does my work exist in this space? What does it contribute to the conversation? I also love a good documentary or exposé. Especially BBC documentaries with Louis Theroux, or a bit of David Attenborough’s Blue Planet 2. I think I’m just always trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible. I love learning new information, and it definitely has had an effect on the way I generate ideas for my illustrations, as I mentioned before.

How do you come up with and develop your ideas? Seeking inspiration from your own experiences and your reality, I think, makes the most distinctive work. There’s only one you in the whole world, and you see things from a completely unique perspective. I come up with ideas by looking at my life, my dreams, my thoughts, and making connections or observations which I think are interesting. There’s no set process for how I develop a seed of an idea into a final artwork. I do think it helps to sit with it, plan and thumbnail a lot, but it depends on the project and the time-frame too.

Which creatives are you always excited to see new work from? The answer to this changes quite often, which I think is a good thing as I develop and grow as a person and as an illustrator, but there are some creative legends who are always inspirational. I’ve got a lot of admiration for the work of David Shrigley and his hilarious single image narratives. I also admire the works of the documentary photographer Martin Parr, illustrator Jean Julien and Paula Scher, a renowned graphic designer at Pentagram.

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charlotteleadley.co.uk

What are you currently reading? Watching? Listening to?

Website———— charlotteleadley.co.uk Instagram——— @charlut.rl Twitter————— @charlutrl


Index

BA (Hons) Illustration

of Information

Ali Durman Page 36

Website———— alidurmandraws.co.uk Instagram——— @alidurmandraws Twitter————— @alidurmandraws

April Howard Page 46

Website———— aprilemmadesigns.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @aprilemmadesigns Twitter————— @aprilemmadesign

Ariel Buhlmann Page 56

Website———— arielbuhlmann.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @arielbuhlmann

Ashtyn Botterill Page 9

Website———— ashillustrates.co.uk Instagram——— @ashtynbotterill

Becca Brealy Page 24

Shop—————— etsy.com/shop/brealyillustration Instagram——— @brealyillustration Twitter————— @brealyillustr8

Beth Davies Page 34

Website———— bethdavdesign.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @bethdavdesign Twitter————— @bethdavdesign

Caitlin Angell Page 14

Website———— caitlinangell.com Instagram——— @illustraitlin Twitter————— @illustraitlin

Cecily Goff Page 18

Website———— cecilygillustration.com Instagram——— @ceciiilyg Twitter————— @ceciiilyg

Charlotte Leadley Page 60

Website———— charlotteleadley.co.uk Instagram——— @charlut.rl Twitter————— @charlutrl

Conor Mullin Page 28

Website———— conormullin.co.uk Instagram——— @conorscribbles_ Twitter————— @conorscribbles_

Donatienne Borione Page 6

Website———— donborione.cargo.site Instagram——— @dntbrx Twitter————— @don_borione

Elena Chopping Page 20

Website———— ec10676322.wixsite.com/elena-chopping Instagram——— @elenachopping

Emma Groves Page 42

Website———— emmagroves.co.uk Instagram——— @emmagroves_illustrations

Emma Maddie Page 35

Website———— emmamaddie.co.uk Instagram——— @emmamaddie.illustrations

Faye Cullen Page 21

Website———— freeingfaye0.myportfolio.com Instagram——— @Freeing_Faye

Gemma Brown Page 12

Website———— gemmaillustration.co.uk Instagram——— @gemma.illustration

62


Class of 2020

Plymouth College of Art

Website———— ibrooksillustration.co.uk Instagram——— @ibrooksillustration

Izzy Hazard Page 40

Website———— izzyhazard.com Instagram——— @izzy.hazard

Jamie Shannon Page 48

Website———— jshannon.co.uk Instagram——— @jamiesillustration

Jess Holloway Page 52

Website———— jessholloway.cool Instagram——— @toxinrabbit

Jua O’Kane Page 32

Website———— juaok.com Instagram——— @jua.ok

Julia Burley Page 16

Website———— jb10674596.wixsite.com/website Instagram——— @juliarocciaart

Katie Lynch Page 54

Instagram——— @full__metal__jacket__potato

Keri Lock Page 44

Website———— kerosalie.com Instagram——— @kerosalie.draws

Kezia Lovell Page 50

Shop—————— etsy.com/uk/shop/KeziaLovell Instagram——— @love.kezia

Lo Axenderrie Page 8

Website———— loaxenderrie.com Instagram——— @lo_axe.jpg Twitter————— @loisaxenderrie

Maddison Alexia Wass Page 26

Website———— maddisonwassillustration.com Instagram——— @maddisonwassillustration Twitter————— @maddisonwass

Matt Brampton Page 22

Website———— bramptonmatt.cargo.site Instagram——— @bramptonmatt

Poppy Goldsmith Page 38

Website———— heyaitspoppy.wixsite.com/poppygoldsmith Instagram——— @poppy_goldsmith

Rebecca Mortimore Page 58

Website———— planetrm.myportfolio.com/work Instagram——— @planet_rm Twitter————— @planet_rm

Rebecca Withers Page 23

Instagram——— @r3dqu33nillustrator Twitter————— @red__queen__art

Sean Morgan Page 30

Website———— seanmgnart.com Instagram——— @seanmgnart Twitter————— @seanmgnart

Tyler Sankey Page 55

Website———— tjsillustration.com Instagram——— @tjsillustrate Twitter————— @tjsillustration

63

@illustrationPCA

Ivy Brooks Page 10


Class of 2020

plymouthart.ac.uk

True Grit is a showcase of work from the graduating class of 2020 who studied BA (Hons) Illustration at Plymouth College of Art. This publication is an opportunity for celebration during the time we would normally host an in-person summer show; this year cancelled to keep us safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Published

in

July

2020.

@illustrationPCA

Profile for Plymouth College of Art

True Grit  

Introducing the BA (Hons) Illustration Class of 2020!

True Grit  

Introducing the BA (Hons) Illustration Class of 2020!

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