UCA Alumni Magazine - Issue 4

Page 1

New York mural / Job hunting advice / Reunions / 1940s Medway / Blogging tips

creative / Nov 10


University for the Creative Arts Alumni Magazine

Issue 04.

Postcard from India / Urban art / Compare the Meerkat

Cover image ‘Ma o Shishu’ courtesy of Ben Slow


Welcome to the fourth edition of Creative Update, the magazine of the UCA Alumni Association

contents welcome p2 news p3

contributors UCA alumni team

Pal Pang, Angela Chick, Keisha Oliver, Robert Williams, Alice Halliday, Mark Smith



Liz Cooper, John Davis, Ben Slow, Dan Leach, Darren Walsh



Clare Taylor, Maria Fung, Lewis Derby, Dan Hasby-Oliver



Amy Durrant, Sian Bostwick, Sheila Wright, Helen Dennis



Architecture alumni, Canterbury and Rochester, 2010 Graduates



Collis Clements

Welcome to the November edition of Creative Update. It has been a busy six months since the last magazine. In May we installed acclaimed fashion designer Zandra Rhodes as Chancellor of the University in a ceremony at Banqueting House. Zandra also conferred the awards at our recent graduation ceremonies, and we would like to take this opportunity to welcome all the new 2010 graduates to the association. This year has also seen the launch of our reunion programme and it has been great to meet so many of our alumni at various events. Our architecture and interiors alumni enjoyed a get together at the Design Museum in London, and we recently welcomed alumni back on campus for reunions at UCA Canterbury and UCA Rochester. In September we launched a new website with a new alumni section, all the images used to illustrate the pages have been supplied by our alumni. If you would like your work shown, please do email us. We hope you enjoy the magazine. Please do get in touch with any feedback or suggestions for future editions. UCA alumni team alumni@ucreative.ac.uk 01252 892736


University for the Creative Arts | Contents | Creative Update


Award-winning interior designer shares concepts in new book UCA Farnham alumnus Pal Pang has published a book showcasing his recent projects. ‘Designs of Faith and Devotion’ is a 272 page introduction to his works. It features designs such as the interior of The Morrison – a chic condo between Causeway Bay and Wanchai. Pal Pang’s company, ANOTHER, designed all the interiors within the building, including residential flats, lobbies and a club house and subsequently won the ‘Best Interior Design’ category of the CNBC Asia Property Awards. Pal Pang completed a degree in Interior Design at UCA Farnham. He returned to Hong Kong after graduating in 2001, and set up ANOTHER. He said: “When I left UCA Farnham I had so many fresh ideas that forming my own business seemed a natural step. “The design scene in Hong Kong is extremely vibrant – a mixture of modern, classic, European and Chinese. Applying the skills I had developed studying in the UK in my native country was very exciting.”

The design scene in Hong Kong is extremely vibrant – a mixture of modern, classic, European and Chinese

Pal Pang’s book features a diverse range of interiors. He added: “I don’t have a signature style. I approach each project with new and original ideas to ensure that my clients get a customised and high end service.” As well as containing extensive photographs of Pal Pang’s interior designs, the book also features interviews with other designers, and essays about design.



‘The Pioneer’, a design by ANOTHER Pal Pang | Interior design book | Creative Update



UCA friends open unique shop for artists A group of UCA graduates are helping emerging artists in Brighton by launching a unique new shop. Angela Chick who graduated with a BA in Textiles from UCA Farnham, and her friends Kirsten Stride (Three Dimensional Design) and Yannik Eilers (Fine Art) met whilst selling crafts at Brighton markets. Together, they came up with the idea of turning a friend’s sweet shop into a haven for artists, where crafts would be sold to a public hungry for unusual gifts.

Angela added: “The response was overwhelming. So many people wanted to get involved with the project and a meeting we held was literally overrun. “When it all started coming together we couldn’t have been more happy. Not only were we going to be able to show our own work for sale, but we could also help all of these other artists get their work noticed and perhaps launch their own freelance careers.” www.handmadeshopbrighton. blogspot.com The Handmade store. Credit: Jim Stephenson

Angela said: “Many artists struggle to get their work to the public. We wanted to create a not for profit shop that would give them a new opportunity to showcase their work.” The shop, Handmade, is in St James Street, Brighton. Artists are able to rent 3ft by 3ft spaces for a low fee which goes towards the running of the shop. They are then able to keep all the profits they make on the sale of their work.

we could also help all of these other artists get their work noticed and perhaps launch their own freelance careers


Angela Chick | Handmade | Creative Update

Inside Handmade. Credit: Jim Stephenson


Keisha Oliver is a soaring success

‘Flamingo Rush-Out’ a hand carved wood sculpture. One of

Growing up with a strong

Keisha’s competition submissions.

foundation in Bahamian culture set the tone for my initial idea generation

Keisha Oliver’s career has taken off since graduating from UCA Maidstone in 2006 with a BA in Graphic Design. She recently moved back to her native Bahamas where she has been commissioned to create a permanent art installation that will be enjoyed by millions of visitors from all over the world. She was chosen to feature artwork, alongside ten renowned Bahamian artists, for the new terminals at the Lynden Pindling International Airport, Nassau Bahamas. Keisha explains the inspiration for her proposal: “I worked diligently over a month putting together three strong proposals, but the committee’s final choice was my 4th proposal. This was an idea that dawned on me the night before the submission. “Growing up with a strong foundation in Bahamian culture set the tone for my initial idea generation, but all four concepts were developed by my passion to create art which is as informative as it is beautiful.” Keisha’s hand-carved sculpture with the working title ‘Royal Native Welcome’ will be positioned within a busy section of the airport. It will act as a welcome for International and US passengers and as a way-finding device directing them to the Immigration Hall.

The piece focuses on themes of identity and duality based on contrasting personalities. Keisha says: “It aims to represent national and local identity through two characters within one sculpture: the authoritative police officer dressed in a crisp white uniform and pith hat, juxtaposed with the relaxed fisherman wearing a loose shirt and shorts, representing the easy going side to the Bahamian people. I am hoping its abstract nature will create a thought provoking message for travellers to immediately engage with.” Keisha is currently working as a freelance designer and artist until the start of 2011 when she will begin work on the sculpture. She is looking forward to seeing her work unveiled as part of this exciting project in October 2012.

Keisha Oliver | Airport competition | Creative Update



Robert Williams scoops RIBA award Robert Williams, lead interior architect for Gillespie Yunnie Architects, has recently won the prestigious RIBA regional award 2010 for the ‘Mills Bakery’. The awards are the highlight of the architectural calendar. They are given for buildings that have high architectural standards and make a substantial contribution to the local environment. The Grade 1 listed scheme is situated within the Royal William Yard at the waterside location of Plymouth docks. The innovative

design complements the existing features of the listed bakery and has views to both the River Taymar estuary and the interior dock, making the apartments a desirable waterfront home. Robert has been involved in all aspects of the 87-unit residential design and office space from the initial concepts through to the detail packages for construction. After graduating from Farnham in 1997 with a BA in Interior Design, he worked for a number of practices around the South West of England.

He was approached by Gillespie Yunnie Architects in 2003 to start working on the project as the lead interior architect. The new apartments range from 35 square metre micro-apartments to spacious penthouses with external terraces. He explained: “We set out to create an innovative, viable building within the constraints of a Grade 1 listing. We have been able to design open plan layouts that allow the use of the historic timbers to give a dramatic loft space appearance. This is complemented by the simple pallet of glass and walnut and white surfaces which really brings out the rough textures of the existing fabric of the building.” Robert has an extensive background working with graded buildings and has led projects for educational establishments, signage strategies for historic sites and conceptual planning and listed building applications for bespoke houses and listed buildings.

Office Atrium 009: copyright Urban Splash/credit, Jonathan Moore

We set out to create an innovative, viable building within the constraints of a Grade 1 listing


Robert Williams | RIBA award | Creative Update

He added “I most enjoy the client design meetings; it is where the culmination of sketches and ideas come together. Whilst studying at UCA one of the things I learnt was that art and design is personal opinion and the most important thing in the industry is self-belief without arrogance.” www.gyarchitects.co.uk Office Atrium 004, copyright Urban Splash/credit, Jonathan Moore.


Graduate design taken on tour by Florence and The Machine Pop sensation Florence Welch, of Florence and The Machine, has been seen wearing a cape designed by a recent graduate from UCA Epsom. Alice Halliday, who completed a BA in Fashion, created a hooded, floor-length cape made out of lace for her Graduate Fashion Week collection in June.

I ran around screaming with joy and have been feeling so excited ever since

The 22-year-old from Skibbereen, Co Cork, Ireland, designed the cape with Florence in mind, and contacted her stylist to see if she would like to wear it. Alice said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard that Florence loved my design so much she wanted take it on her tour of Australia. I ran around screaming with joy and have been feeling so excited ever since. “Florence has been my muse for some time and even after the first stitch I could imagine her wearing it.” Florence was first photographed wearing Alice’s crystal and sequin embellished cape at the Splendour in the Grass Festival in Queensland back in the summer. The popstar may be used to wearing expensive clothes but Alice’s design was made from material from a charity shop. Alice explained: “I bought a huge lacy table cloth from a cancer research charity shop in Epsom for £2. I then draped it and tied a ribbon around the neck to form a hooded cape reminiscent of the religious garments that I had researched. “I then decided it needed to be illuminated and sparkle, so with the help of some wonderful friends, I covered it with beads, crystals and sequins.”

Cape on the catwalk photographer Chris Moore Alice Halliday | Florence and The Machine | Creative Update



Graduate’s big screen idea to go nationwide A recent graduate from UCA Canterbury has persuaded the BBC to create a new digital gallery that will display exciting artworks across the length and breadth of the country. Mark Smith approached the BBC after graduating with a first class degree in Fine Art this summer. He put to them the idea of using the 19 big screens they have in city centres across the country as digital art galleries. During 2012, the BBC’s big screen sites and the areas around them will become ‘Live Sites’ providing live coverage of the Olympic and Paralympic games, as well as local content and news. Thanks to Mark, they will now also be used to show art work. Mark said: “I saw one of the new screens on a visit to Dover and was aware that it could create a new platform for the arts. From the very beginning I saw the opportunity to create a curated presentation of local and national artwork for the big screen sites.

The screens are dotted across the country in cities including Portsmouth, Edinburgh and Birmingham. Mark added: “In so many of our cities public space is taken up by commercial advertising. This project is about claiming back digital media sites and using them to create a network of enriching and stimulating works to show to the public 24 hours a day. “The public will have an opportunity to unexpectedly engage in a new cultural point of view. They will be presented with a new freedom to engage in work that does not seek to sell, but instead asks for a response – a response unique to the individual, place and time.” Mark is now busy creating a community of artists and creative professionals who will make his idea a reality. He plans to return to study next year with an MA in Fine Art. www.markjohnsmith.com

“It is my passion to enrich the day to day experiences of the public through art. After formulating my idea I contacted various individuals within the BBC and to my delight the idea was approved and supported by the broadcaster.” One of the big screens


Mark Smith | Big screen | Creative Update

This project is about claiming back digital media sites and using them to create a network of enriching and stimulating works to show to the public 24 hours a day


News in brief Levi’s job Congratulations to Samantha Mark who is moving to San Fransisco to take the position of assistant designer at Levi’s & Co. Sarah graduated with a MA in Fashion in 2007. In her new role she will be researching new creative ideas, contributing to the design process and supporting the fit fabric and trim development.

Solo exhibition Kelly Gorman is holding her first solo exhibition at the Elysium Gallery in Swansea from 9 to 31 January 2011. She describes her work as an investigation of societal issues of gender, race and cultural stereotype. Her collection will feature both collage and sculpture work. For more information visit: www.elysiumgallery.com

Local history on film MA Fine Art graduate Dominic de Vere was assistant director on ‘Watermark’, a film commissioned by Dover Arts Development to look back at the history of a local paper mill. The project also enlisted the services of five student film maker’s from UCA’s Film & Video Arts course.

Jewellery network Would you like to collaborate and network with other like minded jewellery makers? UCA alumna Rebecca Skeels organises a Jewellers and Silversmiths network in Farnham. It offers an opportunity for members to network, exchange information and join together for exhibitions. For further information contact Rebecca: info@jsnfarnham.com

The World is Ours Todd Wotton organised an art exhibition entitled ‘The World is Ours’ in conjunction with the ITV Fixers charity at The Public Gallery, West Bromwich. It showcased the talents of 30 up and coming artists from the region. His idea was inspired by his time at UCA. While he was a student he was able to show his work, but realised not all artists got this opportunity so he created this opportunity for fellow local artists.

Graduate course input KIAD graduate Jesper Velling has returned to UCA as a course consultant. He has a successful workshop in Maidstone where he has taken on UCA students for work experience. He has also collected awards from the Goldsmiths’ Design and Craft council for his designs. He is delighted to be back at UCA and said: “It has been a wonderful and awe inspiring to see how the course has changed and the amazing talent that the University continues to nurture so well.” www.jespervelling.com Cape Crusader Victoria Geaney’s shirt cape was the winner of the Fashion Capital awards. Her design was selected by Asos.com for production and is on sale online from September. Only 14 cape designs were chosen from the many entries, most being made by large, established companies.

Alumni round up | News in brief | Creative Update




About the author Liz Cooper completed her Foundation Course in Art & Design at UCA Farnham in 2002 before completing a degree in Fashion Design. Throughout her studies she focused on ethical alternatives to the mainstream fashion industry, such as organic cotton, fair trade and recycling.


Since graduating, she has worked for three years with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Senegal – supporting craftspeople to produce textiles products from organic fair trade cotton and has recently moved to India for a Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) placement.

Liz Cooper | Postcard from India | Creative Update


Postcard from India Liz Cooper on her one year placement I’ve been in Delhi for about a month now and I am currently writing this under a mosquito net with the fan on in a hostel. I’m trying to connect to the various wireless networks broadcasting in the area but none of them are strong enough, so no chatting on Skype tonight. I’m due to move into my own place in a couple of days – things got delayed by the heavy monsoon rains this week so my flat couldn’t be repainted in time, but fingers crossed I’ll be able to unpack my suitcases once and for all very soon! I’m in Delhi for a year to work for an NGO called Swechha which is one of VSO’s partners. My role is mainly communications (designing publications, website and writing), but I’m also working on one project involving making high quality textiles products from waste materials. There is a small workshop next door to the office where waste fabrics, leather, food packaging

and car tyres are transformed into beautiful things (check out the facebook page called “Green the Gap”). This project really showcases the widening gap between rich and poor in India – some people spend their days collecting different types of waste on rubbish heaps to sell to companies who will recycle it, while others spend their time in huge shopping malls, bigger than any I’ve seen in the UK. Swechha sells the recycled products on a stall in one of South Delhi’s biggest malls. I was matched to a role at Swechha by VSO, who’d had my CV on their database for a while. I had to go through a very rigorous assessment process in order to be sent overseas (group activities while being watched by a number of assessors, interviews, medical checks etc), and received some training both before leaving the UK and immediately on arrival in India. VSO is about volunteering – but the idea is that you shouldn’t have to spend any of your own money, nor make enough money to save, >

Liz at the Taj Mahal

Liz Cooper | Postcard from India | Creative Update



Making items from recycled materials.

There is so much to do here, such as visiting historical sites, free museums and many traditional crafts to discover

so I get my flights, insurance and accommodation paid for and receive an allowance each month which is equivalent to many local salaries, but not enough to buy expensive imported cheese every day! Many VSO placements require medical professionals or teachers, but there are some creative opportunities from time to time. For example, I met a fashion designer who was about to set off to Mongolia to advise a wool factory.


So far, I like Delhi despite having heard so many negative things about it before I came (the traffic, the heat, people staring at you, getting sick etc). I was living in Africa before I came here so I am already used to certain things like the climate, negotiating prices, dangerous driving, and standing out as a foreigner. Indian colleagues have told me it’s not considered rude to stare, so I’m not bothered if everyone

Liz Cooper | Postcard from India | Creative Update


An autorickshaw

www.lizcooper.info www.lizcooper.blogspot.com www.swechha.in

hi el D

is looking at me when I’m stuck in traffic on an auto-rickshaw I can just stare back. I love the food – so much variety. There is so much to do here, such as visiting historical sites, free museums and many traditional crafts to discover. I’ve already bought a beautiful teapot set carved out of black stone. So now I’ve had time to settle in I’m looking forward to plenty of hard work for a good cause and having an unforgettable experience.

Liz Cooper | Postcard from India | Creative Update




1940s Medway of

Creative Update was lucky enough to interview Alumni Association member John Davis who studied at Medway College of Design in the 1940s. He shared with us his memories of pre-computer technology and explained how producing his coursework often involved breaking down old ammunition boxes. John gained a scholarship in 1945; this was during the Second World War when places were limited and the cost per pupil was £600 a year, equivalent to over £18,000 today. He said: “Subjects studied were drawing and design, lettering and layout, design and crafts, practical design, bookbinding, cabinet making, carving, metal work, painting and decorating and typography.”

UCA Rochester in the 1950s


John Davis | 1940s Medway | Creative Update

John remembers his tutors as a talented and inspiring group of people. They included Sid Sparrow who worked for prestigious jewellery firm Mappin and Webb and produced a gold cross for Canterbury Cathedral. Also Charles Pickering who went on to become Her Majesty’s Inspector of Printing Schools; and Les Owens, DJ Juniper, Don Linsell and Ted Russell who all went on to become heads in later years. John added: “All the tutors were full of encouragement and creativity and you felt they really loved their jobs. A number still worked within the industry. I remember one project was to make a pub sign, this was a hands-on project and the tutor wanted to help me do the best I could.”

Studying during the war meant that materials were hard to come by and were tightly controlled. John said: “You sometimes had to trade materials. Once I made my pub sign I brought in some wood from home to re-stock the materials store. We took apart ammunition boxes for wood, it was always good quality.” John’s studies led him to embark on a career in the printing industry which lasted him for the rest of his life. “When we left college we were equipped with all the necessary skills to start work,” he said. “I went to work at a printers and I knew the layout of a type case, the point system, and how to set type. A classmate went to work in Hatton Garden as a diamond setter and another worked as a sign maker.”


All the tutors were full of encouragement and creativity and you felt they really loved their jobs

After a three year spell of national service in the army and a position at the London College of Printing, John was approached to return to Medway as an evening class tutor. He taught printing theory whilst working as technical manager at printers Staples. John said: “With the invention of computers we are used to instant design, but when I started working in printing, everything was done by hand. We would set up the letter press for the copy and use lithographic colour filters for the images. I worked on books, magazines and catalogues. All the images had to be either photographs or line drawings that would be sent to engravers to make the printing plates. The images would then be masked and set out on the printing blocks with the text. The magazine had to be planned perfectly, there was no room for errors and each edition would take weeks to complete.”

John went on to work as a binding manager for Chaucer press who print Penguin Books, before being ordained a priest in 1975. Although this seems like a world away from a career in print, John says that his ethos has remained the same: “Always have an interest in life whatever happens, and keep your mind alive.” We would love to hear from other alumni who have studied through the decades. Email your memories to: alumni@ucreative.ac.uk

John Davis at recent Rochester alumni reunion

John Davis | 1940s Medway | Creative Update



‘Ma o Shishu’ Hanbury Street, Brick Lane, London

Graduate paints legends at Royal Albert Hall


Ben Slow | Urban art | Creative Update



rban artist Ben Slow was commissioned to paint a giant mural of legends that have graced the Royal Albert Hall in its 138-year history.

Now, the 26-year-old, who also starred in the V&A’s first ever street art exhibition, is keen to prove there is more to this art-form than just wielding a can of spray-paint in a city centre. While growing up, art was the only subject Ben was interested in and after finishing school he signed up to do a foundation at UCA Rochester. “I loved the freedom associated with drawing and painting,” he said. “It was during my foundation course that I realised I wanted to be an artist, and this was down to the tutors who inspired me to take my art seriously.” >

I loved the freedom associated with drawing and painting

” Ben Slow | Urban art | Creative Update



Jimi, 2007


Ben in the studio


Ben Slow | Urban art | Creative Update


He went on to study BA in Fine Art at UCA Canterbury, and after graduating in 2006 began working as a designer. However, he could not shake off his passion for urban art. “On a whim, I bit the bullet and quit my job and moved to London. I was interested in the Urban Art scene and I wanted to move my art this way,” he explained. “Although at times it has been tough, I would not change it for the world. No day is the same. I will paint between five and 15 hours depending on my deadlines, but I get easily distracted, especially living in London, there is always so much to see.” Ben uses a canvas of outside space to create his work. He has painted walls across England and created a mural off Brick lane called ‘Ma O Shishu’. In June last year, he was approached to create a mural at the Royal Albert Hall loading bay, he painted 20 hours a day for four days on the project, which saw him work with nine other artists. He said: “The scale of the work didn’t really hit us till we walked into the space and started painting – it was an insane space to fill.” For Ben, urban art is difficult to describe and full of contradictions. He said: “It’s vandalism and destruction as much as it is expression. It can brighten up a dull space as much as it can destroy it. It’s art for everyday people by everyday people, a way of laying claim to something, of being heard.”

Its association with vandalism has led to negative perceptions of urban art. Ben experienced this first-hand recently when putting an exhibition together in affluent Woburn: “When it first got out what we were doing, there was uproar in some parts of the village. The gallery was getting complaints before we had even arrived. However, once people saw for themselves what it is we actually do the response was amazing. “The gallery was inundated with requests for further exhibitions and we will shortly be organising our third show with them.” This year, Ben contributed the first ever urban art exhibition at the V&A which will be touring the country in the autumn. He also travelled to Paris to paint live at the Louvre as part of ‘Le Art Contemporain Moins De 5000’ and will soon be returning for his second show in the city this year as well as contributing to the largest urban art exhibition in Ibiza. He said: “I still feel like a tiny fish in a big ocean and am trying to work out where I fit in. My advice to other graduates would be there is always a way to do what you want.

“When I left UCA I wasn’t sure how I could get by paying the rent through selling my work, but if you want it enough and can be there for the long haul, then it can be done. Just keep believing in yourself, pushing yourself and putting quality work out there.”

It’s vandalism and destruction as much as it is expression

” Ben Slow | Urban art | Creative Update



WM Club lounge

Agencies like 20|20 are smart enough to have a broad offer and adjust to the climate and clients’ new approaches while others appear to be sinking or taking their last breath

WM Club restaurant 20


Watching Arsène Wenger walk around one of my projects analysing my work was an experience I’ll certainly remember


for the perfect design Arsenal’s club level fans will get up close and personal with the work of Interior Design graduate Dan Leach, after he led the recent redevelopment of Club Level hospitality at the Emirates Stadium.

Dan Leach

Dan is now a Creative Partner at design agency 20|20, and was delighted to be involved with the Arsenal project. “Watching Arsène Wenger walk around one of my projects analysing my work was an experience I’ll certainly remember,” he said.

Emirates Club Level is a premium tier of 7,000 seats that now features three exclusive restaurants, three bars, and two high quality lounges for platinum season ticket holders.

achievements of the Club’s two most successful managers – Herbert Chapman and Arsène Wenger, and the era they achieved their success.

Dan said: “Arsenal has a rich history, so it wasn’t hard to find a hook for each of the concepts. The overarching concept for the redevelopment was the Club’s past and present successes, celebrating the players, managers and how Arsenal has evolved. We brought these very complicated spaces to life using the

“One of many bespoke features we created was two 7x6 metre chainmail portraits of Arsène Wenger and Herbert Chapman within the Woolwich. It was a surreal experience watching Arsène looking up at himself on a site visit and I was told he asked if it could be made a bit bigger, but I’m sure he was joking.” >

Dan Leach | Emirates Stadium | Creative Update



Woolwich Restaurant, Bar & Lounge


Come Christmas 2008 I saw lots of agencies start to tighten their belts and begin letting people go


Foundry Restaurant 22

Dan Leach | Emirates Stadium | Creative Update

Woolwich bar


left to right: Legends corridor, Legends corner bar

Dan graduated from UCA Farnham in 2004. He said: “At that time the industry was saturated with great graduates and I remember it being tough to get in anywhere without some form of industry experience. For me, it was a case of taking a job at the best agency I could, regardless of pay, to get valuable experience and a foot in the door. “Eventually I was fortunate to find a perfect role at Dalziel & Pow whom I thank for helping me develop the broad skill base that my career to date has been built upon.” After some time at Dalziel & Pow, Dan worked at Fitch before briefly freelancing at 20|20.

“At that point the industry was so busy you could call a recruitment agency for work and get a dozen interviews the next day,” he said. “That didn’t last though – and come Christmas 2008 I saw lots of agencies start to tighten their belts and begin letting people go.” By this time Dan had been lucky enough to work relatively unaffected by the recession and soon returned to 20|20 where he has now been for over two and a half years. He added: “Since Christmas 2009 I’ve personally had one of my busiest stints in the industry, with work of all kinds across Europe and the Middle East.

clients’ new approaches while others appear to be sinking or taking their last breath.” Seeing his team’s work at Club Level in use on a match day has been a high point in Dan’s career to date. “We had to work under extreme time constraints, which when you get such a fantastic project, can be frustrating to have so little time to do it,” he said. “But seeing the spaces being enjoyed by football fans, and the pride our client expresses for the work, made everything worthwhile.”

“Agencies like 20|20 are smart enough to have a broad offer and adjust to the climate and

Dan Leach | Emirates Stadium | Creative Update



The man behind the

Meerkat Darren Walsh, the man behind the award-winning ‘Compare the Meerkat’ adverts, has worked on a plethora of highly-regarded advertising campaigns since graduating from UCA Farnham (then the West Surrey College of Design) in 1993. These include the cult hit comedy ‘Angry Kid’ and the memorable Peperami adverts. His animations have seen him seen him create a giant bunny in Union Square, New York, for the Sony Bravia adverts and revive a short sighted Postman Pat for Specsaver.

I have such good memories of those lessons. It was all about finding your own style



s. Darren has fond memories of his time studying for the BTEC diploma and his degree in Animation. He said: “Studying the BTEC qualification was the best thing that could have happened to me. We came in one day and the tutor came in and dumped a wheelbarrow full of rubbish on the floor and told us to draw it on a 10ft piece of card. It helped develop my skills in such a broad way and I have such good memories of those lessons. It was all about finding your own style.” His final project film gained him a lot of attention and led to his first break with a BBC project called 10 by 10. It promoted 10 films by new directors and this got him noticed by animation studios. His first successful animation was born from a spell of unemployment after graduating. Darren used the time to hone the skills he had learnt at college while also developing his sculpture and character ideas. His first creation ‘Angry Kid’ was an animated model based on Darren’s older brother. Darren said: “I am most proud of this character as it is something I created and was not someone else’s idea. I was able

to convince Aardman Animations to make a pilot, which turned into over 50 episodes and gained a cult following.” He then moved on to make notable animations for Sony, Duracell and Peperami, but his most famous animated character to date is Aleksandr, the meerkat who fronts the advertising campaign for online comparison website Compare the Market. The advert was awarded Gold at the 2010 British Television Advertising Awards and Aleksandr was the ‘must have’ toy for Christmas 2009. The final advert of the recent trilogy was premiered at London Zoo to the resident meerkat family.

He added: “Everyone working on him believes in Aleksandr - it is as though he lives and breathes. I think the success of the advert is down to the fact he is a great character and really entertaining to watch. People want to see more of him and his adventures.” Darren has a number of new projects in the pipeline including teaming up again with Aardman Animations for a pilot called ‘Men in Coats’, a live action animation using real people mixed with animation. www.passion-pictures.com

Darren said: “Aleksandr is a meerkat with his own personality. When I was originally given the script I thought it seemed like such a ridiculous idea that it had to work. A big part of making him come to life was casting the voice. Once this was done, work began on the first commercial.” Darren now heads up a team of 15 people who make the three minute adverts - this includes a crew that shoots all the backdrops on-location to give a more real, epic feel to the adverts.

Sony Bravia still courtesy of Passion Pictures, Gorgeous Enterprises and Fallon


Peperami still courtesy of Passion Pictures and Lowe Worldwide

Meerkat stills courtesy of Passion Pictures and VCCP Darren Walsh | Compare the Meerkat | Creative Update



Last style of

defense Blogging has exploded in popularity within the past five years, particularly in the fashion genre, and blogs have inspired a generation of online writers. Whilst building a blog is simple, choosing a memorable relevant name is an anxious yet exciting process but I found the hardest thing is developing and maintaining a successful project. Focusing content to a specific genre and sub-genres (e.g. fashion > men’s > street style) in a different or wider way helps a blog stand out from the hundreds and thousands of others. My blog combines news, products and comment which has closed the gap on the broad genres available, resulting in a high readership, mainly focusing on London with some international coverage.


It is not just the content alone that has helped ‘Last Style of Defense’ become one of the most read blogs in the UK. Social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter are powerful promotional tools that put blogs in the hearts, minds and favourites list of readers worldwide. Furthermore, finding similar blogs and positively commenting on posts is a key strategy to successfully joining the blogosphere community.


Bloggers have received a bad reputation of trying to outrank magazine editors at international fashion weeks. Some have been invited to sit on the front row, and one has had a bag named after him, but bloggers have a long way to go to be fully recognised as the voices of fashion journalism. www.laststyleofdefense.blogspot.com

Dan Hasby-Oliver | Front line of blogging | Creative Update

Dan Hasby-Oliver

My top blogging tips 1. Do not start a blog for personal gain as your motives will show through immediately. 2. Be selective! You will get press releases every day, but only write about products you feel passionate about. 3. Treat social networking like face-to-face meetings. If you don’t talk to other bloggers and readers, no one will talk to you. 4. Don’t cover shows, events or products that you have not been invited to. Giving free press will not earn you any brownie points! 5. Be honest to your readers, don’t be too bitchy and work with flare and passion to put your blog on the right track.

About the author - UCA alumnus Dan Hasby-Oliver has achieved online acclaim from Grazia magazine and his blog ‘Last Style of Defense’ will also be featured on the new look H& M website. He reports to Creative Update on the rise and importance of the blog for the fashion industry.




The world of journalism is awash with freelancers. A sad sign of the times means that once coveted staff jobs are now so few and far between and so badly paid that freelance has proved the only way forward for anyone still hoping to make a living from journalism. You would think that more freelancers would mean more competition but fortunately that is not so, the dwindling number of staff jobs has simply meant that freelancers are now the lifeblood of the industry.

you still need to be proactive, pitching ideas you think are relevant to publications and their readers. Don’t be afraid to approach editors you don’t already know either. A good idea is a good idea, and people will happily pay for them.

But nonetheless becoming a successful freelancer is still a tough nut to crack. You have to learn not just to be a master of your art but master in self-promotion too. Networking, meeting greeting, pressing the flesh, is all par for the course.

Give yourself a social media presence. This can serve as so much more than just another tool of self-promotion. Whilst it’s great to have profile on LinkedIn and Facebook, things like Twitter are great ways to hear about things first, to pick up on the controversial things that people say and to use these as the basis for ideas. It’s also a great way of keeping up with trends and what’s going on in the world. What’s even better is, that in signing up to follow people on Twitter, you are driving the information to yourself, saving yourself time and effort on research.

You cannot simply wait at home waiting for the work to find you. It’s critical that you put yourself about, so to speak. Lots of meets may not directly result in any work but simply seeing and being seen is important to keep yourself at the forefront of people’s minds when it finally does come to dishing out the work. There are also much less taxing ways of raising your profile. The days of lugging a heavy portfolio around are long gone. Get yourself a website and get your portfolio online, if you want to have your own voice think about adding a blog as a platform for your own thoughts and opinions. Keep your site updated regularly and use different pages for the different types of journalism you have produced so editors can easily navigate without having to sift through everything you’ve ever written. Become an ideas machine. Once you’ve made yourself some good contacts, don’t wait for them to offer you work; while that can and does happen

Get yourself listed, Diary Directory, Gorkana, Fashion Monitor - there are industry directories galore depending on your discipline, get involved and get your name and your contact details out there.

There’s no other real skill to be a successful freelancer, although it goes without saying that being a good writer will significantly help your chances here. The reward? Well working from home in your pjs will do nicely thanks.

About the author - Clare Taylor is a freelance fashion and lifestyle journalist. A graduate from the very first year of the BA Fashion Journalism course at UCA Epsom, Clare has gone on to contribute to a number of online publications, national newspapers and consumer magazines, including Handbag.com, more! FHM, Zest and The Saturday Telegraph Magazine.

Clare Taylor | Going freelance | Creative Update



You will be amazed at how much you have under-prepared

‘Chick’s Nest’ by Maria Fung

About the author Maria Fung graduated with a BA in Graphic Design from UCA Maidstone in 2007. After a spell freelancing in London she returned to her native Singapore where she secured a long-term freelance job with BBDO - the world’s most coveted advertising agency.


Maria Fung | Graduate misconceptions | Creative Update


Misconceptions of the

WORKING WORLD Many employers find fresh graduates frustrating at times. Nothing annoys me more than to have a graduate with zero experience who thinks he or she knows better than I do. Gaining a first Class Honours or a D&AD Award does not necessarily guarantee a job, neither does graduating from a top arts college ensure that you will work for Saatchi & Saatchi. Relevant experience is essential, so is updating your skills after graduation. Not many employers are willing to hire an inexperienced designer or invest the time to train them when they can hire an experienced person at the same cost. Recently, I posted a discussion on LinkedIn regarding this issue, and had some interesting feedback. Susan Kirkland, Owner at SDKirkland posted: “The working world is not the kind embrace of your family or school. We expect you to carry your share of the workload and do it without whining or coddling. We also expect you to follow through on assignments with the minimum of interruptions. Before you run to us with a ton of questions, try to figure things out for yourself. We appreciate people who work

independently, use their brains, pay attention when assignments are made, and take notes.”

she deemed it unnecessary, had an awfully long and difficult time in landing a job despite a great portfolio and impressive awards to her name.

Susan Riegel, Graphic Designer at Camco Manufacturing Inc, added: “Without exception, every new straight-from-college hire I have seen in the last 15-plus years was sorely lacking in basic production knowledge. As in: How to set-up spot colours vs CMYK; how to use basic tab and paragraph controls; even, how to pre-flight and collect a file for output.” If you have squandered your holidays on having fun rather than doing valuable internships or learning new skills, good luck in landing your first job! There are thousands of talented designers out there, and sending many CVs every day is a bleak reality. You should search online job portals and get a general idea of what potential employers are looking for in prospective employees. Join online forums and talk to designers to discover what new skills you need to learn that you have not been taught at university. You will be amazed at how much you have under-prepared. An ex-classmate I knew, who refused to learn basic web coding because

Another absolute must-have is the acquiring of ‘soft’ skills – communication, presentation, personality, negotiation, business etiquette, teamwork and time management - qualities which prospective employers are looking for. Participate in activities and clubs, do presentations in class, observe business networking meetings if you can attend one. Watch popular TV series’ “The Apprentice” and “Dragons’ Den” to observe and learn soft skills of the contestants in the real market place. In life, you will face difficult situations and people. How you manage to deal with them will be a key demonstration to how others will judge your overall performance. Until you are Lisa Tse or Neville Brody, I suggest you keep your head level and not demand royal treatment. Marketing is psychological. No one wants to buy from an arrogant and rude vendor even if he or she has fantastic products to offer. www.mariafung.com

Maria Fung | Graduate misconceptions | Creative Update


Lewis Darby


Project Manager Napoleon Creative

That lucky

break In 2009 I graduated from UCA Farnham with a degree in Animation, and now I’m lucky enough to be working in the video and animation industry at Napoleon Creative. But looking back, was it all luck? Essentially it took a little bit of initiative and A LOT of listening. The first freelance work I got was a compositing at th1ng in Soho. Technical skills aside, I think there were two main reasons that led to me getting this job. In January 2009 a trip was organised by one of our tutors, Andy Joule, for a group of students to visit animation studios in London, including th1ng. The producer showed us around, told us about how the studio runs and showed us some of the different projects that they were working on. On the week that we handed in our final project, I decided to take a trip to London to visit some animation studios and hand deliver my CV and showreel. It was a stab in the dark, but it paid off. Amongst the studios I visited was th1ng and I happened to bump into the producer who had taken me on my tour in January. We spoke briefly and she remembered our visit and spoke about a project they needed help with, a week later I started working for them. If the producer hadn’t been around, I’m pretty sure my CV and showreel would have ended up in a pile somewhere and wouldn’t have been seen. However if I hadn’t taken the opportunity to visit the studios and deliver my CV and showreel then I wouldn’t have been in a scenario where the luck could have happened.


Lewis Darby | Animation | Creative Update

So, if I was to give advice to any students or recent graduates… Take your opportunities. If trips are being organised for you, please make the effort to go. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t. Take some initiative. Admittedly it’s a little demoralising walking into to 20 animation studios and getting ignored, but if you get to speak to just one producer or production manager then it will be worth it. Do something that sets you apart from the rest. Make your own luck. If you don’t take your opportunities and you don’t take any initiative then you won’t create a situation where you might get that lucky break.

Over the past year at Napoleon Creative I’ve worked on many projects and learnt huge amounts about the industry. I’ve also been fortunate enough to be involved in the running of cv4.tv, which offers tips stories and events for people starting or already working in the TV and video production industries. All the further advice I would be able to offer can be found on the website. www.lewisdarby.com



UCA graduates sought by creative industries New graduates this year are faced with mixed messages in the media on the state of current job graduate market as a result of the economic downturn bringing the inevitable anxiety and uncertainty about their future. The talent and creative ability of UCA graduates however continues to be highly sought across the sector providing real opportunities for our creative arts graduates to contribute substantially to the creative economy. Research shows larger proportions of graduates now work in the creative industries and in work related to their subject than ten years ago with noted increases in part-time working, business start-ups, self employment and fixed term or temporary work. The creative industries continue to provide employment for around two million in the UK alone, with employment still growing at nearly double the rate of the economy. The arts enrich people’s lives; involvement in the arts is known to increase children’s attainment in schools. Good design enhances our quality of life and can have a positive effect in the workplace and the way we live. Areas such as software, computer games and electronic publishing are now experiencing significant growth – the UK computer games market is currently the third largest in the world after the US and Japan.

Gaining entry into creative work requires graduates to be resourceful, adaptable, flexible and willing to undertake work experience or ‘internships’. The unpaid internship has become controversial in the context of minimum wage legislation however the industry–related experience can be invaluable to develop skills and help clarify career aspirations. The UCA Careers Service works closely with creative industry employers aiming to maximise the opportunities available for students and graduates providing a professional online vacancy service advertising the latest jobs, freelance work, work placements and volunteering opportunities in the creative sector. Emerging job areas are within web, online digital activities and social media with job roles such as ‘Social Media Marketer’ and ‘Digital Media Project Leader’ sought. We are still receiving Graphic and Design vacancies from creative agencies, advertisers, publishers and charities. Artist and Makers jobs are advertised particularly residencies in educational settings. In Fashion and Textile opportunities for interns and assistants provide excellent starting positions to get that important ‘foot in the door’. Our Architecture graduates are sought by architectural practices with 90% securing graduate level positions during their professional experience year out in industry.

Contact us Whether you have just graduated or in mid-career taking time to reflect and review your career goals and map how you will achieve them is a useful exercise. If you do need help in your career planning the Careers Service continues to support alumni for up to three years after graduating. The following services are available to you: > Specialist careers advice and guidance to help you manage your career > Practical advice and information on job hunting, CV’s and portfolios > Fully accessible online career web resource providing details of graduate jobs in the creative industries, work placements, volunteering, residencies, events, industry news and lots more www.community.ucreative.ac.uk/careers careers@ucreative.ac.uk

Careers | Advice | Creative Update



‘TriBoroBridge’ by Helen Dennis




Fine Art alumna Helen Dennis has been wowing New York audiences with her unique hybrid of drawing and photography.

to physically immerse the viewer into the environment. I want the viewer to be absorbed by what they see and have an anatomical relationship to it.”

The UCA Canterbury graduate was commissioned by the Downtown Alliance of NY to create a giant mural covering an entire construction site. It will remain in place until February 2011.

After completing her studies at UCA Canterbury, then KIAD, in 2001, Helen headed to New York to complete an MFA. Aside from residencies in Beijing and Reykjavik, she has remained there ever since.

Helen said: “This is the first piece I have created for the public realm. It’s been a great experience and has allowed me to approach my work from a different angle.”

“New York has been a great place for me to develop as an artist,” she said. “I see myself as sitting between the two mediums of drawing and photography – combining multiple layered drawings with photographic processes incorporates notions of time, questioning the extended time of a single moment.

The mural, entitled ‘Rendering Leonard’, is 230 by eight feet, and is positioned on Leonard Street. Helen added: “Large scale imagery allows the artist

Helen Dennis | New York mural | Creative Update

“The mediums are like two repelling magnets that I am trying to push together. It’s at that point of tension, where the magnets almost touch, yet really want to fly off in opposing directions, that things happen. That’s where my interests and inspirations lay.” Helen has fond memories of her time at KIAD, and believes that studying alongside architects had an impact on her work. She said: “The imagery that I focus on in my artwork is predominantly urban architectural environments. I find it fascinating to consider the built world around us and the relationship to our surroundings.” www.helendennis.com


Large scale imagery allows the artist to physically immerse the viewer into the environment. I want the viewer to be absorbed by what they see and have an anatomical relationship to it

‘Rendering Leonard’ by Helen Dennis

Helen Dennis | New York mural | Creative Update



fairytale designs Jewellery Design graduate Sian Bostwick has had a busy year. Since graduating from UCA Rochester in 2009, she has set up her own business and reached the final of the Clothes Show Live Awards. She tells Creative Update how mixing fantasy and femininity is the key to her success.


Sian Bostwick | Jewellery design | Creative Update


What memories do you have of your time at UCA Rochester? I learnt a lot. There are always new areas to explore and you can push yourself creatively and technically. With the help of tutors and technicians I was able to find my own style and identify where I wanted to take my work. I grew my portfolio and I always felt I wanted to learn more.

What has been your biggest achievement to date? I was so excited to make the final three for the ‘Clothes Show Young Accessory Designer of the Year’ award this year. I entered my metamorphic necklace and bangle. They were pieces I had developed during my time at UCA and were based on metaphoric rock formations. I showcased the full collection on my stand at the IJL International Jewellery London Exhibition in September.

Where do you get your inspiration for your pieces? I have a variety of influences. I combine a feminine style with a few hints of a darker approach. Through reading graphic novels and comics I visualise my work, the images, themes and illustrations. They all bubble away in my head and combine with my surroundings, including art, nature and architecture, which culminate in my collections. All of my collections are an accumulation of my studies and it has taken time since graduating in 2009 to really define my own style.

What pieces/collections will you be working on next? I am working towards releasing a new collection based on fairytales next year. It will incorporate romanticism and grown up playfulness with use of titanium, fine detail and gemstones. I am still working on the details in my scrap book and am looking forward to seeing how the final pieces will evolve. www.sianbostwick.co.uk

Can you tell us me more about your collections to date? I currently have three main collections entitled, ‘Spring butterflies’, ‘Summer flowers’ and ‘Wonderland’, plus some other individual pieces.

Images taken from Sian’s ‘Spring butterflies’ collection

The ‘Spring butterflies’ and ‘Summer flowers’ collections are both made from anodised titanium, which is coloured with bright blue, rich purple, golden highlights and deep blues in combination. It contrasts well with silky, satin-finished silver. Both of these collections are mostly inspired by woodland walks and fairytales. The bright blue butterflies on twisting silver vines and richly coloured flowers give the wearer a sense of elegant sophistication. My final collection, ‘Wonderland’ is based on the original publications and illustrations of ‘Alice in Wonderland’. I used a mix of leather and metal with semi-precious stones to create an eye-catching neck-piece. I decided to develop this collection further to make a more wearable and commercial collection of pendants. The pieces feature mainly lightweight, hollow silver hearts with fine hand-pierced detail, including a playing card pattern and accompanying playing card charms on the chain.

Sian Bostwick | Jewellery design | Creative Update



Creating a new life abroad


My musician partner and I had talked about moving to a warmer climate, so I knew I’d have his support when I suggested that Cyprus could be a possible target for our relocation. We had only been in the country a matter of ten minutes at that time, and it was raining and dark. We were driving on the left too, and the place looked magical as the Easter decorations had begun to brighten the roundabouts. Palm trees and a very low crime rate all added to the allure of it all. The next day Jack and I visited Aphrodite’s Rock, the legendary, beautiful sun-drenched landmark, sitting in the turquoise sea. It was February and we were on the beach in shorts. We looked at each other and laughed, that was when we knew. Cyprus would be our home. It took two years of planning and job-researching, but eventually I accepted that I’d have to knock on doors with my CV when I landed here. After allowing ourselves the tremendously hot month of August 2005, to settle into our new country with our dog, I found some part-time and supply teaching work. That was all in addition to using my degree skills to design fitted kitchens. I had four jobs at one time. It was all hideously badly paid, life was a real struggle for the first year or so, but we never considered going back, not once. After five years, I now work in a successful private school near the Troodos Mountains. I am Head of the Art Department, as I was in England. We work


Sheila Wright | New life abroad | Creative Update

with British GCSE and A’ Level examinations. Most students are polite, enthusiastic and speak several languages. I have learned to speak Greek and we have made friends with a number of nationalities. The temperatures are typically 30 to 46 degrees centigrade in summer. More by luck than design, we live in a hillside village with a breeze from the sea which relieves the intensity of the summer. We soon found that cooling off in the sea, on the way home from the distant supermarket helped a lot! The first thing we had to learn was to do any heavy work once the sun had gone down, or before it came up at 6am and adopt a siesta mid-afternoon. Jack and I once tried to assemble a flat-pack computer desk in the afternoon and collapsed exhausted after only managing to get the boxes upstairs and opened. The Cypriot people have made us incredibly welcome. I love the way that the clock seems to tick more slowly here. An evening watching the stars, listening to Jack playing his guitar or floating in a warm swimming pool has no parallel. Relocating hasn’t been easy but every day is an adventure. I couldn’t have done it alone. Jack has managed to make me laugh even when the bureaucracy here terrified me. Now we can say we are living happily ever after, but it’s a very different experience when you’re a worker compared to a holiday-maker. It’s been an exceptional experience. To quote the Rocky Horror Show: “Don’t dream it, be it.”



Painting a mural at St Johns school

About the author Sheila Wright graduated from UCA Farnham (then the West Surrey College of Art & Design) in 1986. During her studies a classmate suggested she go into teaching, and she went on to teach art and design in the state system of coastal North East England from 1987 to 2003.

AE Aphrodite’s Rock

The Cypriot people have made us incredibly

welcome. I love the way that the clock seems to tick more slowly here

” Sheila Wright | New life abroad | Creative Update



About the author: Amy Durrant graduated in 2008 from UCA Epsom with a BA in Fashion Promotion & Illustration.


A heart necklace by Tatty Devine

Amy Durrant Amy began working at jewellery designers Tatty Devine as an intern three years ago and has subsequently worked her way up to become their in-house Press Manager.

Amy (centre) with colleagues


Amy Durrant | A day in the life | Creative Update



I live quite close to our Brick Lane showroom so the morning normally consists of checking my emails while walking down Hackney Road so that I can deal with any urgent requests as soon as I get in. We have press offices in Paris and Japan plus a showroom in Los Angeles so overnight I normally get news and coverage reports in from them.

We have a resident stylist in the Tatty Devine team, so I’ll normally chat with him about the vision and looks we want to produce for photo shoots. We are lucky that we are 100 per cent independent and make everything in the UK which means we can turn things around quite quickly. I have to be quick on my feet to think of new ideas and not miss a trend. LUNCH AND GOSSIP

When I get into the office I will read the fashion, business and blog news from around the world and then start to haul through the day’s requests. I work closely with our events manager and in the mornings we will go through events, in-store promotions and parties that we are working on together.

Dinosaur and Tiger necklaces, two of Tatty Divine’s most popular pieces


Some days we can be discussing how to accessorise a paddling pool for the V&A or setting up an event for the world’s largest charm bracelet - there is always something fun happening. In the summer we go on ‘tour’ to all the festivals and craft events so we are always brainstorming new ideas for fun things to do. It’s brilliant because we get to meet all of our customers from around the UK and for me it feels like one big summer holiday.

I spend the afternoon in our Brick Lane showroom where I’ll usually take press appointments all afternoon. Tatty Devine have a real connection with the music world so we have a lot of requests for video shoots and promos. STYLIST AND EDITOR MEETINGS

We have made jewellery for Peaches Geldof, Beth Ditto, Rhianna, Kylie, Girls Aloud and Madonna, actually the list is endless! I’ll try and head into town to meet stylists and editors of various magazines to show them the new collection and get their response. It’s important to get the jewellery seen by as many people as possible.


Some days we can be discussing how to accessorise a paddling pool for the V&A or setting up an event for the world’s largest charm bracelet

We all sit and make lunch together in our studio or I’ll head out into Red Church Street by our studio and grab some food. It’s very fashion-centric around here so I’ll always hear some good fashion gossip in a coffee queue.


Mid-morning I’ll head to our studio in Bethnal Green to meet the designers and the rest of the team and go through the new collections and all of the exciting projects they are working on. We’ll spend some time going through trends and listen to the designers’ inspirations with endless mugs of tea, then I’ll work with our digital director to think up spins for new products and start to put together press releases.

I usually work till around 7pm but being in the fashion industry there is always some party to go to which means ‘work’ can end up usually running into the small hours of the morning. Networking is the key in this business so I have to make sure I wear lots of Tatty Devine jewellery and meet lots of people and, unfortunately, have lots of fun!

Amy Durrant | A day in the life | Creative Update



Graduation 2010

The ranks of the Alumni Association have grown by more than 1,400 new members following our 2010 graduation ceremonies in June and July.

Vogue editor Alex Shulman was awarded an honorary degree. She said: “It is an honour to receive this recognition from the University for the Creative Arts.


“The creative industries are increasingly recognised for the essential and humanising contribution they make to our culture and society and the breadth of subjects at UCA can only encourage new and vital talent.” Also receiving honorary degrees this year were Bob Geldof KBE, Professor Edmund de Waal, Professor Pradyumna Vyas, and Parminder Vir. To see a full selection of photos from this year’s ceremonies become our fan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/alumniUCA

Honorary graduate Bob Geldof KBE with 2010 UCA Canterbury graduates


Graduation 2010 | Reunion | Creative Update


Harry Rich

Rich words for Architecture and Interior Design alumni The Chief Executive of the Royal Institute of British Architects warned the next generation of practitioners to be creative during recession or suffer the consequences. Harry Rich – who is also a UCA Governor - gave his rallying call to Architecture and Interior Design alumni at a networking event on 17 June 2010 at the Design Museum in London. Mr Rich, who has been head of the RIBA since October 2009 said: “The profession as a whole needs to learn to do things differently. I believe architecture is an industry in transition at the moment.

Rachel MacGadie, 2000 BA (Hons) Interior Design at UCA Farnham, said: “Apart from my husband, who I met while at UCA, I don’t think I’ve seen anyone else from university for a decade, so it’s great that events like this can bring people together again.” Carl Trenfield, 2003 BA (Hons) Architecture at UCA Canterbury, said: “It’s a great opportunity to see everyone again and find out who is working where - I didn’t realise so many of my friends were working in London now, so we are going to start meeting up again.” Visit www.ucreative.ac.uk/alumni for details of forthcoming reunion events.

“The less imaginative people are standing around moaning about how unfair the situation is, how hard it is to get a job or make a profit on work – which is true and very sad - but the creative people are somehow still successful in getting out there, finding ways to add value for their clients and taking architecture into new and different places.” UCA organised the reunion to re-engage with its Architecture and Interior Design alumni.

Architecture alumni | Reunion | Creative Update



Kent alumni

gather for reunions UCA Rochester alumni

At the reunions we met Adrian Day who graduated from UCA Canterbury in 1977. He designed artwork for many 1970s recording artists including Bob Marley and the Wailers. He was approached by Island records via the creative handbook to design the cover for ‘Satisfy my Soul, Smile Jamaica’. Adrian said: “The original idea was to have a portrait of Bob Marley as a Lion with dreadlocks. I did the artwork as briefed and it was rejected. It looked like the lion from the Wizard of Oz. Bad idea. So then they said illustrate a lion with dreadlocks. Second rejection, it still looked weird. “So we discussed the options and I suggested a naive style somewhat like Rousseau and they liked it and asked me to make the lion gold with red and green in the landscape. These are the colours of the Ethiopian Flag and the imagery is all part of the Rastafarian Religion. They loved it. I received a full credit on the back of the single. Unfortunately I no longer own the artwork – I was forced to sell it to my landlord in the last big recession in 1992.”


Canterbury & Rochester | Reunion | Creative Update

More than 200 Kent alumni from the University for the Creative Arts and its founder colleges met up for two reunions in September. Former students travelled from as far as Scotland for the special events which took place at UCA Canterbury (10 September) and UCA Rochester (16 September). The reunions were organised to bring more than five decades of graduates together from UCA’s former guises, including: Medway College of Design, Canterbury Art College, Canterbury School of Architecture and the Rochester and Canterbury campuses from the Kent Institute of Art & Design (KIAD). The events were combined with UCA’s postgraduate exhibitions to show alumni the great work being carried out by current students.

Alumni Officer, Claire Lupton, said: “We were really pleased with the turn-out at both of our reunions considering this is the first time we have put on these events. “It was fantastic to reunite so many people with their old friends and lecturers and to hear so many interesting stories from our alumni about their time at UCA or one of its founder colleges.” If you studied at one of UCA’s Medway or Canterbury campuses and did not receive an invitation to the reunions, please update your details at: www.ucreative.ac.uk/alumni or contact our alumni office: alumni@ucreative.ac.uk. Reunions at our other campuses will be announced shortly.


Collis Clements 1937 - 2010 Collis Clements, a popular tutor at the Maidstone College of Art and KIAD, has died aged 73. He will be remembered by many ex-students and staff as a laid-back and perpetually-smiling member of the Graphic Design teaching staff. Working at Maidstone from the mid 1960s until the late 1980s, he latterly served as head of the department. Born in Maidstone, Collis attended the local Grammar School before studying Graphic Design at Maidstone College of Art. It was during this time that he met his future wife Pauline. Collis was a keen all-round sportsman in his youth, excelling at swimming and water polo. Following National Service as an Army officer in Cyprus, he returned to civilian life as a graphic designer working for prestigious London-based companies. These included the legendary Black & Gray run by Misha Black and Milner Gray, founding partners of the pioneering Design Research Unit (DRU). Here Collis was involved with a number of nationally important projects, including the design and implementation of the corporate identity for British Rail.

Collis in 1973 at a display of stamps he designed for the Post Office. Left to right: Collis, Don Scarff of the Post Office and Collis’s design partner Ted Hughes, who also taught at Maidstone College of Art

Pauline, his wife of 53 years, sadly died three years ago. He is survived by his sons Stephen and Jeremy, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Collis Clements | Obituary | Creative Update


A leading freelance practitioner, Collis was a longstanding member of the Society of Typographic Designers and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers. He also formed a Maidstone-based design partnership with the illustrators Graham Clarke and Ted Hughes. Clients included the Post Office, for whom he designed everything from exhibitions to print, but perhaps most widely known were his postage stamps. These included the 1971 Christmas issue, commemorating issues for the wedding of Princess Anne and the Churchill centenary. Most recently he worked from a studio in Headcorn in partnership with fellow designer Andrew Barron.


Help shape your Alumni Association and win a £150 Amazon voucher We are launching a short online survey to gain your thoughts on the UCA Alumni Association. We want to learn more about how our alumni would like to see the association developed. Your feedback is very important to us as we want to offer you the best possible service.

The Foundry Dan Leach

The survey will be online at: www.ucreative.ac.uk/AlumniSurvey2010 until 31 December 2010. Every person that completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 Amazon voucher. Terms and Conditions* apply.

UCA Farnham, 2004

We want to hear from you We hope you enjoyed this edition of Creative Update. To send us story ideas, comments on this edition, or an update, please email: alumni@ucreative.ac.uk or call 01252 892736. Over the coming months we will be arranging a number of alumni reunion events. To ensure you receive your invitation, please visit www.ucreative.ac.uk/alumni to update your details if they have changed.

*UCA Alumni Survey 2010 Prize Draw Terms and Conditions The prize draw will be conducted in compliance with the terms and conditions specified below to guarantee fairness: 1. Only participants in the UCA Alumni Survey 2010 are entitled to participate in the prize draw. 2. The prize is one £150 amazon.co.uk voucher. 3. Each of the participants of the UCA Alumni Survey 2010 will be randomly assigned a number. One of the randomly assigned numbers will be chosen by a member of staff at UCA who does not know about the assignment of the numbers. The prize will be awarded to the corresponding participant. 4. The draw of the randomly assigned numbers will be conducted in the presence of at least one witness. 5. The name of the winner will be published at University for the Creative Arts’ website.

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