Savile Row / Farnham in 1970s / Photography Collective / International Fashion
creative / November 11
University for the Creative Arts Alumni Magazine
Introducing the new Vice-Chancellor / Comic Book Heroes
Cover image ‘Death at the parade (after mexico)’ courtesy of Dan Baldwin
contents news p3
James Laurence Stewart, Arnold Schwartzman, Ted Harrison, Simon Ofield-Kerr
Dan Baldwin, Simor Bor, Kathryn Sargent, Jacob Niblett, William McGregor, Neil Roche, Professor Elaine Thomas CBE
Nadine Neckles , Ed Thompson, Peter Hardy, Peter Haynes, Grace Ayson
Jack Lawrence, Catherine Francis, Keith Ribbons, Burhan Khan, Hannah Bidmead, Anna Zachariassen
Graduation: Class of 2011
Development and Alumni Relations Office Matthew Horton Head of Development and Alumni Relations Claire Lupton Alumni Relations Officer Thara Sukumaran Database Officer
Development and Alumni Relations Office University for the Creative Arts Falkner Road Farnham Surrey GU9 7DS
In August 2011 UCA made a new commitment to its alumni through the formation of the Development and Alumni Relations Office, DARO. Its mission is to offer a comprehensive range of academic, professional and social opportunities for alumni to engage with the University and continue to develop both professionally and personally. As Head of Development and Alumni Relations I hope that our alumni will continue to take an active role in our activities as well as support the University’s fundraising efforts and allow us to build upon the achievements that their support has allowed us to realise so far. Some particular highlights which are planned for the coming year include: •
An events timetable to include campus reunions, professional networking events and lectures
The launch of a professional mentoring network
An increase in international alumni activity
A dedicated online alumni web portal
A telephone fundraising campaign to support Scholarships and the Creative Fund
Every day we find more and more alumni who have lost touch with us and by getting involved you can become part of a network of almost 30,000 individuals living and working in the creative industries and the wider creative community.
I look forward to hearing from you and to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.
firstname.lastname@example.org www.ucreative.ac.uk/alumni www.ucreative.ac.uk/supporting-uca
Matthew Horton Head of Development and Alumni Relations
University for the Creative Arts | Contents | Creative Update
UCA graduate helps boost Kent tourism
Rochester alumnus James Laurence Stewart has created a series of videos for Kent County Council to promote tourism in the area. James, who graduated in 2008 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Design, Branding and Marketing was appointed by the council to project manage and create the campaign to boost tourism in Kent’s countryside and coast, funded as part of a European initiative. He says: “Every detail from storyboarding to managing the budget was under my remit. I was responsible for sourcing crew, choosing the audio, selecting locations and even chartering a helicopter for aerial shots and directing them from the ground using a ground-to-air transmitter.“
The videos contain a narrative showing family life against the backdrop of Kent’s most beautiful and scenic locations. They feature stories designed to tempt viewers into rediscovering countryside activities such as walking, cycling and horse riding. James’ vision for the project even saw him filming alternative openings for two of the videos, in order to more effectively engage with viewers from abroad.
Bluewater’s cinema. The advert will run for 35 weeks across the peak summer period and will be seen by over 400,000 people. He says: ”I created the videos to the highest possible resolution within the budget and I was glad I did. The Visit Kent partners asked me for ideas how to market the videos and I suggested the cinema at Bluewater, as I knew they would translate well to the big screen.” James currently works as a Projects Officer, managing a website (which gets around two million hits annually), social media channels, printed and digital marketing and other technical development projects for Kent County Council.
James Laurence Stewart
The videos are available to view on the ‘Explore Kent’ website. James has also developed the first iPhone app to be released by Kent County Council which promotes the countryside and coast, and features free cycle routes and walking guides which users can download. www.kent.gov.uk/explorekent
James Laurence Stewart BA (Hons) Design Branding and Marketing Graduated 2008
He says: “An exhaustive schedule was formed for a seven-day shoot with nine crew, 14 actors and lots of extras. We filmed in locations right across Kent, making use of practically every hour of daylight available. Every second of the day was filled - setting up tracks and cranes, and then hoping for breaks in the cloud to brighten the scene.” Additional budget was granted for the editing of a 30 second advert voiced by actor Michael Maloney to appear in
Still from film
James Laurence Stewart | Kent Tourism | Creative Update
Former student’s installation viewed by millions on Remembrance Day
Ted Harrison MA Fine Art Graduated 2011
Canterbury Fine Art alumnus Ted Harrison, has recently completed a large scale art installation for St Paul’s Cathedral, which was seen by millions across the world on Remembrance Day. His piece, measuring 30 feet in diameter, was placed under the cathedral’s dome. It is made up of thousands of fallen poppies which from ground level seem to have fallen in a random arrangement, but when seen from the famous whispering gallery above will reveal a striking image. Ted says: “My work symbolises the randomness of warfare – who lives and who dies is often a matter of chance. Looking down on the circle you will see the poppies have another purpose, they make up an image of three children who have all been involved in war as combatants. The UN outlaws the recruitment of minors but it is thought there are over 250,000 male and female soldiers worldwide aged under 18, some as young as nine. “My work does not only draw attention to this, but also aims to reclaim the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. The poppy was originally worn in sorrow or regret, with the implication that wars should never happen again, yet today, is more usually seen as a symbol of patriotic pride in our armed services.”
Ted Harrison | Remembrance Day | Creative Update
The installation was constructed over a number of months in an old RAF base near Ted’s home on the Shetland Islands and was transported in 28 pieces to St Paul’s Cathedral. His project was supported by a Visual Artist Award from Shetland Arts in Partnership with Creative Scotland. Ted says: “It is such an awe-inspiring space and a great challenge. With just days to go it became an anxious time too, not knowing if the cathedral would be open due to the Occupy London camp.” Before completing his Fine Art MA, Ted had an extensive career as a writer, television documentary-maker, journalist and cartoonist. He worked at BBC Radio Four for 20 years and presented Sunday and Does He Take Sugar? and was the religious affairs correspondent. He has published 20 books. With his daughter Caroline Gilson he produced and directed ITV drama Redcoats and award winning Elvis and the Presleytarians for BBC1. He says: “Much of my work during my career has been word- based, with my academic area being theology. I wanted to explore new ways of using art to explore spiritual ideas that were beyond words. The piece at St Paul’s Cathedral is my first large scale design, but now that I know I can work at that size, I am developing several ideas with specific venues in mind.” www.tedharrison.co.uk
Arnold Schwartzman - Margate Paradiso
Arnold has had an extensive career in film, television, graphics and illustration. He has worked with The Rolling Stones, Orson Welles and Elizabeth Taylor. He says: “Inspired by Cinema Paradiso, a film by an Italian filmmaker who returned to his hometown as a successful filmmaker, I will tell the story from a cinema projection booth which is where my career in film also began. “The town is picking up rapidly, with the Turner Contemporary gallery and the development of Dreamland and so on. So I think my planned documentary is quite timely.” Arnold Schwartzman Canterbury College of Art Graduated 1955
Filming for Margate Paradiso will begin early next year and will be crewed by students and graduates from UCA’s different campuses. “I’m not looking for a cheap crew, I wanted to give something back to UCA and this is a great opportunity for students and graduates to get professional experience.” explains Arnold.
Hollywood filmmaker, Canterbury alumnus Arnold Schwartzman OBE is enlisting the help of students and alumni for his latest project. The project, based in his childhood home town Margate is a personal tribute to the seaside town’s past, present and future. Arnold Schwartzman says: “Margate Paradiso will be a nostalgic love letter to Margate, but it will also look to the future. “I have a deep desire to offer a personal salute to the Margate of my youth. I have collected film clips and photographs which show why it was such a popular holiday destination for over 200 years and that, despite the decline in tourism, it can still be a town to be proud of.
“My cameraman is cinematographer Davide Cinzi from UCA Farnham, whose film was nominated for an Oscar earlier this year. I love working with younger people and I’m really looking forward to it.” Uwe Derksen, co- producer and fellow governor at UCA, says: “This project is inspirational to the local people of Margate and also to UCA’s students and staff who will also see many famous alumni involved. “It is a real pleasure and honour to work with an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and I’m sure all of the UCA students and graduates who work on the film will be very grateful to Arnold for giving them the opportunity to learn from him.”
Margate Paradiso is due to be released Summer 2012. “I also want to try to put down all of the horrible aspects of Margate that some people have highlighted in recent years and help put Margate back on the map.”
Arnold Schwartzman | Margate Paridiso | Creative Update
News in brief Mark John Smith Mark John Smith’s new project LIVELIVE has been awarded the prestigious London 2012 Inspire mark and will form part of the official cultural Olympiad. LIVELIVE is a project to bring art and creativity into the public domain. It is accessible to all via the BBC’s network of Live Site video screens. It will be promoted via London 2012 cultural Olympiad programme. Lord Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games says: “The LIVELIVE Project is encouraging the public to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as Mark John Smith we are delivering our vision to use the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to boost participation in the creative arts.” For more information visit www.liveliveproject.com
Fundraising activity Two alumni from UCA Farnham, Louise Harman and Lucy Mytton are completing an Everest Base Camp Challenge for the British Heart Foundation. To support them visit original.justgiving.com/harmanmytton-everest
Niccolò Fano Photography alumnus Niccolò Fano is currently working as a project manager for UCA Senior Photography lecturer Karen Knorr, alongside exhibiting his own work internationally. Visit www.niccolofano.com to view his work.
Alumni round up | News in brief | Creative Update
Jaakko Mattila UCA Fine Art graduate, Jaakko Mattila, has returned to Farnham to become the first alumnus to hold a major solo exhibition in the James Hockey and Foyer Galleries. Speaking of his time studying at UCA, Jaakko says: “I had some great times here as a student and really fell in love with art during my degree at Farnham.” Curated by Christine Kapteijn, UCA Galleries’ Curator and Manager, the exhibition, Lowest Common Denominator expresses Mattila’s aspiration to simplify painting to the bare minimum. He says: “I would like to make visually interesting art global regardless of the cultural background or social status of the viewer. The work is aimed towards extreme mediocrity.” Lisa-Marie Mosca Lisa-Marie had been shortlisted for ‘Ladies Entrepreneur of the Year 2011’ award in acknowledgment of her hard work launching and promoting her on-line boutique. She graduated from UCA Epsom in 2009 and started to set up her own company called ‘Moska’, a home accessories and gifts boutique, in June 2011. Her aim is to bring attention to designers who have a ‘Handmade in Britain’ stamp on their work. Lisa-Marie is also offering alumni the opportunity to collaborate and sell their designs on her website, www.moska.co.uk. She says: “My main aim is to help and support small businesses, new and fresh designers and university graduates and give them the opportunity to sell online in a professional manner, I not only want to give designers a platform to sell their work on but I like to continue working with designers and help them keep their products fresh in the current market with the latest upcoming trend-forecasting information. There are no joining or listing fees either which I believe will help young designers get up on their feet and launch their business off the ground.” For more information or to sell with Moska contact: email@example.com
Keeping the local art college tradition alive in a global century
As a practitioner, I benefitted immersed in a creative community where everyone was making work
ollowing the retirement of Professor Elaine Thomas CBE, UCA has appointed Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr as its new Vice-Chancellor.
Simon joins UCA from Kingston University where he has been Executive Dean of the Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture for the past five years. As Executive Dean he led the development and expansion of the course portfolio and saw large increases in post-graduate and international student numbers. A Plymouth University graduate, he has previously held teaching posts at Middlesex University, Central St Martin’s and the University of Leeds. Creative Update met with Simon to discuss his career and his vision for UCA. >
Introducing the new Vice-Chancellor | Creative Update
enormously from being
Were you ever an art student yourself? At school I was planning on being an actor, so I initially applied to do English and Drama at university. About a week into the course I knew it wasn’t for me – and that prompted a radical rethink about what I wanted to do. The following year I enrolled on an Art & Design Foundation Diploma at Harrow College. This was a great experience, allowing me to explore a wide range of disciplines. I’m completely committed to this unique element of UK art and design education. I then went to study Fine Art at Exeter College of Art and Design (subsequently merged with Plymouth University).
My university days were great fun. I was very involved in student politics and took two sabbatical years working for the Students’ Union. As a practitioner, I benefitted enormously from being immersed in a creative community where everyone was making work. It was during this time that I began to specialise in photography, producing conceptual work that explored social and sexual identities. Do you think art students today have a similar experience? (Above) Speaking at
Lots of things have changed since I was a student, including student finance, secondary education and how you apply to university.
Lost in Lace exhibition and being interviewed for BBC Inside Out programme
Introducing the new Vice-Chancellor | Creative Update
Dr Simon Ofield-Kerr, UCA Vice-Chancellor
There will always be a demand
But for art and design students the fundamentals remain the same – immersion in a creative environment where you have to work out how to make work with high expectations but no fixed ideas about what the end results should be. Creative arts students have always been incredibly self-sufficient because the very nature of their courses requires them to challenge themselves repeatedly. Time and time again they have to develop their work without any predetermined outcome. That takes real bravery, and because of this experience they go on to be real innovators in their careers.
for creative graduates. The self-sufficiency and confidence that students acquire from our environments are highly transferable and will continue to be sought after by employers
How did you get started in your academic career? After completing my BA I went on to study for an MA and PhD at the University of Leeds. It was during my PhD research that I first began teaching and I found the experience incredibly rewarding. By that time I had chosen to specialise in art and design history and theory, and helping students understand new ideas and recognise how they could be applied to their creative practice proved to be so rewarding. Why were you drawn to the Vice-Chancellor post at UCA? I was delighted at the prospect of leading a specialist creative arts university with multiple campuses and strong local connections. The UK has a long and important tradition of local art and design colleges supporting communities and providing local industries with the skills they need. The Government talks about businesses and universities working together like it’s a new thing; but in fact art colleges have been working in this way since the very beginning. UCA had been on my radar for some time through the work produced by its students and the achievements of its alumni – I am thrilled to now be part of this community.
What is your vision for UCA? I want UCA to continue this important art and design college tradition and become a total creative arts environment where students and staff can achieve their potential. Shared workhops and spaces are hugely important for art students as they benefit from seeing one another’s work and from working in close proximity to students from other disciplines. Our local links will continue to be important, but at the same time we need to internationalise the university so that our students can participate in a global creative arts community. Internationalisation is about so much more than simply increasing international student numbers. It is about ensuring the curriculum draws upon cultural references from across the world to allow students to work in a global context and have international ambitions. What does the future hold for creative arts subjects? Creative arts graduates have learned to trust in the process of research and creativity, which means they can dive in and produce work without having things all mapped out for them. They are resilient people who are not afraid of taking risks. There will always be a demand for creative graduates. The self-sufficiency and confidence that students acquire from our environments are highly transferable and will continue to be sought-after by employers.
Introducing the new Vice-Chancellor | Creative Update
Dan Baldwin At the forefront of the young British art movement
His work sold at the Bonham’s urban art sale in 2008 for more than £25,000. He has been featured in numerous glossy magazines including Vogue and turned paintings into fashion pieces sold by Harrods, which were seen in the ‘Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model’ house. He tells Creative Update about his memories studying at the Maidstone campus and the inspiration for his work.
Dan started at KIAD in 1992. He says “I arrived in my 1962 Beetle and there was one other person there, Carne Griffiths, who went on to become a studio associate with me in 2005. I remember being very inexperienced. There were a lot of parties and the students would hang out with the lecturers. We would make paintings and murals for the walls. I studied on the communication media course and there was freedom to experiment with printmaking, photography, animation and mixed media. This was the era before computers. I remember my tutor Lewellyn Thomas clearly saying that out of the whole class maybe only one of us would make it. ‘I thought: ‘hmmm I’ll show you’! ”
Dan Baldwin | Young British Art Movement | Creative Update
After graduating Dan wanted to continue art as a full time job. To fund his career, he ran a newsagents and video shop. He explained: “I would work during the day and then paint late into the night. I was so excited to think art could be my career, I developed and pushed my work through every painting. I would hang them in bars in Brighton as there weren’t any galleries and at the local Brighton festival. In 1998 I started selling paintings, it is the best feeling in the world. It still is even now. I had to wait a couple more years before my work was sold on britart.com which got me noticed in London, including the windows at Selfridges and in series one of the BBC television show The Apprentice. In 2006 I started selling art regularly and one day just did not need to go back to my day job.” >
Dan Baldwin BA (Hons) Communication Media and Illustration Graduated 1995
I want to push the boundaries all the time and better each piece. I start with colour and by not planning the work, they take on an organic magic
He uses mixed media within his work including currency, crucifix, found objects and bullet holes through the canvas mixed with painting & silkscreen. This method makes each canvas unique and distinctive. Dan says: “I want to push the boundaries all the time and better each piece . I start with colour and by not planning the work, they take on an organic magic. My work also changes depending on my state of mind. Becoming a new father in 2010 my work become light, innocent and playful. When we hit the recession it was really dark and layered. I have just entered a new chapter with my work. There’s lots of good stuff lined up including new shows in London, Hong Kong, LA & new prints alongside my art school hero Peter Blake. I have always aimed to have my own formula and it has taken me years to get here, I have always given it 200 percent in everything I do and with my work.”
Dan’s art and popularity is going from strength to strength. Earlier this year, he was commissioned by Max Factor to create a painting using their range of 22 new beauty products. He has also worked on limited edition products for www.thisisalimitededition.com and with fashion designer Sara Berman on a dress, silk scarves and bags using his paintings printed onto silk and chiffon. Dan says: “I don’t normally like working on commissions, as there’s a pressure not like personal work but with Max Factor they approached me because they love my work and use of colour and wanted me to just do my thing, I felt free to create something exciting. I started with their natural beige foundation and created something based on beauty, femininity and colour. I have also made a canvas recently for Holly Willoughby I worked closely with her husband, incorporating her favourite things into the canvas and I was thrilled when she mentioned it on television. Dan’s work can be seen at the London Art Fair in January and via www.danbaldwinart.com
Dan Baldwin | Young British Art Movement | Creative Update
Won RT Enterta Founded Honeycomb Animation with Sara Simon Bor Film Animation Graduated 1978
‛68 Joined Animation, Falkner Rd, Farnham
The Wombles replaced The Bay City Rollers as hottest pop sensation
Recorded Spike Milligan’s voiceovers
When Simon met Sara
Farnham Revisited ~ from 1976 to present ~
Simon Bor | Farnham Revisited | Creative Update
1976 was the year of the drought. It was the hottest year in the UK for at least 350 years. Britain was invaded by swarms of biting ladybirds, water was short and England’s green and pleasant land was now a bleached out browny yellow. The end of the drought coincided with my arrival in Farnham, one of a growing number of art students joining its “indigenous” population of city commuters and retired Army officers. Heavy rain had replaced the clear blue skies, but the grey ash and charcoal wastelands served as a lasting reminder of the long hot summer and the former forests that had burned around the town.
West Surrey College of Art and Design’s Falkner Road site had been occupied for just a year by the Fine Art, Ceramics and Textiles departments, and the new wing had just been completed for Graphics, Film & TV, Photography and the course I was joining, Animation. To me, the college seemed a bit of a time warp, and even though the building was brand new, the majority of students wafted about in cannabis impregnated Afghan coats, open to tie dye T-shirts, faded loons and sandals. It felt like nothing had changed since the flower power days of 1968, but when students from media courses arrived, the character of the art school began to change.
TS Children’s ainment award
Wolves Witches & Giants aired - our last series to be shot on 35 mm
The country had just come out of a double dip recession, and students did not have much of a disposable income, even though we had our fees paid, received a maintenance grant and were entitled to sign on for social security payments for the holiday periods. For cheap eating, there was the Wimpy burger bar, an Indian restaurant and fish and chip sit down café. Most of the time, it was the college canteen, (which must have had the largest lentil delivery in south east England), my flat mate’s pilchard curry, or the two student pubs, the Coach and Horses for cottage pie chips and peas washed down with pints of Bass, or the public bar of the Queen’s Head for Gales Ales, the saloon bar being a no-go for students. With very little else to amuse us, we created our own entertainment. I soon became known, not for my animation, but more for performing punk songs at various venues within the building, including the toilets, often aided by the keyboards of future Oscar winner Michael Dudok de Wit. I was one of just seven students in my year, and we were probably the only year in the history of the Animation course to be all male. It was Bob Godfrey’s presence as visiting lecturer that had attracted me to the course in the first place. His TV series Roobarb and Custard, and The Do It Yourself Animation Show were cult programmes at the time. With the digital age a far off dream, we sat at light boxes
Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids nominated for Kids BAFTA
It felt like nothing had changed since the flower power days of 1968, but when students from media courses arrived, the character of art school began to change
animating with pencil and paper. The rostrum camera was brand new, but we had to work out how to load it and use it ourselves. Line tests were made on 16 mm black and white film and we could see them later in the day by developing the stock with chemicals “borrowed” from the photographic department, and running the negative on the Film and TV department’s “Movieola”. We were also able to use the Fine Art department for life classes to keep our drawing skills up to scratch. In my year, animation was exclusively 2D, as there were no real facilities for 3D work. Most of it was on paper, but we had a budget to use cells for our diploma films. The only time any of us worked together was to help finish off paint and trace for these final projects. As well as a grounding in animation, Farnham introduced me to my future wife Sara, who was in the Fine Art department training as a painter. After graduating, I soon found myself working in London animation studios and later, co- founding Honeycomb Animation with Sara, who had also gone into the animation industry working as production co-ordinator for Ian Emes. After cutting our teeth on commercials and BBC projects ranging from Horizon inserts to the pre-school series Mop & Smiff, we created Tube Mice for ITV, obtaining the voice talents of George Cole and Dennis
Waterman. Frootie Tooties on Channel 4 followed. Other titles have included Binka for Cbeebies, Lost in the Snow for CITV and Funky Valley for Channel 5. Our longest running series is Grizzly Tales for Gruesome Kids, based on the books by Jamie Rix and voiced by former Young One, Nigel Planer. Originally for ITV from 2000- 2005, it is now a firm favourite on NickToons and Nickelodeon in the UK. The eighth series aired this autumn. Its many awards have included “Best Animation Series” at Cartoons on the Bay and two British animation awards including the coveted “Children’s Choice Award” But for me, the highlight so far, has to be the work we did with the legendary Spike Milligan. Recording his voiceovers at his Sussex home over a period of five years in the mid-nineties, it was Wolves Witches & Giants that put our company on the map. Our last series to be shot on 35 mm film, it won the RTS Children’s Entertainment award in 1995 and went on to be shown in upwards of 100 territories, including Disney Channel in the US. It first ran on ITV from 1995-98, but is still aired today on the Citv channel. I still get a shiver of nostalgia as, writer and composer Ed Welch’s opening theme is played. Simon Bor, producer, Honeycomb Animation www.honeycombanimation.co.uk
Simon Bor | Farnham Revisted | Creative Update
Title | Title Kathryn Sargent | Creative | Savile Update Row | Creative Update
walk down Savile Row immerses you in the heritage and craft of tailoring. This historically male dominated industry saw a change in 2010 when Gieves and Hawkes announced the first female cutter of Savile Row. UCA alumnus Kathryn Sargent. Creative Update visited her at their headquarters, 1 Savile Row for a behind the scenes tour and to hear what it is like to hold the prestigious position and to dress the King of Tonga.
When I was younger I used to the watch the clothes show and I decided I wanted to be the next Vivienne Westwood
Kathryn, originally from Leeds, came to study a newly-created fashion course at UCA Epsom (formerly the Epsom School of Art and Design) in 1994. She wanted to study close to London and enjoyed the village feel to the campus. She says: “When I was younger I used to watch the Clothes Show and I decided I wanted to be the next Vivienne Westwood. Before I came to UCA I had never even used a sewing machine, but I had a great technician called Valentina Elizabeth, who took me under her wing. I was a bit of a mod and I always wore suits from vintage shops and this was the style I was interested in. All the other students on my course were studying women’s wear, but I liked the craft of the pattern cutting behind a good suit. I was taught the basics but we were encouraged to do lots of research. I collected pattern books from the 1930s and one day my tutor, John Maclachlan and I made a suit based on these patterns. It was amazing because you can learn so much from looking back in time for ideas for fashion now. The course gave me an insight into the industry and the masterclasses and the visiting lecturers made the course feel really real”. During her final year, she gained a placement with a tailor on Savile Row. She spent weekends and holidays shadowing the cutters and tailors where she gained inspiration for her final collection. Her talent was recognised with an award at Graduate Fashion Week and she was presented with a cheque for £1000 by Jeff Banks, which helped her start up her career. Following her graduation she started as an apprentice trimmer at Gieves and Hawkes. >
Kathryn Sargent | Savile Row | Creative Update
All images courtesy of Gieves and Hawkes
She says: “When I started I was assisting in cutting the lining, preparing the buttons and threads. It is a good way to learn the basics. In Savile Row an apprentice would choose a specialism to be a cutter or a tailor. I chose cutting in the bespoke department and did an apprenticeship lasting six years. In this time you learn all the skills needed including marking up the pattern, working out the weight of the material needed, measuring and meeting clients and designing garments. I started off with someone overseeing my work and then built up my responsibility, gaining more clients, higher volume of work and more prestigious clients. When the head cutter retired two years ago, I was promoted to the position. It was such an honour to be the first female head cutter on Savile Row. I was able to work alongside Mr Gieves who would come into the cutting room and give advice and guidance. It was a position I always wanted and came quicker than I expected.” Gieves and Hawkes was established in 1771 and the role of women in tailoring has changed dramatically. Kathryn says: “When I came to the trade, people would ask me why I wanted to move into this profession as it is seen as very old fashioned. Traditionally women were behind the scenes as finishers, but things are now changing. We have a few female apprentices in the cutting room now, it is seen of more of a craft. I have seen a few clients who say it is not a role for a woman, but the majority of clients are really positive. “I think the client base for bespoke suits is getting younger. People are more educated about fashion and informed about good cuts and styles. The market for business suits for women is also growing. Clients use websites and blogging sites to research materials before coming to see me, and suggest lapel widths and vents that they have read about. “Some people have a bespoke lifestyle so now, instead of going to a designer shop, if they have the budget to purchase a suit, they will come to Savile Row. I spend time with them running
through their lifestyle and what they want to wear the suit for, how often they will wear it and in what capacity. It is the personal touch that is important and to ensure that each design is perfect for a particular client, each piece takes an average of three fittings. We have a number of international clients who I will see once a year for a fitting and they will come and collect the suit months or years later. I have a client base in America which I visit three times a year. In my job I have to balance so many roles, seeing clients, marking up patterns and cutting and passing to the tailors to complete the suit. Communication is key in my role and the ability to be a good juggler!” Alongside her clients, Kathryn also works on projects for films, television and the armed forces as well as making garments for royalty. She says: “My most interesting commission to date has been the King of Tonga’s coronation garments. I also cut the uniforms for all of the government, family and his ceremonial robes. It was a big commission on top of my regular work. To make the garment he was crowned in was so special as I have always wanted to make clothes for a king. I enjoy the unusual and challenging commissions. For a client who is a cartographer we created the lining of the suit printed with his maps. It took a lot of time to make it all match up, but the finished piece looked fantastic. I love working on elaborate one off pieces and often look to the Gieves and Hawkes military archives for inspiration. I made the suits for Colin Firth in Bridget Jone’s Diary and suits for Robbie Williams videos. Following my promotion, I have been interviewed on BBC’s The One Show, BBC America and commented on the Royal Wedding earlier this year for BBC News 24. I enjoy seeing people wearing my suits and I can always spot one I have created. Each suit is like a fresh page before it goes on its journey. “I have not forgotten what I learned at UCA, I am still learning new techniques and will continue to throughout my career.”
Kathryn Sargent Fashion Graduated 1997
Kathryn Sargent | Savile Row | Creative Update
I love working on elaborate one off pieces and often look to the Gieves and Hawkes military archives for inspiration
Kathryn Sargent | Title Savile| Title Row | Creative Update
Jacob Niblet BTEC Diploma in Art and Design Graduated 2005
No two jobs are the same and I am constantly thrown challenges. I need to think on my feet to bring new ideas to get the best shots
(left) Lady Gaga (top right) Ash Stymest, MTV (bottom right) Alexa Chung, MTV Gonzo. Image of Jacob courtesy of Emma Bunyard 20
Jacob Niblett | A day in the life | Creative Update
A DAy IN THE LIFE WITH
Jacob Niblett If you have seen a billboard or magazine advert for MTV it is likely to have been shot by photography alumnus Jacob Niblett. He shares with Creative Update a day in his life and his most interesting projects. Getting started After graduating I started at the bottom as a runner and worked for a variety of production companies, producing shows including Big Brother, Swap Shop, Trisha and MTV news. I really enjoyed working in the industry and stayed at MTV as a development writer. Up until this point I had not done much of my own photography, but I volunteered to shoot a new MTV presenter. My images were shown to the executives and they asked to see my portfolio. I jumped at the opportunity and from there started working on larger and larger projects with MTV. This helped in getting my work noticed by other companies and has led me to work on television shows and films. I get such a buzz from being able to work on a different project every day. Preparation for a project The great thing about my job is that every shoot is different. I donâ€™t have my own studio so I work on location a lot. If I am shooting advertising or a press image, I will usually have a brief. I will spend time before a shoot on the phone to clients arranging looks and ideas and sending over moodboards and suggestions until the idea is approved. On the day Shoot day will often involve an early start, often even the night before, My assistant and I will pre-light the sceen. I like to shoot a few set up shots so planning and preparing is essential. Once all the technical aspect is complete I brief the hair and make-up team stylists and other assistants before the models or celebrities and clients arrive. Once everyone is on set I explain the ideas and approaches for the shoot. I like to keeps things informal and fun, I do not like to keep the subject in place for hours because they lose energy. We make sure there are
planned set-ups and move between them quickly within tight time constraints. I take a huge number of images and encourage my subject to keep moving to make each frame fresh and vibrant. I will keep shooting until I have enough shots and the client is happy. No two jobs are the same and I am constantly thrown challenges. I need to think on my feet to bring new ideas to get the best shots. My most interesting projects The best projects I have worked on are the large-scale press campaigns for MTV. I created the first look pictures for MTV UK Geordie Shore. The programme was hotly anticipated as the UK version of the popular American Jersey Shore. It was great to be given free rein to create the images and I felt they represented the show really well. They had a huge print run across the world and it is amazing to see your work in diverse places such as the Wall Street Journal and the Sydney Morning Herald. I have since shot the cast for more magazine and television advertisements and accompanied them to Magaluf for the summer special, an interesting experience I will not forget! My favourite shoot I really enjoyed working with Alexa Chung for the MTV campaign Gonzo. The theme of the shoot, developed by the MTV creative department was based around the painting La Liberte Guidant le peuple It was a great theme to work on and we shot the television commercial and stills images simultaneously, a great collaborative process which produced one of the images I am most proud of. My favourite celebrity Shooting Lady Gaga was an amazing experience. I had to wait three hours for her to finish her interview and prepare for the shoot, but she came alive in front of the camera. www.jacobniblett.com
Jacob Niblett | A day in the life | Creative Update
Stills from BBC One series ‘Merlin’
Aerial shoot in Portugal for Marriott Hotels
The Mill collaborates on award winning moving images, design and digital projects for film, advertising, TV, games and the music industry. Founded in 1990 it has offices in London, New York and Singapore and won an Oscar for the VFX on the blockbuster, Gladiator. This creative environment is also home to UCA alumni William McGregor and Neil Roche. Creative Update caught up with them to hear about their recent projects.
WilliAM McGReGoR Will’s film career started while he was studying Digital Film and Screen Arts at UCA Farnham. He travelled to Slovenia with fellow students and created a film called Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite?
The Mill | Creative Update
which was shown at the international film circuit and won the Royal Television Society Award in 2010 for best drama. It was described as “The best student film we have ever seen” by the RTS. This kick started Will’s career and after graduating he began working as a freelance director. He says: “I started working as a freelance director for Casual Films and for my own company Evoke Films where I directed a number of corporate videos. From there I moved on to an in-house job at a production company called Shoot Group where I directed two book trailers. Alongside his directing work, Will has been developing a feature film entitled
The Rising with Emmy Award-winning producer Hiller Bevan Jones. One of his recent short films, No Escape, saw him collaborate with UCA alumni Benny Burdock, Iain Whitewrigth, Emily Greeley, James Kennedy and Katie MacGregor. The film was shortlisted for the final three of the London Sci-Fi 48 Hour Film Challenge and gained Will great industry exposure. The day after the film’s on-line screening, Will received a phone call from The Mill. He says: ”After this screening I received a call from the world’s most awarded VFX production company, The Mill. A few weeks later I found myself working
there. I was so excited when I won my very first pitch for a full CGI computer game trailer. My role is defined as a ‘Content Director’. I could be pitching on anything from web content, computer game trailers or TV commercials. My work here is always varied and there’s never a shortage of projects to pitch on. They are a really friendly bunch and you know you are working with people at the top of their game. “My work at The Mill has been very consuming but I have been lucky enough to find time to work on my own projects. I have just finished working with the No Escape team and UCA graduates, Sam Heasman and Tom Whetmore on a music video for the City Shanty Band. I am also in the very early stages of planning a short film called Red Feathers with Hilary Bevan Jones and Film4. I have also recently secured funding from the BFI for my first feature film, The Rising. I will be taking some time off from The Mill to write the script and shoot next summer. Looking back at my career so far, I am most proud of my student film Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite. Its success laid the foundations of my career so far and I am still striving to produce something that has the same magic as that film”.
Neil RoChe Farnham Animation graduate Neil has worked at The Mill for over five years working on high profile shows including Doctor Who and Torchwood. He has recently won a BAFTA – television craft award for his work on BBC drama Merlin. Prior to joining The Mill Neil also worked on the high profile box office smashes Harry Potter 3, Aliens Vs Predator and Corpse Bride. Neil is the animation supervisor for the whole series of Merlin where he supervised the character rigging ready for the animators to use.
He says: “I have been working as an animation supervisor on the last two Image captions seasons of Doctor Who, including animating dismembered Cyberman heads, Vincent van Gogh’s hallucinations and vampire aliens. I supervised the animation on a sequence in the most recent Chronicles of Narnia film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This year I also supervised the animation on a 10-legged crocodile for a film called Neverland which will be screened on Sky Movies. “It’s very rewarding to finally see your work on the big screen especially with the finished sound track and grade. You can sometimes wait for six months before seeing your shots again. It’s nice to see your work with a fresh pair of eyes and actually you can lose sight of how good the shot looks and how much work has been put into it by everyone involved”. Neil’s role is key to bringing reality to the computer generated effects and animation. His work ensures the smooth running of the animation team and fitting each client brief. He says: “ Once I have all the episode information I brief the animation team and assign each animator their shots for the episode. They will then provide a version of the shot called a block or layout to get an idea of what the shot will look like, how the character will move and its scale compared to the actors. I work with the animators by giving them critique and guidance until we present the shots to the clients for their feedback. The animators will finesse the shots until they are finalised which then get rendered and composited and put into the final edit.”
Neil says: “I was animation supervisor on the whole third series of Merlin so had the privilege of going on stage with four other members of the team to collect the BAFTA. Winning a BAFTA is especially rewarding as this is judged by your peers in the industry. To go up on stage and receive the award for Merlin was an absolute honour. It’s also great for the team and gives the whole company a real buzz.” Neil’s latest project is called Sinbad - The Adventure Begins, a live action series revolving around the adventures of Sinbad in his early years will be shown on Sky 1 next year. www.themill.com
Who’s Afraid of the Water Sprite?
‘Bovine’ William’s graduation film
Earlier this year his work was recognised with a British Academy Television Craft Award. The Mill won the category for Visual Effects for an episode of Merlin, season 3, episode 2 - The Tears of Uther Pendragon part 2.
The Mill | Creative Update
As she prepares to retire, UCA’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Elaine Thomas CBE reflects on the changing status of art and design subjects When I enrolled on the foundation course at Manchester Polytechnic my life really got started. I’ll never forget the exhilaration I felt at being in a place filled with people who were just like me – different in their own way, artistic, questioning.
Arts education in the 1960s was very different from today. All my tutors were male and assessment was very hit or miss. You were just left to get on with it in the studio; it was assumed that teaching took place by osmosis, or in the pub.
At the time a career in academia never occurred to me – there were no women Vice-Chancellors and academic positions were largely taken by men. I trained to become a school teacher, but on completing my studies happened to see that Ulster Polytechnic was recruiting a fine art lecturer. It was a new beginning for me: being in a room full of creative people who wanted to learn and develop as artists was incredibly inspiring. That sense of a creative community where people were free to express themselves. It’s something I’ve always been very keen to recreate at UCA. The range of subjects for those wanting to study the arts was much narrower back then, but students were fortunate in enjoying far greater financial support. Of course, academic positions were still very much the preserve of men, but I was very lucky in having the support of an enlightened Dean who mentored me and encouraged me to apply for senior positions.
Elaine Thomas | Building a creative community | Creative Update
During my time at Ulster, from 1973-1996, I was very conscious of the low status artistic subjects held within the world of Higher Education. They were very much seen as ‘nice to have’ subjects; the poorer relation of the sciences. Although much has changed, I do continue to come up against this attitude today and it frustrates me just as much as it did then. In 1996 I was appointed Director of the School of Cultural Studies at Sheffield Hallam. This return to the mainland offered me the chance to champion the academic study of the arts at a national level and I was the first woman chair of the Council for Higher Education in Art and Design (CHEAD). I took the job as Director of the Surrey Institute of Art and Design (SIAD) – one of UCA’s founder institutions - in 2000. Promoting the status of the creative arts continued to be a concern of mine and a key vehicle for doing this was the development of a research profile for the institution. In a very short space of time we significantly improved our rating in the Government’s Research Assessment Exercise and developed several Research Centres of world-leading standard. For instance, the Centre for Sustainable Design was ahead of its time in carrying out significant research into the environmental impact of design. Linked to this, myself and colleagues worked hard to achieve the Investors in People standard.
Professor Thomas and UCA Chancellor Zandra Rhodes CBE
By encouraging a professional approach to staff development we were able to shift from a traditional art college ethos to a more professional university feel. We had the pride to stand shoulder to shoulder with academics in other disciplines and know that we were their equals. The key achievement was of course the creation of a specialist creative arts university. Merging to form one institution was a long and occasionally painful process. The merger of KIAD and SIAD went ahead in 2005 and there was a long transition period. Ironically, it was during this incredibly busy time that I experienced a very productive spell as a practitioner – spending the hours after work painting and drawing and holding a solo exhibition in 2005. In 2008, the merged institution reached its goal of achieving university title and becoming the University for the Creative Arts. For me, this was the ultimate recognition that our subjects were being taken seriously, and the role of creativity in the economy was being acknowledged. It was a real career high for me.
own business than graduates from multi-disciplinary universities, and the creative industries have been the only sector to show robust growth during the recession. During my time at UCA thousands of students have graduated in a diverse range of subjects. Year after year I have been inspired and moved by the work our students produce. It is our people – our staff, students and alumni – who demonstrate every single day just how valuable a creative arts education can be. With ambassadors like this I am confident that our voice will be heard and our value recognised. As for me, I intend to return to my practitioner roots in my retirement. There are a whole plethora of ideas that have been forming in my mind for some time, and I’m now at a stage where I’d like to devote more time to finding expression for these. I am immensely proud of my association with UCA and in my retirement I look forward to continuing to hear about the successes of our students, staff and alumni.
Professor Thomas collecting her CBE
There is still a long way to go – I am constantly infuriated by the condescending remarks of other academics and ministers when it comes to artistic subjects because there is no doubt that graduates from art and design courses make a significant contribution to society and the economy. Our graduates are 10 times more likely to set up their
from the Princess Royal. Image courtesy of British Ceremonial Art Limited
Philanthropy changes lives
It’s as simple as that Across the HE sector, donations from alumni and friends amounted to £526 million* with 185,603 alumni giving back to their University a rise of a quarter on the previous two years. * Ross-CASE survey of Universities academic year 09/10
UCA launched its fundraising programme in September 2009 with the strategic aim of increasing its income from philanthropic sources to one percent of total income by 2015.
From a standing start UCA has secured over £150,000 in cash and pledges in the first two years of the programme. Much of this income has been matched by a Higher Education Funding Council scheme, which finished in July 2011, so bringing in over a quarter of a million pounds of new money to UCA. The majority of this money was donated to UCA by private individuals who were either alumni or friends of the University. How UCA spent the money The initial priority for UCA was to raise money to launch a new scholarship programme with the primary purpose of attracting the very best students globally, promoting creativity and excellence and relieving financial burden.
Matthew Horton | Philanthropy | Creative Update
Scholarships UCA awarded 17 new scholarships in 2010 and a further 20 in 2011 meaning 37 students are now the beneficiaries of financial support ranging from £500 to £5,000 a year. Some of the scholars have also benefitted from mentoring and even work placements and internships provided by their donor. Special projects Some donors have made an unconditional donation to UCA, leaving it up to the University to decide where best to spend the funds. These unrestricted gifts are of great value to the University as they can be directed to areas where the need is greatest or for projects where core funds are unavailable. UCA has established the Creative Fund which launched in the summer of 2010. Unrestricted gifts to the Creative Fund have meant that this year, the first year of the fund, £15,000 was made available to support a number projects benefitting students and staff across the University.
These projects, none of which would be possible without this support are: •
Library Anywhere: a project to make the Library catalogue available online via web and phone based applications Dickens 2012: a UCA Rochester project with the Further Education Extended Diploma in Art & Design in association with Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre as part of the bi-centenary of Charles Dickens’ birth Temper: a UCA-wide magazine promoting entrepreneurial activity amongst students Art and Design Undergraduate Conference: to support an undergraduate conference for final year students across UCA providing an opportunity for them to become involved in a formal academic, research and creative event Maidstone Herb Garden: supporting development of a herb garden on the Maidstone Campus Rochester Balcony Garden: the provision of a roof garden on the Rochester Campus enhancing the student environment The Students’ Union: a grant to support a number of projects including the SU minibus, a new cross campus SU newspaper and an Awards Evening.
Details of all of these projects and how you can become involved can be found at: www.ucreative.ac.uk/supporting-uca How you can help We aim to build a long-term and sustainable culture of philanthropy here at UCA and for that we need your help. Regular giving Donations of any size are welcomed by the University. The Creative Fund allows for a large number of people to donate small amounts, either as a one off or as a regular monthly or yearly gift, which together can have a significant impact upon the University. You, as the donor, can tell us whether you would like your gift to go to Creative Fund projects or be directed towards the Scholarships Programme. We also ask our alumni and friends to consider making a larger gift in support of a specific student scholarship. This may require you to make a commitment for up to three years but gives you the flexibility to tell us the academic discipline or the type of student you may like to support. There are lots of options which we are happy to discuss, you can even name the scholarship that you are supporting.
Matthew Horton | Philanthropy | Creative Update
Major giving UCA has also developed a range of projects where alumni and friends can support the University, both financially and in other ways. These include supporting exhibitions and collections, promoting entrepreneurship and employability, academic research or capital projects that enhance the campuses or the learning environment for our students.
For the first time UCA is asking for your support. Included with this magazine are two forms. One is a donation form allowing you to make a donation to support either Creative Fund projects or scholarships for current and future students.
Alumni involvement in these projects can make a massive difference to UCA.
Any donation, whether a single or a regular gift will be greatly appreciated by the University and will help us build towards a stronger future.
If you have a particular interest or there is something that you are especially interested in supporting we would welcome the opportunity to discuss it with you.
The other form, a legacy pledge form, will allow you to inform the University of your wishes and allow us to plan accordingly.
The gift of a lifetime A growing number of alumni from a wide range of institutions are choosing to make the gift of a lifetime to their old University through a legacy in their Will. UCAâ€™s Legacy Programme allows our alumni to do the same for us.
As a charity UCA takes its fundraising responsibilities very seriously. If you would like to discuss any of these new initiatives we are more than happy to do so.
Legacies can be a wonderful way of impacting on the future life of the University. In order for UCA to ensure that a legacy is used as a donor wishes and that those wishes can be carried out, some people find it helpful to discuss their options with the University and to make a pledge outlining their wishes and allowing the University to plan for the future.
Matthew Horton Head of Development and Alumni Relations Development and Alumni Relations Office University for the Creative Arts Falkner Road Farnham Surrey GU9 7DS
We understand that this is a big decision but we are more than happy to talk through options with our alumni.
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.ucreative.ac.uk/supporting-uca
In this Magazine 28
View from Rochester Roof Garden
Matthew Horton | Philanthropy | Creative Update
Where are they now?
Nadine Neckles HND Fashion Design BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion & Illustration Graduated 2007
Choice Volunteers with Nadine
Alumna Nadine Neckles graduated from UCA Epsom in 2007, following a HND in Fashion Design and degree in Fashion Promotion & Illustration. She decided to utilise the skills she learned on the course and apply them to the music industry. Whilst studying at UCA she gained work experience at Radar PR and put into practice her newly acquired skills in communication and marketing. Nadine has always had an interest in music and decided to take some time out from fashion the industry her area of interest. Nadine says: “My time on the course taught me the importance of getting work experience. Music was another passion of mine and so I contacted my favourite radio station, Choice FM. They promptly told me I could help them promote their current campaign, ‘Peace on the Streets’ an anti-gun and knife crime campaign. It started as a free temporary position but soon evolved into paid freelance work, to the position I hold now, community radio manager.” Nadine has quickly moved on to interviewing and collaborating with high profile celebrities and public figures.
importance of getting work experience The events she has contributed to include ‘I have choice – Music Potential’, a series of free events to encourage and give young people aged 16-25 the ability to mix, record and create their own music. Through this Nadine has seen the importance of encouraging students into the creative industries.
She says: “The campaign has been a huge success. It started in London but has spread across the UK attracting support from music industry professionals including our newest ambassador, Wretch 32. The creative industries, fashion, music, print and TV are always in high demand, so encouraging young people to fulfil their ambition is so rewarding. “Attending UCA was challenging, I learned to be constantly aware of industry changes and developments. These skills have been so useful in my role and I have been able to create creative targeted events and activities to fulfil the companies objective and invest in the wider community.“ LinkedIn: Nadine Neckles
Nadine Neckles | Where are they now? | Creative Update
She says: “My role has been dynamic, fun, engaging and challenging. I have interviewed former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Rev Jessie Jackson and organised youth engagement and music events for the station. I have been fortunate enough to have my community activities nominated for two industry awards (Sony and Arquiva) which was a great achievement in my first two years.”
My time on the course taught me the
Country Series Whataburger
Ed Thompson. Photography alumnus Ed Thompson has recently had his work titled â€˜Re-Homeâ€™ featured in the prestigious National Geographic Magazine 30
Ed Thompson | Photography | Creative Update
I’ve been shooting these projects on and off for nearly a year. Some of the situations can get pretty hairy, but I’ve found that people don’t punch you in the face if you smile and wear a T-shirt that says ‘Trust me I’m a Photographer’
Re-Home series Stefan and his now free range hens
Ed tells Creative Update about his career and life starting out as a photographer. After graduating from KIAD in 2003, Ed visited his local job centre. The only position available was as a holiday camp photographer. He was charged with photographing children sat on the knee of the holiday camp’s giant fluffy rabbit mascot. Ed explains: “It’s interesting what you will do when you have no choice, I left KIAD with a massive ego and so my artistic sensibilities were smashed into reality working for the minimum wage whilst parents haggled over the price of prints. I wanted to say: ‘But Sir, I have exhibited at the Recontres D’Arles’, but that doesn’t count for much when you’re on the Isle of Sheppey.” Ed has produced a number of self-initiated documentary photo stories and has exhibited in photo-festivals in London, Finland and France. His work is inspired by a mix of subjects and stories: Ed says: “I don’t want to be trapped within an idea and be labelled as one type of photographer. ‘He’s the guy who photographs gender issues…’.
My work elaborates on ideas that have always interested me, the selection of photographic stories is quite random and they range from stories on Living Historians, Anarcho-Dandies and animal rights activists.” His ‘Re-Home’ series, a collection of images that follows battery hens after they have been re-homed, has recently been featured in the National Geographic Magazine. Following a change in legislation in 2012, caged battery farming in its current form will become illegal, leaving up to 16 million hens homeless. (Not homeless, they will be culled, the lucky ones get re-homed!). He says: “I grew up with National Geographic so it was pretty amazing to have my photographs published in it. One of the images they included was from my final project at KIAD, for which I got graded a 2:2. After the feature I received an email from a lady thanking me for highlighting the plight of the hens. She sent me a picture of her rescued hen riding her rescued donkey and told me that ‘I made a difference’, which is the first time I’ve ever had someone say that, so that’s pretty cool.” Alongside his extensive freelance work for UK weekend magazines, Ed is working on two longer term projects. The first on London Vigilantes and the second on a Right Wing group. www.edwardthompson.co.uk
Ed Thompson BA (Hons) Photography and Media Arts Graduated 2003
Ed Thompson | Photography | Creative Update
HARDy It can sometimes be a difficult decision to return to education. Creative Update spoke to Farnham Alumnus Peter Hardy about his decision to become a student again.
Tell us about your time at UCA I took the decision to return to full-time education in 2005 after being out of the education system for more than 10 years. I started on the Access to Higher Learning course at the UCA Farnham campus. On completion I was able to progress to the Animation BA (Hons) degree course. At first I was quite daunted at the prospect of returning to education but soon settled as I met a number of fellow mature students who were in the same position. The skills and knowledge I gained during my time at UCA Farnham helped me to prepare for life in the industry. The course leaders were a great inspiration to me as they provided invaluable help and advice to prepare us for life after graduation.
What was it like being a mature student? I always had a great fear that I would be the oldest in my year and that I would struggle to interact with the younger students. However this wasnâ€™t the case and I found myself surrounded by students of all ages. On my course alone there were at least six mature students who I became good friends with, and some of those friendships continue today. Where I did struggle was with the technology. I found that I was many years behind most of the students in my class when it came to knowledge of design software. All the tutors and technical staff were great, they helped me to learn a host of industry standard design packages including Adobe Photoshop, Premiere, After Effects and Final Cut. I was not alone in my struggle to get to grips with these tools, and some of the other mature students found the same problem, but this is not to say that every mature student has the limited
Peter Hardy | Returning to Education | Creative Update
Peter Hardy BA (Hons) Animation Graduated 2008
knowledge of technology that I had when I started University. I was so proud when I completed my course. I am the first person in my family to gain a university degree. What roles/projects have you worked on? When I graduated I was under the impression I would just walk into a paid job in the animation industry. This was not the case. I spent my first year working on the London Eye (a job I had during the summer months whist studying). I found that employers wanted students with industry experience. Success came when I undertook some unpaid work experience on Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr Fox (Released in 2010). I worked as a production runner on the set in east London, and during my short time there I met some very inspirational people and learned a great deal about working life at an animation studio. After my time on this project, I realised I needed to gain more industry exposure to further build on my experience. This was easier said than done as I had to give up my regular paid job and work for free with no income. I worked as hard as I could for six months, saving money so that I could survive for a number of months with no income. I took the plunge and arranged work experience at Rushes Post Production and at Chase Imagination, a small animation studio that specialised in 2D animation. At Rushes I was employed as a work experience runner for two weeks with duties that included making teas and coffees and fetching lunches for clients, as well as maintaining the Visual Effects (VFX) suites. I think I may have been the oldest runner in Soho, and boy did I feel it sometimes, as the job could be very tiring! At Rushes I met some fantastic people and made a great deal of important contacts. Immediately after leaving Rushes I started two weeks’ work experience
at Chase Imagination, where I got to use my creative skills (as well as doing less exciting tasks such as photocopying). When I started at Chase they had taken on a big project, a Wesley Snipes movie and were looking for 2D compositors. Once I was able to show them I was confident with After Effects I was offered paid work as a freelance compositor. I learned a great deal at Chase Imagination and I was working with animators and compositors who had been in the industry for many years. After Chase, I struggled to find similar work as a compositor as most studios still wanted more experience or just did not have the work at the time. I was lucky enough to return to Rushes as a full-time paid runner. I was determined to progress my career in post production and so did as much cross-department training as I possibly could. Three months after joining Rushes, I was given the opportunity to apply for a job on a new Disney feature, which I have been working on for the past 10 months. What you have learned post graduation? I suppose the most important thing I learned was how tough it is to get yourself noticed in the industry. You really have to do a lot more than just drop your showreel and CV in the post box. I realised very quickly that I had to get to know the creative industry inside out. Once I knew which studios I would like to work for, I found out who I needed to contact at each studio, what projects the studio has worked on and future projects in the pipeline. Then I tailored my application to each studio (this did not work every time as some receptionists can be tough to get past!). You then have to follow up each and every enquiry. Once you’re in you really have to show willingness to work hard, even if it means cleaning a flat roof in the cold (just one of the jobs I did during work experience). Most importantly, do it with a smile. People
will notice you, and before you realise it you’ll be getting asked to help out on a creative project. Any advice, especially for those who are considering returning to education or who would like to start a degree as a mature student? It can be a daunting prospect to give up the security of full-time work and return to education, whether it is full-time or part-time. As a full-time mature student the thing I found very difficult was managing my financial commitments. I did get quite a bit of financial help from the local authority but still needed to supplement this with part-time work and summer work. The best thing for me when I returned to full-time education was that I discovered a variety of different potential career paths. I never imagined that I could ever become an animator or compositor in the film industry and thanks to UCA that is now exactly what I am doing. One thing I have learned about the creative industry is that it is quite young in terms of employees and you have to keep in mind that many of your peers have gone straight from school to college to university. Overall, I would definitely recommend that anyone considering returning to education as a mature student should do it.
I think I may have been the oldest runner in Soho, and boy did I feel it sometimes as the job could be very tiring
Peter Hardy | Returning to Education | Creative Update
After graduating from UCA Farnham in 2010, Peter Haynes, Luke Norman & Nik Adam decided they wanted a platform to share ideas and exhibit their photography. They formed a collective called Wandering Bears, which has grown to form a large online community. The group was set up to promote recent graduates work through a website to share work and ideas. Peter says: “The objective of the collective was to develop a forward thinking creative organisation. The project is based online though we have exhibited at large group shows, held workshops and given talks within various institutions across the UK. We are hoping to spread the group internationally in the near future.” Alongside the online exhibition members can share skills and exchange ideas from internships at creative agencies, magazines and working alongside photographers. Nik says: “The collective gives members the confidence to show that they have the vital skills required to push projects forward and most importantly, represent the hunger to contribute something new and fresh to the photographic community.”
As well as a healthy online presence, Wandering Bears were recently invited to curate at this year’s Margate Photo Festival where they produced the show Sunny Side Up. Exhibiting the work of over 130 emerging artists, the exhibition gained exposure from the British Journal of Photography and a number of photographic editorials. Throughout 2011 Wandering Bears have been responsible for a number of lectures and creative workshops that look to emphasise and reflect their love and enjoyment of photography, often discussing new and exciting photographers that they have encountered and sharing new creative methods for students to explore in their own practice.
Luke says: “It is still early days for Wandering Bears but with an abundance of enthusiasm and dedication to the project the future looks good. Forthcoming projects include participation in this year’s Brighton Photo Fringe, branching out to cover apparel design and other exciting collaborations.” Wandering Bears www.wanderingbears.co.uk
Wandering Bears | Photography Collective | Creative Update
DoCUMeNtiNG the TUrnEr ConTEmporary
Canterbury alumnus Grace Ayson has recently completed an unusual commission, to be the artist in residence for the construction of a new landmark building-the Turner Contemporary Margate. Grace was asked to complete a drawing residency commission to document the construction of the building designed by David Chipperfield which she exhibited at Droit House. Since graduating in 1997 with a Fine Art degree, Grace has have been a practising artist specialising in the arts industry and conservation field. Over the past 11 years she has been working in the field of historic building conservation on sites throughout the country, and spent the last five years at Canterbury Cathedral as a stained glass conservator. Grace says: “I have been given access to some amazing and unique buildings in various stages of deterioration or build. I am drawn to buildings and places that are in a state of flux, either decaying or being built. My choice of subject and interest in the built environment has been partly informed by places I have visited in the course of my work as a conservator of glass and architecture as well as places I have encountered whilst travelling.” Her drawings from the Turner Contemporary Commission focused upon capturing the structures and shapes made by the concrete and steel. She documented the construction site and the building’s exposure to the elements as well as capturing the site in different and dramatic light conditions as the building emerged from underneath the mass steel scaffolding. She says: “I use drawing to capture the particular sense of place surrounding the sites I engage with, recording them as they are revealed by different light conditions. In addition to the drawings on paper, I wanted to use my experience of working with stained glass as another medium to explore the painting and drawing of light on backlit glass panels.
Grace Ayson BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduated 1997
“My drawings of these sites are romantic but not sentimental; they are much harder than that, reflecting my interest in the physical structures themselves.” www.graceayson.com
grace Ayson | Drawing Residency | Creative Update
CoMIC ARTISTS Canterbury Alumnus Jack Lawrence wanted to be a comic artist from the age of seven. He had a thirst for knowledge, but found getting into the industry was tough and competitive.
Jack Lawrence BTEC National Diploma Graduated 1995
Title | Title | Creative Update
Jack studied at UCA Canterbury and completed a BTEC National Diploma in 1995. He spent the following four years training and developing his drawing. In 1999 he accepted a job at a new media company as a Flash character designer and animator.
Jack says: “Darkham Vale was inspired by the weird people I would see as I walked home from my night shift at a famous fast food restaurant. The inspiration that led to Tinpot Hobo came from sitting in a food court in Bluewater and wondering what it would be like if I was actually in a food court in space.”
Jack says: “I enjoyed the job, but it was not comics, I had my own project that I wanted to get published, so I sent my comic series Darkham Vale to a new UK publisher and they called me straight away. I got my first 10-issue series published and I made my entrance into the comic industry.”
Jack has a great appreciation for the industry and variety throughout Europe, America and Asia. He says: “One of the things I love about comics is the massive diversity. The American comics are jampacked with superheroes with only a small number dealing with other genres and characters. Comics from Europe and Japan are completely different. My favourite comic story actually comes from Japan and is probably the most famous Manga; Akira. The film was great, but the Manga is a 6-tome epic that is absolutely fantastic from beginning to end and because every geek has to have a favourite superhero, mine’s Robin.
From then on Jack immersed himself in world of comic books. He worked on the entire Action Man series, ATOM and drawn characters including Spiderman, Judge Dredd, 2000AD and the Doctor Who adventures. He has drawn covers and pin ups for countless books and worked with Hasbro and Lego. He says: “I am unashamedly and unreservedly a commercial artist and as with most commercial art, the process starts with a brief from a client. Whether it’s a brief for a character design, or a cover layout or just a script for a comic book, it all starts there. Even when I’m working on my own books I give myself a brief by writing the script for an issue in full before drawing anything. The other constant, alongside the brief, tends to be the unreasonably tight deadlines. Since Darkham Vale, life has been a bit of a blur. I enjoy my jobs so much and my real passion is writing my own self-illustrated stories. I have just published Tinpot Hobo. Being self employed, all my creating happens in my front room, which can be lonely, but you have no distractions and as long as you have the discipline, you can’t beat it for creative freedom.” He gets his ideas from observations and his local environment. His job is time consuming and it can take two days to work each image from a thumbnail to a full size pencil drawing which he then scans and colours. Lettering and finishing details can take a further two hours of work.
“For my future, I would love for Tinpot Hobo to be successful enough that I can work on it full-time. At the moment, I have to squeeze it in with all my other work because Small Press Self-publishing is tough. It takes a while for the buzz to generate around a little book like mine, The feedback so far has been really positive and issue two is almost complete and foreign publishers are taking an interest too. I’m confident that something will start to happen soon.” www.jackademus.com
my tips for becoming a comic artist Attend conventions and signings to find out more about the industry. Take along a selection of your best work in a portfolio. Some publishers will ask you to leave it behind, so take multiple copies. Practise, practise, practise and do everything you can to let your work be seen. Use internet sites like DeviantArt. They’re an invaluable resource.
Jack Lawrence | Comic Title |Artist Title | Creative Update
Francis cAtHERinE Rubbing shoulders with A-list actors is something Film Production Alumna Catherine Francis is getting accustomed to. After graduating from UCA Farnham in 2008 she began working in documentaries before moving on to be a trainee film production accountant. She tells Creative Update how she can’t wait to make the credits of the next blockbuster. Catherine says: “I started working in accounts by accident because it paid well, was part of the industry I wanted to work in and it allowed me to continue working part-time on Radio One’s Sunday Surgery. I used my experience to get a job at the National Geographic. This gave me an insight into the final stages of documentary film making and distribution and it was here I made great contacts and found APATS – The Assistant Production Accounts Training Scheme. The course is funded by the Skillset Film fund and the UK feature film industry takes on six trainees with varied film and accountancy experience to complete a 10 month training programme. A great part of the course was the training at Pinewood studios and the film placements. I started work on the new Warner Bros Batman film The Dark Knight Rises due for release next year. I was based with the Set Decoration, Production and Art teams and it gave me an insight into where the money goes and how all the parts of the creation of the film fit together. I found filing Batman (Christian Bale’s) payslip surreal and visiting the set was incredible, especially saying hello to Morgan Freeman. Catherine Francis BA (Hons) Film Production Graduated 2008
I am now working on a six-part BBC drama, a vast contrast to Batman. I get to see the set every day, mingle with the actors, go to production meetings, script read-throughs and overall have more responsibility.
Once I have a few more placements under my belt I will be fully prepared to go freelance, which is my long term goal. My next adventure is a new Stephen Poliakoff film based at Ealing Studios. My advice would be to utilise any skills you have to get into the industry – it is guaranteed that once you find your way in, you will stay in, but only you can make it happen.
I found filing Batman (Christian Bale’s) payslip surreal and visiting the set was incredible especially saying hello to Morgan Freeman
Make as many contacts as possible. I have met many people who have swapped and changed their career within the industry, something I might consider, but don’t feel I have lost out being in accounts as it is so important to know all the aspects of how films are made. Joining a guild in your area of expertise is also incredibly handy as you will have inside access to jobs. I have discovered many more roles within the industry to consider, including finance and feel it is important not to pigeon hole yourself into one thing.” If you are interested in following in Catherine’s footsteps visit the Production Guild website www.productionguild.com
Catherine Francis | Film career | Creative Update
Image courtesy of The Mill
The Animated Short
Keith Ribbons Keith is a senior animator and graduated from UCA Maidstone with a degree in Communication Media, specialising in Graphic Design
Over the years, working as an animator and 3D artist, I have come to recognise that there is one particular cornerstone in animation that I can rely on to keep me going, to bring new ideas and provide inspiration to the industry I work in.
see this potential and through sheer hard work and commitment...skills are developed, challenges are overcome and a story is told. Within a matter of days, your short can become viral and collect a fan base from all over the world.
The animated short has increasingly become the vehicle for new and innovative ways to tell stories that may never have been fully imagined in other mediums. With exciting visuals, experimental cinematography and with animation principles pushed to the extreme, tales like Salesman Pete and Meet Buck would never have been realised if it wasn’t for animation.
Animators also recognise that animation has a global employment market. Animation festivals and online competitions have never had it so good either. Winning an award can help you with that visa application.
With more courses generating a new and exciting talent pool of animators and the accessibility of animation software, there is no wonder that the short has seen a rise in popularity on video forums such as Vimeo. The animation industry has become increasingly competitive over the years, and creating a short has proven to be an effective way of getting noticed. Collaborators and individuals
An amazing film can get you that dream job. Animation studios are also known to create their own. In fact, it’s from these gems that directors secure investment for a feature film. One such favourite of mine by Director Fabrice O. Joubert is the animated short French Roast. He went on to direct 2009’s Despicable Me as well as Un Monstre à Paris. So with more stories still to be told and an industry going from strength to strength, I think it’s time I get back to my own short... www.keithribbons.com
Keith Ribbons BA (Hons) Communication Media Graduated 1996
Keith Ribbons | Industry Title Comment | Title | Creative Update
Burhan Khan BA (Hons) Fashion Design Graduated 2008
Fashion alumni Burhan Khan’s experimental style has made him stand out in his native Pakistan. Burhan’s collection, under his label Beekay, won critical applause at London, Barcelona & Pakistan Fashion Week. He shares with Creative Update how he balances his time between London and Pakistan. Born in Lahore, Pakistan he decided to push against the pull of popular culture and came to England to study BA (Hons) Fashion Design at UCA Rochester. Whilst studying he worked under tutor Aminaka Wilmont for three seasons, giving him a first hand insight into the fashion industry. Following his graduation in 2008 he set up his own label Beekay in 2009. He says: “My memories of studying at UCA include working non-stop alongside my friends. We would be in the sewing and pattern labs until the University closed each night. I was lucky enough within my second year to start working with Aminaka Wilmont, I learned how to set up and run a fashion house, which really helped me with my own label which I exhibited at London and Barcelona fashion weeks.”
His successful label is located in London and Pakistan. Burhan uses both locations and travels between for inspiration in his collections. He uses a mix of material including leather, LYCRA and denim. He says: “My work is based around a grungy industrial feel. Beneath the tough exterior, the designs provide comfort and a high degree of flexibility. “There is always something new to get inspiration from. This year I travelled around the Himalayas and I saw so many interesting colour pallets in the natives’ clothes, it has given me the idea to mix this with my own destructive taste for the next collection.” In his native Pakistan, there is a new and experimental market in the youth market, who want to move away from traditional textile design. His collection has been well received by buyers and the press. He says: “My idea is to introduce a new age and dark clothing line. There is the demand for it in Pakistan. Following my success in Pakistan, I am looking forward to bringing my range to London Fashion Week.” www.beekaystudio.com email@example.com Facebook: beekay Twitter: beekaystudio
Burhan Khan | International Fashion | Creative Update
Hannah Bidmead BA (Hons) Fine Art Graduated 2007
If you have visited Liberty’s, Urban Outfitters or HEALS recently it is likely that you have seen Fine Art graduate Hannah Bidmead’s creative cards. Following her graduation from UCA Canterbury in 2007 she has set up her own stationery brand called Nancy & Betty, named after her Grandmother Nancy and her twin sister Betty. Hannah brings a quirky retro twist to greetings cards and tells Creative Update how she turned her passion for stationery into a successful business. Hannah says: “I’ve always been a stationery geek and from a young age I have made cards. I started Nancy & Betty Studio with a few savings. I spent a lot of time researching everything about producing stationery including materials, prices, branding, the market, competitors and manufacture. “I decided to start off small, with a few card designs, gift tags and postcards. I went to a Christmas craft fair and was thrilled to sell two packs of postcards on my first transaction. It was the affirmation that I needed. I spent many more hours building up the brand and developing a trade catalogue. I wanted this to be my career but customer sales alone were not going to be enough to sustain the business, I needed big orders to come from trade accounts.
After supplying to a few small boutique shops and galleries and featuring in Living Etc magazine, I applied for the department store Liberty’s ‘Best of British Open Day’. It was featured on the BBC 2 programme Britain’s Next Big Thing presented by Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis. I arrived early and joined the queue of over 900 other excited fledgling suppliers. I had four minutes to pitch the brand and products to the buyers. They loved the cards and invited me back to meet the head buyer at Liberty’s. It was very exciting to find out Nancy & Betty had been chosen as one of only 10 companies to supply Liberty’s. I am now also supplying HEAL’S, Urban Outfitters, Pedlars, The General Trading Company and lots of smaller boutiques and art galleries. Initially I could not keep up with demand, but now all our cards, wrapping paper and postcards are printed locally. I use the best materials, thick paper stock, vegetable based inks. Where our products are made is just as important as the design. I gain my inspiration from simple, often quirky things, involving objects such as typewriters and Polaroid cameras. I like simple graphics and strong colours. I think people still love a handwritten note, message or letter. I am now designing the 2012 range including more sticky tape, notebook designs and wrapping paper. I get two months off from Christmas and start designing for the following year in February. The plan is to develop personal bespoke stationery for weddings and business.”
My tips for starting your own business would be: 1
Make good personal contacts with buyers (of shops) and editors (of magazines), find out names and send packs of materials as well as calling regularly. Be persistent, but not annoying
Have a good online presence; Twitter, Facebook, an online shop and a blog. There’s other ways too; Flickr, Pinterest and many more
If you haven’t got lots of spare money to start a shop, Etsy, Shopify or Bigcartel are worth a look
Take decent photographs!
Have a strong brand; you want customers to know it’s your work! Make sure it’s professional; you’ll be taken much more seriously, however small the brand. Be bold and aim high! Whatever you do, do it well and with integrity
Go to pop-up shops, (craft) events, etc to sell your work directly to customers; it’s great for feedback too
And, work hard and be nice to people!
Hannah Bidmead | Retro Stationery | Creative Update
Issue 6 November 2011
MAKING HEADLINES ANNA ZACHARIASSEN GRADUATED FROM UCA FARNHAM IN 1999 WITH A BA (HONS) IN JOURNALISM. SINCE THEN SHE HAS PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THREE GOVERNMENT PRESS OFFICES, INCLUDING BEING ON DUTY AT THE HOME OFFICE WHEN THE 7/7 BOMBINGS HAPPENED
orking her way up from Assistant Information Officer to become Head of Media Relations, Anna has developed an expert knowledge of the media landscape and how organisations can raise and maintain their profile through positive coverage. Anna says: “You need to build relationships with key journalists, bloggers and tweeters, so your product or service is relevant and appealing. Public Relations is all about communication but before you start, you need to know who you’re talking to and what makes them tick.” Working in the public sector gave Anna a good grounding in core skills such as writing press releases, developing relationships with journalists and time management. “Things happened that you can’t predict so you adopt this mentality where you know how to respond in any situation. Giving clear, considered advice and drafting statements that
set the record straight is vital if you want to gain trust and respect.” This year, Anna launched Thrive Media Services, an independent consultancy specialising in PR for small businesses and start ups. Face-to-face networking and word of mouth recommendations have helped secure clients in a range of sectors including environmental planning, hospitality and live sound engineering. “Working with a wide range of clients keeps me on my toes and gives me an insight into lots of different areas. You have to be able to absorb information quickly so you can speak with authority without getting bogged down in the detail.” As for the future, Anna is looking forward to supporting more new businesses, helping them make a name for themselves and raising their profile.
Anna Zachariassen // UCA Farnham www.thrivemedia.co.uk @annathrivemedia
Anna Zachariassen | Making Headlines | Creative Update
“Many small businesses don’t think PR will provide a good return on their investment so it’s great when they see how an effective strategy can help them launch and grow their business. For me, seeing a small business thrive is the ultimate reward.”
you need to build relationships with key journalists
Trevor Frankland 1931 - 2011
Trevor Frankland was born in Middlesbrough in 1931 where he attended Middlesbrough Technical School and gained his first artistic training through Cleveland Sketching Club and using the local library. He was called to serve in the RAF. Gaining an educational posting enabled him to study at Laird School of Art in Birkenhead where he received formal art training before studying at the Royal Academy Schools in London. Throughout his academic training he received a number of awards including the Leverhulme Award which allowed him to continue to study printmaking.
Following his time at The Medway College of Art he went on to Hornsey School of Art where he stayed until his retirement in 1996. During his time at Hornsey the 1968 student sit-ins left the college closed for six months. Trevor was unsympathetic
Trevor took many trips abroad including the Middle East and North Africa, Afganistan, Iran, Pakistan and India where he got inspiration for his work from the Islamic art he saw. In May 1970, he exhibited at Billingham Art Gallery followed by exhibitions in a Middlesbrough Art Gallery in 1976, 1981 and 1988. His work is held at Birmingham University, Middlesex University, Scarborough Art Gallery, Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, Hammersmith Hospital, and in private collections across England, Italy and the Americas. He was elected to several artistic societies including the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers, the Royal Society of British Artists, the London Group and the Art Workers Guild and was president of the Royal Watercolour Society for three years between 2003 and 2006 which included their bicentenary year.
Trevor Frankland | Obituary | Creative Update
On leaving the Royal Academy he married Dorothy Southern, also an artist, and began teaching at Medway college of Art (based on Rochester High Street) in 1959. He taught drawing and composition as well as continuing with his own artistic career which included picture restoration, book illustration and painting.
to the studentâ€™s aims, but was grateful for the free time he had as this allowed him to focus on his art and he produced a series of large, three-dimensional structures made from wood and hardboard, moving away from his practised artistic style. One of his pieces from the series Euryalus was bought for 100 guineas by Rank Xerox for their executive dining room.
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University for the Creative Arts Alumni Magazine