Art & Design students given a new perspective

2nd December 2021

Art & Design students from Stratford-upon-Avon College have been visited by an illustrator and a contemporary arts specialist as part of their work experience week.

The first visitor was Michelle Abrahall; an illustrator and graphic designer. Michelle provides a wide range of work for her clients; creating murals, illustrations and book covers to name a few. One of her specialisms is logo design which is what she focused on with the students. The session looked at how to brand yourself as a creative freelancer and the students had to design a logo for themselves.

Art & Design Lecturer, Eve Marie-Beazley, was very excited to get Michelle in to work with the students. She commented: “I really wanted to show the students work can not only be found in cities, and there are successful practitioners working locally. There are opportunities everywhere, especially with online work now being used so widely.”

Student Trinity Savage commented: “It can feel daunting thinking about what to do after you finish the course but after hearing Michelle’s perspective, you realise it is possible to succeed. It’s great to hear how you can progress and build a business using these skills.”

Michelle worked with the students on creating logo’s whilst Andrea led an engaging session on folk art

The students then had a session with Andrea Hannon; a contemporary artist who creates a range of work including collage, embroidery and lino printing. Andrea used to work at the College previously before moving away but has come back for the past few years to deliver workshops: “I love teaching and love the college and it’s nice to impart knowledge to the students in a way that focuses on being creative.”

The students in this session were shown work from Compton Verney’s folk art collection and they had to produce a piece of work in response to this. Alongside this project, the students learnt about Andrea’s journey and she also shared tips and advice regarding arts organisations, applying for funding and how to write a CV. Andrea commented: “They didn’t teach professional practise when I did my degree. It’s good to learn at an early stage so they can prepare for university or beyond. It’s interesting to look at how art can be used in a commercial way and a lot of the students are already thinking in this way which is great!”

Student Issie Parker really appreciated the insight: “Having an industry professional in who started in a similar way to us is really inspiring.” Emma Godfrey added: “It’s really eye opening. I didn’t know what I wanted to do next and these workshops have helped me on my artistic journey and now I know I want to pursue my art education by doing my Level 4.”

Find out more about the College’s Art & Design courses: Art & Design courses