Returning to my former studio to deliver a presentation to the Illustration and Design undergraduates was oh-so nostalgic. This was my third time doing so at University of Sunderland. I had been asked to showcase my sketchbooks to the freshers while I was still a student myself. Now, instead of just imagining what life for an illustrator could be like after higher education, I actually had some things to report.
Back in 2017 when I revisited my studio during September, I had barely slipped out of my own cap and gown back in mid-July! To be honest, I don't even think I had gotten around to framing my degree yet. So, putting myself into third-year shoes was a no-brainer as the memories remained as fresh as ever. A year and a bit later, things had changed a lot.
My university tutors and mentors urged me to share these post-grad experiences with those now in their final year of the course. So, I prepared a formal presentation before an informal Q&A. The students gathered to look through my university portfolio and my previous sketchbooks; seeing my creative progression from first year to third year. I gained uplifting feedback from students who told me that my advice was helpful and reassuring! A few of the soon-to-be graduates connected with me on social media too.
Better yet, I was able to get involved with portfolio critiques and see where they were up to with their latest projects - offering my advice during the studio session which followed. I am happy to say that I have been invited back for future talks!