Claire Jones

BA(Hons) Illustration 1997 - 2000

Illustration at Falmouth was very appealing. Falmouth looked stunning and the course had a fantastic reputation: from how it was structured, the experience of the tutors and the emphasis on professional practice. I also wanted to be beside the sea. I come from Birmingham, so the change in environment was very refreshing. I liked the small town and the quirky character of Cornwall.

I now work for the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) creating tactile images for blind and partially sighted people. Tactile images are graphics that are designed to be felt rather than looked at. Alongside my job, I have just completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Medical Art, where I have been training to illustrate surgery, anatomy and how disease affects the body. This has lead to a number of exiting experiences including visiting the operating theatre; standing on a stool behind the surgeon and sketching the operation as it takes place is a surreal experience and a great privilege. These sketches turn into a sequence of illustrations showing how the operation was done. I have also won a number of bursaries and had experience in creating facial reconstructions; building up a face in clay from working out the anatomy based on the shape of the skull. I am now putting my portfolio together to set up as a freelance medical artist.

I became interested in medical art after my illustration tutor suggested this area to me. I completed a number of medical art projects and decided I would like to continue this. There was also an emphasis on good drawing skills at Falmouth, which is vital for a medical artist to have; this meant I was accepted onto my Postgraduate course easily, whereas many people get turned away. Falmouth was a very enjoyable and positive experience: it gave the chance for experimenting and then gives the confidence to go in the right direction.