Jemma Westing

Jemma graduated in 2010 and works as a book designer for Dorling Kindersley in London, creating book layouts and interactive features for their upcoming books. She also does freelance work for UK and international clients, and has produced a pop-up project for Quarto Books’ new Encyclopaedia on Paper Crafting Techniques.

When I saw the illustration work exhibited at the summer degree shows, it was varied, inspiring, professionally presented and looked like it meant business! Talking to the students on hand I realised that "business" formed the backbone of the course and that its professional connections and approach could set me up with a good career. I wanted to have my work taken seriously by the creative industries.

"I learned how to conduct myself professionally with clients; all about tax and self-employment; working with an agent and the different kinds of work illustrators are approached for. I also learned to present my ideas confidently; justifying the rationale, objectives and budget for projects. Falmouth encourages you to research and inform your ideas, which helps contextualise what you do. You need to be able to do this in front of many people in the industry and convince them your ideas are worth spending money on."

This course is perfect if you want a chance to push your ideas, whilst also learning how to place yourself into a serious professional context and earn an income. If you want to be a professional illustrator, you'll leave this course knowing how to go about it. If you're going to run up a large student debt in the hope of becoming a professional illustrator, do it here at Falmouth, because you have the best chance of getting there. I now have a salary, regular freelance work and lots of amazing memories!