Rachael Saunders

BA(Hons) Illustration 2011-2014

Freelance Illustrator/Designer

I decided to study BA(Hons) Illustration at Falmouth University because this degree crossed over with many of the other art and design disciplines, as well as focusing more on working to briefs. It was also a course that fed my imagination, taught me all the valuable skills and knowledge needed to become a successful illustrator and allowed me the freedom to grow into an individual.

I couldn't think of anywhere better to study! Cornwall is incredible and ridiculously beautiful. The calming and creative vibe let me develop my work without the constant stresses and fast pace of city life. Falmouth University is such an inspiring place to study because of its rich and diverse artistic scene.

Falmouth and its fantastic illustration tutors have been fundamental in helping me get to where I am today and I could easily list many highlights over my three years there. I feel that the most valuable lesson I learnt was to really embrace being surrounded by so many like-minded creative people. You can really feed off and inspire each other and the friends you make here are ones for life.

Any aspiring creative should definitely consider studying at Falmouth because I truly believe that I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the staff and course at Falmouth and all the wonderful friends I made during my three years there. There is such a wonderful creative energy at Falmouth that allows you thrive in an environment buzzing with like-minded and inspiring people. The course at Falmouth taught me everything I needed to know to comfortably step out into the industry after graduating. We were taken on visits to London and New York to meet with publishers and art directors for feedback on our portfolios, as well as receiving many lectures about the ins and outs of the industry and how to thrive in it.

I am now working as a freelance illustrator and feel very lucky to have worked with a growing list of high-profile brands so soon after graduating. Some of my clients include: The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, Hallmark, Radley, Hermes, Asda, Tesco and Raywear.

Just after graduating I was also offered an opportunity with The Artworks Illustration Agency to be their Startworks Graduate. This experience has provided me with the next stepping-stone in my career, where I am being nurtured and developing my style under the agencies wing, as well receiving live projects from clients.

I feel that the most valuable advice I can give to any aspiring creative is to stay true to yourself and your style, work hard and just follow your instinct and your own creativity.

Studying at Falmouth really taught me to be self-motivated, never give up and to embrace every opportunity. It also taught me that networking and social media is crucial in getting your work out there and seen by the right people.