Illustration students get a taste of the industry on Bristol studio tour
25 March 2022
Last month, second-year Illustration BA(Hons) students spent the week in Bristol, forging industry connections with established practitioners and creating a pop-up exhibition at Arbour Studios.
Students participated in various studio visits, including to Hamilton House, Dove St and Centre Spaces studios, meeting successful practicing illustrators Harriet Lee Merrion and Paula Bowles in the process.
Harriet Lee Merrion is an award-winning visual artist and illustrator who has worked with clients including Google, TED, The Guardian, and The New Yorker. Paula Bowles has worked as an illustrator for over 10 years, typically illustrating children’s books.
The pair both graduated from Falmouth, putting them in an excellent position to offer advice to current students on how to navigate the industry after graduation.
Harriet and Paula also discussed their own creative process, spoke about their journeys from Falmouth graduates to professional illustrators, and provided useful tips on how the students could improve their work.
Illustration student Charlotte Cree was thrilled to have the opportunity to build connections with members of the industry. She told us that “the trip was really informative and exciting for us as second-years starting to learn more about the industry.
“We were able to view three different studio spaces within Bristol, that are popular with Falmouth alumni, and listen to Illustrators talk about their experiences within the industry since graduation… The opportunity to build connections with other Illustrators is invaluable.”
Fellow student Lauryn Howard agreed, saying that meeting practicing illustrators “really made us feel like going into the industry is attainable!”
The students also met several other illustrators, who were able to give the students an insight into their unique illustration styles. Falmouth alumni Dave Bain presented his designs and painting murals, which can be seen in a variety of public spaces and hospitals in Bristol, and rising illustration star Molly Fairhurst delivered an inspiring workshop on animation.
At the end of the week, students created a pop-up exhibition on the theme of ‘Liberation’ at Arbour Studios, with many students exhibiting for the very first time. Lauryn Howard said the exhibition was her “favourite part of the trip… It was amazing to have our work up in a studio space for the first time, and a great end to the week.”
And Charlotte Cree agrees, telling us that she loved “working with other students in the hostel common room in the evening, painting for hours whilst chatting with people about our work. It felt really exciting to spend time out in the ‘real world’, producing work together with other creatives for an exhibition.”