Fine Art student’s mum rediscovers her own creative spark through online study
01 June 2022
Blossom Chambers is a print designer and student on our BA Visual Communication (Online) degree. Here she shares her experience of studying for the degree, how she found out about it via her daughter taking our on-campus Fine Art course, and how studying online is helping her to reinvigorate her creative practice.
What drew you to the BA Visual Communication (Online) course?
I was looking for a course that would stimulate my creativity. I had been working in design and print for quite a few years, but I felt like my creative well had virtually dried up. Living in a remote part of the UK, access to education is limited; all the courses I saw felt like either a compromise in terms of content or a big challenge from a practical viewpoint.
My daughter was applying to Falmouth University to study for a BA in Fine Art and that’s when I saw the Visual Communication degree on the Falmouth website. The course really stood out for me because I quickly realised I could overcome practical considerations due to the online delivery, and the content sounded exciting. I knew it would stretch my creativity, so I had to go for it!
What have you enjoyed the most about the course so far?
It might surprise you – as an online degree – to know that the interaction with other people is what I’ve enjoyed most so far. After working on my own for many years, it has been so exciting to meet, talk through work and share ideas with other people; I had not anticipated just how inspiring that would be.
What kind of support have you had on the course?
There is excellent support from the course tutors from a pastoral and an academic point of view. I feel well-supported and have only ever had timely and thorough responses to my queries or concerns. There is also a lot of support and encouragement between peers in the online studio, it’s a great space to generate and develop ideas.
Graduation should be a doubly delightful day for me and my family as my daughter will graduate at the same time! She will be 21 and I will be 50 that year, so it should be quite a year to celebrate.
How do you find studying online?
I love studying online, it’s totally flexible which means I can fit it around other aspects of life and work. There are deadlines to meet, and the weekly structure keeps me on track. I am quite routine-driven so it really suits me to work through the online content each week in an organised way, but I also know I can rearrange the hours I put in if other commitments arise.
Are you able to physically make work and share it online?
I enjoy working both physically and digitally and the online studio allows a good space for both. Posting in the online studio gives me a forum for feedback, discussion and sharing resources as well as ideas, and physical work is easily photographed and shared.
How have you found the course community?
The sense of community has grown as the course has progressed, I have got to know some of my cohort well and we share work and thoughts weekly. The face-to-face events in London this spring were also a wonderful way to build friendships, share experiences and bring another dimension to the course community.
Different personalities and characters can flourish just as they would in physical space; sometimes I feel that the online environment can help people to come out of their shells a little more. Personally, I find any public speaking pretty intimidating, but I have found the virtual meeting space is much less nerve wracking. I would even go so far as to say that sharing and speaking about my work in the course webinars has made me considerably more confident to speak in a group, and it is highly likely that some of that confidence will transfer over to in-person meetings.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying online?
Do it! It will stretch you, it will inspire you and you can take it in a direction that suits you, discovering your own creative strengths and taking them to new places.
Is studying online enabling anything you thought might previously not be possible?
Absolutely, for me studying online allows me to continue to do some of my own work and keep my home and family commitments while using the creative side of my brain.
What are you looking forward to about the rest of the course and graduation?
I genuinely look forward to navigating the updated content in each course module, there is so much to look at, research and learn, so I am excited and looking forward to making more work and learning about even more new artists and techniques. Graduation should be a doubly delightful day for me and my family as my daughter will graduate at the same time! She will be 21 and I will be 50 that year, so it should be quite a year to celebrate.