Why I chose to study Illustration at Falmouth

18 December 2023

Noah Frear working on illustration MA work
MA Illustration Authorial Practice student work Noah Frear

Work by Noah Frear

This piece was written by Illustration BA(Hons) student Sage about their experiences studying at Falmouth School of Art.

So, you’re thinking about where to go to university for Illustration, it’s a popular course at a lot of unis and you just don’t know where to start. I was there too, and I ended up choosing Falmouth! And this blog will explain why...

So, I have many reasons why I chose to apply to Illustration at Falmouth, but these are the main ones. The first thing that really drew me to the course and to the university itself is the amazing connection to industry. Most of our lecturers are practising illustrators or creatives themselves, so they can give insightful and genuinely useful feedback and advice. We have something called Wunderkammer, which is a magazine that we all put our work into in third year and it’s sent out to all of their industry contacts (like publishers etc.)! There’s also an entire module on industry/freelancing in third year. I considered a lot of universities, but I didn’t find one with such a focus on industry. I would really love to be a freelance illustrator after university, so this was a very important aspect of the university experience for me. We even had our posters exhibited on-campus in the 'Treetops' (a place on the Falmouth Campus, where students work) in first year - it was so great to see my work up for the first time, let alone in a pretty busy part of the campus!

There is a great variation of work that we do on the course - we have done editorial, posters, narrative, collaborative zines and much more! They definitely push you to experiment and try different things (which is great for me, as I can be a bit stubborn). We have done life drawing, digital skills sessions (like with Adobe products) and we’ve been inducted into different printmaking techniques (if you want to do printmaking, the facilities are really amazing for printmaking on the Falmouth Campus!). There are also 'Open Workshops', where you can book onto a lot of different workshops on both campuses, such as woodwork and darkrooms etc., which is such a great opportunity, as after uni these facilities and teachers would be much harder and more expensive to find!

I did visit for an Open Day and I joined a few online events before I applied. I think it’s really useful to talk to a student, as we can offer you a student perspective. When I was applying, I read everything I could possibly find on the university’s website, which was really informative and useful, but it doesn’t quite compare to seeing the campus and getting to actually talk to people. I’m not naturally the most social type of person, but everyone was so welcoming that I even ended up applying to be a Student Ambassador myself! But of course, it’s not always possible to get here (we’re down the end of the country, so it’s far for anyone, let alone if you’re in a different country!), which is why there are lots of online events and also students available through the 'Ask a Student' tool, such as me! You can choose students from different courses/countries and send a message asking any questions you may have!

Even excluding the course, itself and the facilities, the Falmouth Campus and Falmouth itself are just such beautiful places to live and study. Our campus is basically a little rainforest! It makes such a welcome and refreshing change for me from city-like campuses (but of course, it depends what you’re looking for). It is about a 10-minute walk to the sandy Gylly Beach and pebbly Castle Beach and not far to town either! We have a lot of charity shops, cafes, bakeries (some which reduce their pastries after 5pm), restaurants and on the Moor, you will find a couple of restaurants and different markets (I personally love the clothes stall), as well as the usual stores such as Tesco etc. And of course, we're near the sea, so it is just lovely to sit on the Pier sometimes. We have 2 nightclubs and quite a few pubs. The main place I go to is The Cornish Bank, as they have a lot of gigs there.

I hope this was useful! If you have any questions, please feel free to drop me a message :)

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