So, there’s something a little bit different on the blog this week. With graduation almost upon us, I thought that it would be interesting and fun to run a series of short interviews with some of my fellow soon-to-be-graduates from the Cambridge School of Art. Thankfully, lots of them agreed with me, and decided to take part! Over the next few weeks, there’ll be a series of interviews going up talking to my classmates about their work, their time at university and their hopes for life after graduation.
Without further ado, here is the first interview, with the wonderful Fiona Rich!
1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am Fee! I am a third year illustration student at ARU, and I love cooking, making jam and playing my ukulele 🙂
2. You’ve been studying at the CSA in Anglia Ruskin for almost three years now, what has that been like for you?
Its been a fantastic rollercoaster of learning curves and breakthroughs, and I wouldn’t change any of it. These three years have gone ridiculously fast! I’m not really ready for them to be over. It’s been an incredible privilege to be doing what I love, with talented people who are passionate about the same thing, for so long. All the free wine at private views hasn’t been too bad either!
3. If you could pick one favourite memory of studying at the CSA, what would it be?
The Seville trip in second year! Never have I drawn so many buildings, eaten so much ice cream, and consumed so many unidentifiable foods.
4. What do you like the most about being an illustrator?
I have a few things! The first is that it’s fun- its pretty much the only job where its legit to draw an octopus riding a bike and call it work. Also i just think its such a gift to be able to do the thing you love the most for money! Not many people get that opportunity. Finally, I love the flexibility. If you want to go for a bike ride in the middle of the working day and work through the night instead, you have the freedom to do that.
5. What do you like the least?
I guess it’s the bad side of my last ‘good’ point- that because you have the flexibility to work when you want you have to stay on top of everything and be really motivated. I have never written more lists than I have this year!
6. How would you describe your work and what you do?
I guess i would describe my work as textury, messy, colourful and lighthearted. I particularly like making books, especially for children because they’re really fun and they don’t take life too seriously, but I’ve made all sorts of different things because i get bored easily and want to try everything.
7. What are some of your hopes for the future after you graduate? Do you have any specific goals in mind that you’d love to achieve?
I would love to have a children’s book published, that would be the dream! But For now I’m just taking it year by year. I will be doing a part-time internship with my church next year, but I’m also gonna try really hard to keep my illustration going, and focus on getting it out there a bit more.
8. Finally, are there any words of wisdom or any advice you’d give to your first year self, or to anyone just starting their own degree?
I guess it’s cliché but its true- Believe in yourself! You are almost definitely better than you think. Also, talk to the older students! I was terrified of them when i came to uni, but when I got over that, it turned out they were really nice, and had a lot of wisdom to share. I ended getting some brilliant advice that drastically improved my work, as well as making some great friends and getting a cheeky peek into what they were doing too.
If you’d like to see more of Fiona’s work, make sure to check out her website at: http://cargocollective.com/fionarich