Illustration Students Exhibiting at Europe’s Largest Creative Design Student Showcase: Free Range

At CCAD we pride ourselves on the amount of industry opportunities presented to our students during their time studying with us. Last week for example the Film students headed to the most prestigious student film awards in the U.K.! Coming up soon on the 14th June a selection of our Illustration students are exhibiting at the largest creative design showcase for students/graduates in Europe, Free Range. Held at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in London, Free Range facilitates workshops, talks, awards and design exhibitions. With over 3,000 students attending each year, the whole 3 floors of the warehouse space is jam-packed with creativity over a course of 4 days. Our students will be at Unit 11 from 14th – 18th June.

The CCAD section of the exhibition is focusing on the diverse nature of illustration to be celebrated. The students’ eclectic mix and range is to be displayed and we grabbed a chat with Ryan Dube and Kerry-Anne Mays, 2 of the group of students who will be attending and exhibiting from BA Illustration with Commercial Application.

How did it feel to be selected as one of the students to showcase at Free Range?

Ryan: Honestly, I’m I was shocked but honoured to be selected. Ben has been very encouraging throughout the third year and it’s gave me a confidence I didn’t have in my work

Kerry-Anne: It really validated what I do. It’s a pretty big deal to exhibit in London and knowing that others think my art is good enough to be there just feels amazing, and it makes me want to do better and better.

Can you tell us a little bit about the work you will be presenting? Inspirations/ themes/ messages.

Ryan: So my final major project is basically branding for an event called Bridging Cultures. This was basically addressing the lack of celebration of minorities cultures in Middlesbrough despite there being a strong presence of minorities in the town. On top of this there was a general lack of education on these cultures. So I teamed up with a local youth charity organisation called All In Youth to create branding for this event. Art deco is a huge influence on the work I currently make, so naturally a lot of the compositions are symmetrical. I used this to represent a sense of equality between two cultures in the context of British cultures which when dealing with a subject matter like this one, is an important element to express for ethical reasons. A lot of different vibrant colours were used to attract a wide audience but more importantly to communicate diversity.

Kerry-Anne: I’ll be presenting ‘Women of the Zodiac’ a book I have created from my FMP. It’s a fantasy look on the western sun-sign zodiac, using visuals and story-telling to create unique and relatable characters. I always use the female form in my work not only as a way of conveying my messages, but as a way of creating a fair and realistic representation of women within the fantasy genre.

What are you looking forward to most about heading to Free Range?

Ryan: I guess just being somewhere different, speaking to people and seeing how they interpret the art and seeing how they resonate with it. It’s always such a nice feeling when a stranger resonates with your art.

Kerry-Anne: I’m looking forward to meeting new people and making connections with others in the industry. It’s a big scary world I’m about to go into and having some contacts will make it a bit easier.

What are your plans for after CCAD?

Ryan: Stay creative, not exclusively in the context of illustration because that’s only one voice of my creative force. I want to combine it with other avenues such as music and fashion, film photography and writing.

Kerry-Anne: Luckily, I’ve already been given a very exciting job offer, so my plans have somewhat come to a halt. However, if this job doesn’t work out, I plan to continue expanding my portfolio while looking to get an agent to represent me and my work.

How do you feel your work has developed since joining us?

Ryan: I think if it wasn’t for the lectures on the history of Art Deco and the history of it as a visual language my work would not have developed half as much. I feel like the knowledge of the history of art has expanded the places my art could go.

Kerry-Anne: I look back on my work from 3 years ago and I can’t help but cringe! My work has taken a complete 180, what I thought I couldn’t do back then, is what I’m best at now. There was a point when everything just clicked and I realised what it is that I actually enjoy doing, so why force myself into something else? Me and my art has grown immensely over my time here and I’m very thankful to everyone who helped me get here.

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