The ability to communicate an idea visually is a difficult and employable skill. If you can affect people’s emotions and make them think by engaging them with a story that entertains and thrills and you’re able to explain information accurately and with style, you could be rewarded with an exciting career that would be the envy of many.
There are opportunities for illustrators to contribute visuals in film & television, theatre, publishing, advertising, information graphics, print, and with interactive new media platforms and this course seeks to give its students experience of working in many of these specialist areas.
The course has been developed in consultation with a wide range of practicing artists, designers, writers, publishers and teachers. Their accumulated knowledge has been combined to create a course that delivers skills and knowledge, challenges and stimulates the imagination and most importantly, is fun to take part in.
Projects are designed to take on real world situations and issues. We want our students to begin showing, selling and sharing their work with communities at local, national and global level whilst still on the course, not just after they leave.
We offer opportunities for our students to meet A-list practitioners, see their work and learn about the world they inhabit. We travel and take part in the most interesting events and exhibitions. We actively seek out partnerships with national profiles and work with them in order to gain valuable experience of problem solving and gaining confidence through success.
All this is delivered in a friendly and industrious studio environment, where everyone enjoys their own workspaces. Our students form part of a larger college wide community that collectively supports and nourishes individual creative development.
These studies are entirely focused around the students’ course area, providing a solid grounding in subject history and in critical ways of thinking about creative practice. The Critical Studies programme enables students to set their own work in a wider context, and also helps them develop a better understanding of how creative work can be interpreted and assessed. Click here for more details.
What you will experience
The course continues to take on collaborative projects with a range of local and national partners, including:
The BBC One Show
The Hay Literary Festival
The House of Illustration
The Courtyard Theatre
Great Brampton House
In recent years students have visited Rome, Barcelona and Amsterdam with other trips to Book Arts Fairs and museums and exhibitions both locally and nationally. Many of these involve meeting world famous practitioners including Mark Hearld, Nick Sharrat, Quentin Blake, Laura Carlin, Oliver Jeffers, Katherina Manolessou, and many more
In 2015 the course worked alongside House of Illustration and Hay Festival to celebrate the 175th anniversity of the first postage stamp. The programme inlcuded exhibitions, workshops and guest speakers.
Workshops & Studios
HCA Illustration students have continual access to excellent IT facilities and support that provides industry standard software on both PC and MAC systems. This includes the complete Adobe suite of products, including Photo-shop, lllustrator and After Effects, plus I-stop Motion and Final Cut Pro for video post-production. Students also have access to technical support in superb craft orientated workshops that include opportunities to use traditional print processes, including letter press, collagraphy, mono-printing, engraving, etching and screen-printing.
Careers & Progression
Why take this course?
Graduates leave well placed to continue their studies at Postgraduate level or develop careers as freelance illustrators or designers. This could include acquiring free-lance work in print media and journalism, advertising and multimedia, comic and picture books, graphic novels, concept art and story-boarding for film & video games, reportage and fashion illustration, as well as in more traditional low tech areas such as Book Arts and Crafts.
The creative jobs of our graduates
Our graduates have gone on to sustain successful careers as free-lance illustrators, creating work in range of areas, including children’s picture books, editorial work for magazines including The New York Times, designing and installing murals in a variety of settings and window displays for local retail businesses. Others go on to post-graduate study, teaching, setting up on-line shops, creating businesses or working in studio collectives.