I was offered a place to study BA graphic design at Bristol UWE but felt I needed more time to develop my practice, and decide if that was the right specialisation for me. After studying at HCA I made the decision to change to BA photography at the same uni, which decision I’m thankful for now.
What top pieces of advice would you give to people choosing their degree?
1. Don’t go to uni for the sake of it.
2. Choose your degree subject area based on what interests you most, not what you currently believe to be commercially viable. That latter part will follow, and given the current economic/technological climate, your predictions for your career are probably wrong. It’s more important that you can actually give the continued personal investment required to finish studying a degree, and develop a strong personal practice as a result (assuming you study the arts).
3. That said, don’t worry too much if you choose the wrong course – you can always swap, just try to be honest with yourself and make the call early if so.
4. The place you choose is equally important to the course. Don’t go somewhere dead if you’re looking for a lively arts/culture scene. Equally if you’re after somewhere quiet, pay attention to that. You not only have to like living in this place for 3 years, but be inspired whilst you’re there to make work.
I enter competitions, send my projects to get published, try to shoot new personal work, and shoot the rare commission. I’m also the online editor for Loupe magazine, and write for Splash and Grab magazine. Writing about photography is fast becoming my main output. I didn’t actively pursue writing past GCSE level, but I’ve fallen into it through my work with Loupe mag – a happy accident.
Follow your nose. Take critical feedback on board. In that order.
I enjoyed exploring disciplines before specialising and spending all day everyday making stuff.
During my time at HCA selling all of my images from my final show was my biggest achievement – I couldn’t believe it. Since I left – Getting published online and in print has been my biggest achievement. It’s a great way to end a project I put so much time and thought into. Also got into the ‘Portrait of Britain’ in 2017. That was nice.