More about Jessica
What made you choose to study Graphic Design at NTU?
"The course seemed very broad which appealed to me as I wasn't sure what kind of designer I was. I was also very impressed with the links NTU had with industry and the opportunity to study abroad through the Erasmus programme."
What did you enjoy most about the course?
"I don't know if I could pick one particular element, but being able to study abroad was super. During my six months studying illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam I made inspiring friends from all over the world. I benefitted hugely from experiencing the Dutch work ethic and gained a fresh new perspective. This definitely informed my practice and influenced how I tackled briefs when I came back to NTU."
Did the course include any speakers from industry?
"This year we had a lecture from the fabulous Fig Taylor (an author at Laurence King Publishing) and the chance to sign up for a portfolio review with her afterwards. After talking through my work, Fig very concisely summed up what it was I do, and what I am best at. This chat with Fig was invaluable and informed my practice immediately."
How have you found the course staff?
"The staff are brilliant, the tutors always made time for a chat no matter how busy they were. Nicky Thorpe, the course administrator, is always happy to help and is one of the loveliest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting."
Did you complete any work placements during your studies?
"At the end of Year Two I completed a live brief given to us by Hallmark. As a result of the work I created for this brief I was invited to do a work placement with them. During the placement I developed the range of pop-up cards I had designed at University, created two typefaces and worked on other hand-drawn type cards."
Congratulations on winning a Bronze award in this year's Creative Conscience awards. Can you tell us a little bit about the work you submitted?
"I chose to enter the 'Open Brief', where the subject matter was entirely up to you, as long as you used creativity to 'promote a moral, ethical or worthwhile cause and make a positive change'.
"I submitted a book called Fish 'n' Facts, a colourful book that carries a salient message. Inspired by the beauty of marine life, and irked by destructive fishing techniques, I decided to create something that would teach children about the wonderful creatures that inhabit the oceans, and the importance of fishing sustainably. Engaging the reader with vibrant illustrations and 'fishy facts' about each creature, the book teaches a young audience the importance of preserving our oceans by buying MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) certified fish."
Why do you think it's beneficial to take part in competitions like this?
"It can be easy to become trapped in a little happy university bubble, designing nice drinks bottles or pretty greetings cards continually. While this needs to be done, taking part in a competition such as Creative Conscience makes you realise the power you actually have through design. These competitions show that you can make a difference to the world doing what you love and the rewards from this are sure to be worth more than anything else."