Madison and used her BA (Hons) Illustration placement year to improve her final year and freelance work
Overall, the course has been a great experience and has led me to develop a variety of new skills, from printmaking to graphic design. For me, the highlight was definitely my placement year. This really helped me to decide what I want to do after university, to make the most out of my final year using my new found professional skills.
As soon as I turned up for my interview at the University of Portsmouth, I knew it was right for me. My course has been so varied and has really allowed me to grow as a person and as a creative professional.
During my placement year, I worked as a graphic designer at ZPos Ltd, a web development company specialising in online ordering websites for restaurants and takeaways. I got to work on a massive variety of projects for our clients, and it was amazing to know that these small businesses were benefiting from my work. Going into my placement I was struggling with finding my place in the world of illustration, but I left as a confident graphic and web designer with professional skills that have been so valuable in my studies and in my freelance work. I still work part time for ZPos and absolutely love it!
I design web and print materials for a variety of clients - mostly small businesses. Although my role is graphic design based, I definitely draw on my background in illustration all the time, and I think this gives my designs a unique personality. Whenever I can I like to add my own illustrations into my work - especially for fun print jobs like personalised Christmas cards.
My final major project focuses on how we can each make small changes in our day-to-day lives to live more sustainably, whilst looking after our mental health. I have made a zine entitled “A Day In My (Not Quite) Zero-Waste, (Reasonably) Sustainable Life”; an autobiographical story of the small daily decisions that can have a positive impact on the planet.
I think that my degree will open more doors for me, especially as it comes with a year of relevant, full-time work experience. I feel ready to hit the ground running after university and can’t wait to get my work out in the world in new and exciting ways.
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