Our latest Student story is from Flo Bull, who is studying a Level 3 Art & Design course (equivalent to 3 A-Levels). Flo came to us from Queen Katherine School in Kendal and was inspired to do a course at Kendal College at a visit in Year 9 and coming to an Open Evening in Year 11.
AM: Why did you choose this course?
FB: I’d wanted to do Art & Design at College since Year 8. My uncle worked here as a music tutor and the students seemed to really enjoy it. I visited in Year 9 and then came to an Open Evening in Year 11.
It was pretty much a solid choice for me as I’d always seen myself in a creative career role. There were different phases through school when I’d wanted to go into graphic design then fashion design and a time where I was really interested in architecture, but they were always creative. I’m now really enjoying illustration. Doing this course is helping me to find out which specification I want to do.
AM: Why did you choose Kendal College?
FB: The environment here seemed really good, I really enjoyed visiting. The tutors seemed really nice, and it’s small and easy to get around.
AM: Is College like you had expected. If not, why?
FB: It’s a lot better than I expected. The environment is welcoming, the tutors listen to your opinions and respect what you’re into. It’s a different atmosphere than school, there are less people in a class, you call tutors by their first names, it’s a great learning environment. School can be really stressful, but here I look forward to coming, I’m not dreading it. You can do what you love at College, so there’s nothing negative about it.
You also have so much freedom and have access to so many different art forms, from ceramics to printing to woodwork. There is the equipment and resources to explore a whole range of art, you’re not restricted to just drawing and watercolours like at school.
The tutors are all artists themselves so have specific skills. They explain how they use techniques in their work, which really helps.
AM: What do you most enjoy about College life?
FB: A lot of things, I don’t know, every aspect!
The people are great, everyone my class are really nice, the tutors are really nice.
I like the freedom too – you can come and go when you like, and can come in on days you don’t have class to catch up. I like working on the blog posts as I really enjoy English as well as Art & Design.
AM: What other opportunities have you had as a student at the College?
FB: We’ve been to Newcastle to see the Baltic Centre, Great North Museum and The Biscuit Factory. We’ve also been to Manchester to the National Gallery and visited a range of artists working in their studios.
AM: What is the teaching style like on your course?
FB: Really good. The tutors are very engaged with every individual and give you time. They listen and give advice on things that might be helpful, or help you be more realistic about what you can do within the amount of time.
The practical workshops are really helpful; the tutors are really good at teaching you the techniques so you know exactly how you go about it. We have four teachers at the moment that specialise in different things. When you choose your topic for the Final Major Project, you can spend more time with the tutor who will help you the most.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at College?
FB: It alternates between workshops, research work, writing on our blog, and doing health & safety/ theory work. We take photos of what we are practically doing, showing the processes we are using and upload these to our blog, which is part of our assessment.
The workshops depend on the project we are doing, they could be in ceramics, printing, sculpture… or another art form.
We have taught lessons 3 days a week, starting at 9.15am, and ending around 4.15pm. I spend the other 2 days a week focusing on my blog and staying up-to-date with things. I can stay late if I need to, and use the facilities 5 days a week.
AM: Your currently working on your Final Major Project (FMP) – can you tell me a bit more about this?
FB: We started to plan the ways we were going to collect research over Easter. I used a photoshoot, interview and a visit to a gallery, the Munroe House in Leeds. We could choose from 3 categories – decay, structure or identity. I was drawn to identity as I work with portraits a lot and I was hoping there would be something to do with people.
My ideas have developed into looking at issues in day-to-day life and interviewing peers about things they think about, problems they have and tying this into their identity and how they perceive themselves.
I really enjoyed English at school and like using words to portray expressions. I’m writing internal monologues for my test pieces and exploring how faces are used as identity for things like passport photos – but there is a lot more going on about a person behind this. I’m interested in how identity is portrayed nowadays and what’s going on inside ourselves rather than just how we look.
AM: What are you hoping to do after College?
FB: I wasn’t sure about university but think it will benefit me to meet a lot of different people. We’ve had sessions looking at different universities and the cities I might like to live in. I’m thinking about going onto Fine Arts in general, or if I’m still enjoying Illustration next year, I might specialise in that. There are fewer universities that offer Illustration so I’ll have to weigh everything up. I like Bristol – it’s very arty, with lot of art graffiti and music things going on. It’s a creative place, so I’m looking at courses there.
AM: What advice would you give to people considering College?
FB: Try and find contacts who have been here or know people who have. Ask around and talk to your friends.
Come to an Open Evening, the people are really welcoming.
Come and see the exhibitions. I came to see the 2nd year exhibition in Year 9 and it really inspired me.
Just go for it!
Quick Fire Questions!
AM: Person who most inspires you?
FB: My mum
AM: Pinterest or Instagram?
AM: Most creative environment you’ve been in?
FB: Artist studio at Abbott Hall
AM: Vine or Snapchat?
AM: Artist you’d most like to have a coffee with?
FB: Frida Kahlo
AM: If you were an animal, what would you be?
AM: In 10 years time…?
FB: I will be an illustrator!
If Flo has prompted an interest in Art & Design @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.