An art school experience is nothing without experiences. It’s a fact that Kingston University’s School of Art, ranked among the top 10 universities in London and the top five in the UK for fashion and the top 10 for design and craftsmanship , understand best. Here, opportunities are presented in abundance thanks to a rich mix of faculty members who also serve as industry leaders.
“It’s part of our philosophy that we’re all practitioners,” confirms Dr. Jake Abrams, associate professor at the Kingston School of Art. “As Kingston is considered a pre-eminent university for design, architecture and performance art in the UK, this reputation attracts a lot of really fantastic top people who want to work with our students. With one foot in the classroom and the other in their respective fields, they bring an incredible array of industry connections. »
Dr. Abrams is proud to be one of them. He holds a Senior Academy of Higher Education (SFHEA) Fellowship, a National Art Design and Media Teaching Fellowship (ADMHEA), and a University Teaching Fellowship. of Kingston. Having taught in the UK and around the world, he brings a wide range of knowledge to Kingston’s award-winning BA Illustration Animation programme.
The ubiquitous educator maintains an active practice and profile as an illustrator, designer, and artist outside of the classroom. In fact, his name can frequently be found in The Independent, Creative Review, The Times, The Guardian, Blueprint, etc.
Getting to know teachers like him is never a daunting experience for international aspirants who have just arrived in the UK. This school believes that for budding visionaries to truly express themselves artistically, they must be welcomed with open arms. To ensure this, Kingston ensures that each international student is met at the airport, shown around their accommodation, introduced to like-minded learners and made to feel like they have found their second home.
Alongside the professionals whose shoes they hope to one day, they seize their future while being deeply committed to the present. “Each student has a personal tutor who will really introduce them to how various industries work,” says Dr. Abrams.
“For example, we have a live partnership with Penguin Random House, one of the UK’s largest publishers. Together we give students the opportunity to work with top writers, designers and art directors on real-life projects This is something that would look great on a fresh graduate’s resume.
BA Illustration Animation students benefit from a partnership with the Royal Opera House to create state-of-the-art animation – adding to an already long list that has been screened around the world.
Whatever the opportunities, every student at the Kingston School of Art is encouraged to innovate with projects powerful enough to change the world. They won the Creative Conscience Awards for directly addressing global challenges such as loneliness, mental health, or everyday issues refugees face. They created campaigns for Amnesty International. With many other respectable initiatives in their portfolio and underway, it’s no wonder organizations are always willing to become a key part of Kingston’s journey.
Policymakers and Kingston know that if students understand the industry, they will have the know-how to define it in the future. All the skills needed to pull off such a feat are covered along the way.
“We have clever methods for assembling their creative risk-taking – gently introducing them to the essentials of professional practice,” shares Dr. Abrams. “We expect students to have good timing to meet deadlines. We also have many collaborative projects in our subjects, where students are beginning to understand the value of negotiation, compromise and the value of sharing ideas. »
These values are emphasized in the School of Art’s extensive range of academic offerings. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in architecture, creative writing, art direction, illustration animation, dance, fashion, filmmaking, fine arts, graphic design, interior design, journalism, music technology and photography, among many other exciting disciplines.
Ideal playground for artistic visionaries
There’s no better place for a comprehensive art education than London, the creative mecca. Dr. Abrams notes that the city is treated as an extension of the fantastic studios and workshops on the Kingston campus. “We actively encourage our students to get out and enjoy London by experiencing the dance, theater and music that fills its streets,” he says. Europe is also a stone’s throw away, meaning the charms of Paris, Rome, Milan and many more are only a stone’s throw away.
Wherever students explore, they are encouraged to leave their mark; especially since art, design and performance are all-encompassing skills. “It’s important to have an international view of your field,” confirms Dr. Abrams. “Wouldn’t it be great to be on stage in Tokyo or New York?
A multidisciplinary vision is just as important. After all, anything is possible in the whirlwind of creativity that is Kingston.
Instagram-famous Joey Yu (she has over 100,000 followers) is a prime example of the School of Art’s ability to produce multi-faceted graduates. The BA Illustration Animation graduate certainly made a name for herself as an illustrator after graduating – she counts Nike, Hermes and Rimowa among her clients.
She attributes her success to mixing mediums during her studies. Today, she uses her knowledge of design, 3D and modeling to make waves in the glitzy world of fashion.
“She worked together all the way,” recalls Dr. Abrams. “It’s those kinds of jumps that are really exciting and inspiring.”
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