How useful have your studies been in your career?
As a student on UWE’s fashion communication programme you are encouraged to pull upon your own experiences and interests as a fashion image-maker, and are given the freedom to experiment. It’s here where I learned that embedding my own experiences within my images is what would set my work apart. This has shaped my work and teaching philosophy, and something I actively encourage my students to explore.
After graduating (or first starting out), what were your initial steps?
Upon graduating I made the decision that I wasn’t going to try and make money from my photography, or pursue it as a career, per se. I wanted to focus on developing my work, so I got a 9 to 5 job to support myself financially. I worked for three years in a factory that makes inflatables and soft play – bouncy castles, crash mats, that sort of thing. For the development of my photography, these three years were invaluable, and allowed me to focus on personal projects and producing the work I wanted to make.
Three years ago, when I was happy with the work I was producing, I started entering competitions and sending my work out to magazines. Last year I got a job as a lecturer and moved to Bristol, and almost simultaneously, the interest in my photography increased. I owe this, in part to the work I produced, and have continued to produce since taking those three years to figure out what it is I wanted to be creating. Without that, I wouldn’t be making the work I’m making today.