University’s Arts Alumni Return to Offer Advice to Students

TAKE5 event 2022 - Lacey Drake
University Arts graduate Lacey Drake speaking to current students

The TAKE5 event saw former students, who studied a variety of subjects, from Game Art to Illustration, return to the University to speak about their work.

Tobias Hickey, Senior Lecturer and Course Leader in Illustration, who organised the event, said: “Our arts alumni provide crucial insights and advice on the skills, knowledge and attributes necessary to succeed as creative practitioners across the areas of arts degrees we teach. They also provide inspiration not only for our undergraduate students but also our staff who are incredibly proud of their achievements and are an essential link to the creative industries. Their enthusiasm and generosity to spend time with our current students is a credit to their commitment and support of the next wave of professional artists and designers.”

TAKE5 is an annual event that caters for current students in the School of Arts on a wide range of subjects, including Illustration, Fine Art, Digital Media Production, Graphic Design, Animation and Game Art.

TAKE5 event 2022

Each of the five alumni gave a presentation on the role they are in now, how they got there, what they had learnt from their experiences and what advice they would give to the current Arts cohort. The event, held at the University’s dedicated arts facility the Art House, concluded with a panel discussion.

The five graduates were: Lacey Drake, who graduated with a degree in Creative Digital Media and is currently employed as a media operative for the Ministry of Defence (Royal Navy); Jade Blackstock, a performance artist whose work centres around identity, memory and belonging; Games Art graduate, Christian Amendola, who works as a 3D artist at a mobile games company; Animation and Film Production graduate, Charlie Harrison, who works in the education sector as a video animator; and former Illustration student, Holly Reynolds, who is an illustrator based in Birmingham.

TAKE5 event 2022 - Jade Blackstock

Heather Sykes, a second year Creative Writing and Illustration student, whose ambition is a career writing and illustrating children's picture books, said: “I loved hearing from Holly Reynolds, a graduate that had studied Illustration like me, and to see what she had accomplished during her time at Worcester, but also what she has gone on to do after. It was also great to see the other graduates and get a sense of the range of creative opportunities out there.

“After the event I was able to look at Holly’s work and found it so interesting to see the process behind the final piece. Holly also talked about her use of media and how she used to dislike working digitally, which I can relate to, but she explained how she uses it to aid her work now. Since the event, I have tried using digital media and it might be something I'd like to use to help create picture books in the future.”

Graduate Christian, one of the speakers, said: “The TAKE5 event was an amazing experience. Having the chance to talk to students about what I do and the journey I went through was great. I hope the experience I shared would help those looking for a job after graduating.”