A mother-of-four, who always dreamt of being an artist but said she “never thought it was achievable”, graduates from the University of Worcester today, having already secured five commissions for her work.
Seraphim Bryant went through her school years without realising she was dyslexic, and said she believed she just “wasn’t smart enough” to go to university.
“I left school thinking university was out of my reach,” she said. “I had my children and we lived in Canada for a few years through my husband’s work.
“But there was always something inside me, wanting to pursue my passion for art and willingness to learn.”
When she returned to the UK, Seraphim’s father persuaded her to consider university. “I attended an open day at Worcester and loved it, but I didn’t have the right qualifications to get in,” said the 36-year-old, from Kidderminster. “So I went away, re-took some of my GCSEs and did an Arts Foundation Diploma. Three years later I started at the University. Throughout that three years, the lecturers stayed in touch with me, encouraging me and inviting me to events. I felt like I was already a part of the University before I even started.”
Seraphim graduates today with a degree in Illustration and Creative Professional Writing. But it wasn’t an easy journey.
“It was difficult juggling my children and studies,” she said. “I felt selfish at first but then came to realise that it was actually good for my children to see me studying and for them to get some independence.”
At the end of her second year, Seraphim’s husband passed away. “That was really difficult,” she said. “I considered quitting but the University gave me so much support. I managed to carry on with my studies, and am so thrilled to be graduating.”
Seraphim has secured five commissions on her illustrations, including illustrating a book for fellow student, and author, Kevin Brooke, who also graduates today. She also received two awards at the University’s Degree Show 2018, the Boffy Award for Best Student in a Digital Arts Subject and the Worcestershire County Council Illustration Award.
“University has just been the most amazing experience for me,” she said. “It’s given me so many opportunities that I never would have dreamed I could have.”