Insights Introduces Edie, Cynthia and Millie, three foundation students at UAL.
They talk us through why they decided to study a foundation diploma, give tips on preparing portfolios and reveal what they’re working on at the moment.
What are you working on right now?
Millie: I’m on my final rotation of Fine Art. On our first day, we had a lecture and went to the Tate. We have lectures on art, artists, their different practices. Yesterday, we were making these collages and then adding gestural marks and painting into them, thinking about colour and composition before making a mark. That was really good fun.
Edie: Well, I’m doing a Fine Art specialism – we spend a week on each thing. We’re just doing sculpture right now. Kind of looking at balance, object and space and the relationship between them.
Cynthia: I’m on the final rotation as well (like Millie) but I’m doing Communication. We have been working through this list of seven tasks, and the task could be something like, ‘re-create the moment after’, so you’re like ‘after what?’, so you really have to think about how you can manipulate the words (and the meaning).
Millie: They’re just trying to get you to come up with images. Because you think, this is the obvious thing, and then everyone in the class has thought of something different based on that particular phrase! After two weeks, they always make you go round and look at what everyone else has done, you get so inspired every time. You can give [each other] tips or answers that you think will help. It’s a really nice environment.
Why did you decide to study a foundation diploma?
Millie: Because A-level Art is different to art at university and the degree courses are quite specific, whereas I still like to try a variety of materials out. And I’m learning more and more about what a degree actually entails and what you get out of it.
Cynthia: There’s a chance to try different techniques that you’ve never tried before, like in school we rarely worked in 3D. I’ve found out that I really, really enjoy 3D. And I also didn’t want to go to a course (undergraduate degree) that I thought I was going to like, then regret choosing it.
Did taking part in Insights help you to make the decision to study a foundation diploma?
Edie: I knew I wanted to do it, but [Insights] definitely made me more certain and more excited about it, I think. I think it helps you to become more confident in your art and your practice. And you talk about your art – that just makes you want to do it more, to develop further.
Millie: I definitely wanted to do foundation, but [Insights] definitely showed me a bit about how it was going to be. Very playful, open to interpretation lots of introducing you to artists constantly. Very, again different way to working at A-level. It was like another bridge in-between [A-levels] to foundation and foundation is the bridge to [undergraduate] degrees. And it made me fall in love with this place.
Cynthia: There’s freedom, like in school they tell you to do one thing and you have to do it. But here, they give you an idea and then you can develop it however you want.
Edie: Insights was at this same site (Camberwell), where we do foundation, so when you start the foundation you’re already confident because you know the environment, which is really good.
How’s your first month been?
Millie: Quick, obviously! Really, really, fast. The pace kind of changes though, so sometimes you’ve got loads to do but sometimes because it’s only three days a week; there will be some gaps where they kind of free you up to go to exhibitions or do your own practice (work). So, it’s definitely that bridge between, where you get some contact, but breathing space through the term. It gives an understanding of how things are going to be later- like what a painting degree means- it’s so different to what you think it’s going to be.
Edie: Yeah, I’ve just really enjoyed it.
Cynthia: I think it’s gone so fast. It’s also changed my way of thinking. First I would look at a piece of work and think, ‘oh that’s nice’. And now I’m like, ‘what were they (the artist or designer) thinking when they were looking at this?’ And it also really opens your mind to how big [the creative] industry is.
Any tips for preparing for interview/ preparing your portfolio?
Millie: Just have complete confidence in your work. It’s easy to doubt or think that something isn’t worthy, or to get overwhelmed with what they want from you. Remember: all they want is you and your way of thinking; visually representing how you think.
“Another thing is to know your contextual research. That’s really important in the interview.”
Edie: Be able to confidently reference artists in relation to your work because that’s really important in the foundation course. Also, I think to even reference exhibitions that you’ve been to, as that primary research is really important on foundation.
Cynthia: I also practiced with people to get more confident, I would like practice interview questions, nothing too serious as the interviews are not scary, it’s like having a normal conversation. Just be yourself.
What would you say to someone thinking about applying to foundation?
All: Just do it!
Find out more about the course Cynthia, Edie and Millie are studying: