Graduates 2018: Huw Roberts: Illustration

Although I have delved into almost every medium, I now see myself predominantly as a model maker.

My process involves making scenes out of cardboard and paper, photographing them, then using photoshop to transform the images into something somewhere between photography, painting, drawing and sculpture. When people look at my work, they aren’t quite sure what they’re looking at. This creates a sense of intrigue and makes the images more interesting to look at. As my process and confidence has developed with this way of working, I have moved more into moving- image work. My work is largely inspired by my love of travelling and learning about the history of the world.

Trapeze artist

Please tell us about your final year project

For my final project, I created a 2 minute film commemorating the life of the first trapeze artist, the famous Frenchman Jules Leotard. The reason I chose this subject matter was to test the limits of my model-making abilities, to explore cardboard as a material more, and to gauge the potential of where I could take it further. I felt like creating a circus and trapeze artists out of cardboard felt suitably ambitious.

How did you find the course at Brighton?

I had no real idea of what to expect when coming here. I didn’t really know what illustration was 3 years ago, and think I’ve only just begun to understand very recently. The course has a very well designed crescendo over the 3 years. First year feels a bit like a continuation of a foundation diploma. Second year is all about experimentation and trying things you wouldn’t usually do. And third year is a big step up, getting you in gear for professional illustration or creative work after graduation.

Camels in desert

What have you taken away from the course/time at Brighton?

Aside from maturing into a proper illustrator, making lots of friends and having loads of fun, I have learnt to respond to art and illustration in a much more considered way. One of the things you learn as you progress as a visual communicator is that your work doesn’t have to be qualified by a high level of skill or craftsmanship for it to be good. For your work to be successful it needs to communicate well. A drawing can have taken many days to make and be a beautiful object, but if its purpose was to communicate something and it fails then it is unsuccessful. When making any decisions with my work, I always consider the Who? What? When? Where? then I ask myself wether someone who has no idea about the context of the work would be able to understand it.

What are your plans after graduation?

I have confidence in my ability to continue making this kind of work and I like the idea of setting myself up as an independent illustrator. But I would also like to do an internship or two with professional illustrators who work with model making in their practice. Whatever I end up doing in the creative industry, it will most probably be something involved with making. I am a very hands-on kind of person and love the process of creating things. In my eyes, the less digital the better. Before this happens though, I am quite keen on taking at least a few months out to travel and volunteer around the world.

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Find out more about BA(Hons) Illustration

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