artwork by ella waters

Graduates 2023: Ella Waters: Graphic Design

“As a city, I find Brighton friendly, welcoming and creative — choosing to study here was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I can’t see myself living (or studying) anywhere else!”

Please tell us a bit about your work and your influences

“My practice is highly process driven and centres around the fusion of analogue and digital methods to create contemporary and thought-provoking responses. My interests lie in editorial design, book-binding and printmaking, primarily focusing on the relationships between materials, image and language.

“Many of my personal projects centre around, and are influenced by psychology and biology. I aspire to visualise the invisible (such as behaviours and internal workings of the body) in an abstract and conceptual way. Through the process of analogue-based printmaking, I aim to explore an abstract relationship between the mechanical printing machine and the human body.

“By choosing to use slower tools and technologies to create work, I look to exploit the visual properties of analogue-based production methods, which often lack the uniformity and consistency in comparison to digital, computerised media. I find that the imperfect aesthetic of printmaking provides me with the ability to capture the active and physical sense of craftsmanship involved in the making, of which I loved and hope to take further in the future.”

How have you found your course and what made you choose it?

“Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my course over the last few years at Brighton! The graphic design tutors and technicians are all very knowledgable, and have always been very approachable, supportive and kind. The course itself has been very stimulating and challenging. Restrictions associated with coronavirus in my first year meant that we weren’t able to access the facilities, workshops, or meet peers on the course. However, especially this year, working in a collaborative studio environment with others has been a wonderful and valuable experience.

“Originally, I chose to study graphic design as the subject encompasses of a variety of creative skills, techniques and methods (such as photography, printmaking, and digital design) that have always been of interest to me. During my art foundation course, I hadn’t a clue what graphic design was — I thought it was just creating logos and websites!  However, across my BA, I have found the course to be very open to experimentation, and it has encouraged me to try and test a variety of different media and processes.”

Was the location of your course in Brighton more important than you thought it would be?

“As a city, I find Brighton friendly, welcoming and creative — I feel very fortunate to have been able to study in such a warm and accepting environment. The central location of Grand Parade campus is great too and easily accessible to Brighton’s many amenities.  Choosing to study in Brighton was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I can’t see myself living (or studying) anywhere else!”

What are your plans after graduation?

“After graduation, I plan to stay in Brighton for another year to build my portfolio, to work and try to save some money! However, in 2024 I will start looking into graphic design internships to gain some experience in industry.”

If you could give you 16 year old self any advice about going to University what would it be?

“Say yes to any opportunities that may come your way! Whether that be the option to get inducted in a new workshop, or to take up any work experience and/or creative collaborations with others where possible! I’d also say not to take the amazing facilities (and the lovely technicians!) for granted — I will miss having access to their skills and knowledge once I finish university.”

Follow Ella on Instagram at @ellrws

Ella’s website is:

Find out about studying Graphic Design at the University of Brighton

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