Today we have an exciting blog! We caught up with Harri Hampson, recent Visual Communication graduate who speaks about his university experience and activities he completed alongside his degree.
Hi Harri, it’s lovely to meet you. Tell us about the course you studied at BCU?
Hello, my name’s Harri Hampson, I graduated with a BA in Visual Communication: Illustration at Birmingham City University in 2019, which I achieved a 2:1 grade.
It was a great course to study at BCU. I got to learn how to learn and develop new methods of Illustration on completely different project briefs. I gave it a go in trying practical and digital skills which broadened my area of practice, and I’m really happy to have given anything and everything a go, because these newly learnt methods came in handy for creating different bodies of work for different module briefs, competition briefs and even festivals and exhibitions where I saw my work on display.
What Graduate+ activities did you get involved in whilst at university?
In my first year at University I attended a Careers+ session about ‘self-employment and freelancing’, as I have an ambition to become a freelance illustrator and thought the session would give me some useful information on how to be a self-employed freelancer.
As it turned out, I gained a lot of knowledge on important details such finding clients, sorting out my own finances and coming up with a work schedule.
Another activity I did was at the start of my second year in 2017, when I was faced in combining my illustrations with my handwriting together to form a book, which was of my visual interpretation of the Brother’s Grimm’s ‘The Seven Ravens’. I edited the illustrations and writing together into pages on Photoshop. Then I book binded the printed pages together to form the finished book.
I added both of these Graduate+ Induction activities to my Bronze Award.
How long did it take you to complete the Graduate+ award?
The Graduate+ award as a whole took me three years to complete, beginning with my Bronze award which I first completed in December 2017 during my second year. I then completed my Silver award in my third year in March 2019. I did my Graduate+ Gold award beyond graduating, beginning it in September 2020 and finishing the Gold Award in November the same year. The Gold award alone took me two months to complete.
We heard that you worked as a Level up mentor which you really enjoyed. Tell us more about your experience?
Being a Level Up Mentor was a great experience for me, as not only it helped with developing my communication skills, but I also got to meet and collaborate with a great bunch of staff and students from other courses who also worked as Level Up Mentors in the build up towards Welcome Week 2018.
Also, the job role allowed me to give something back to BCU for supporting me throughout my course, by providing assistance, guidance, information and support to the new students on the University’s Fresher’s 2018 Facebook group, through the courtesy calls and on campus at Parkside during welcome week.
You spoke to us about creating a website on Squarespace. What did you gain from this experience?
That’s right I have made a website on Squarespace. Throughout developing my website on Squarespace, I gained a lot of experience around setting up a professional platform to represent who I am as an artist and thinking about what potential clients would be expecting of me, from the body of work I show on the site to my domain www.harrihampson.co.uk, contact details such as email address and links to my social media such as my Instagram.
Everything is be showcased in a professional manner, as a freelancing business. During the development, I created a domain email address to go with the website, so if people want to drop me an email, they can recognise my email as a business email to contact me by.
What are you planning next, now that you have graduated?
Well, now that I’m a graduate, I’m going to keep on developing my professional platform, learning new skills and find any new opportunities in the creative industry, with the ambition to become a freelance illustrator.
Currently, I’m working on a story book I first began during my second year at BCU. I’ve both written and illustrated this book and am hoping to get it published one day once it is finished.