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Illustration - Life at USW


If you've found yourself reading this blog, it may be because you're looking for a student's insight into what it is like studying BA Illustration at the University of South Wales.

Or not.

Either way, this is a blog about my time at USW Cardiff!

A happy couple with colourful face paint on stood in front of balloons.
Image Description: (left) Blake McGauley, Alison's partner, stood with Alison (right) at the USW Fresher's Fayre in front of colourful balloons. Blake has a burgundy USW hoodie on with David Bowie lightning bolt face paint, while Alison wears a white crop top with blue flowers, and matching blue flower face paint on her forehead below a clean-shaven head! They are holding goodies that they won/collected from the Fresher's Fayre at the Atrium.

I began my studies in 2019, pre-pandemic, and it was so exciting to be starting something new. It was the first time I had lived away from home and having to get used to living with complete strangers in student accommodation.

First-year was exciting and experimental and allowed us all to get a feel for the different pathways of becoming an illustrator.

Second-year focused more on specific areas of illustration, bringing us into contact with live Brief and real clients, along with self-directed projects.,

The change with this year was being in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, so most of our work was being created remotely - for me that meant working from my university halls with the occasional in-person class in the first semester.

Third-year continued in a similar fashion, with slightly more in-person classes than before, but much fewer than there were in the first year. This year was the most challenging year for me, as it meant writing my dissertation, finding my own clients and working on briefs and coming up with my final major project.

Despite the challenges that came with working from home, I loved my time at USW and I want to thank all my tutors for the support and guidance they have given me during my studies. My tutors worked so hard to give us the best possible experience during such an unknown and unstable time, and I'm very grateful for all their help.

Thanks for reading!

By Alison Howard

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