Year 9 took a day off lessons in February to learn about careers and life in the creative industries. Year 9 Design Day demonstrated how an interest or qualification in Art can lead on to many different career paths, and not necessarily the ones you might expect.  

In the morning we welcomed five very different speakers from our alumni and creative professionals to tell us about their Art-related careers, and the paths that led them there.

Harriet Williams left the school in 2004 and now works for Disney as a TV producer. Harriet studied Art at A level and then went on to study script writing for film and television at University.

Former pupil Rosie Wallace started out studying for a degree in Fine Art, before discovering that her passion was for Photography.  Rosie has just taken a job in Marketing with Camp America. Rosie’s advice was to ‘Listen to yourself, and do what you enjoy!’.

Zanthe Wray, an Architect with local practice Peak Architects, described how her interests in Geography, Design and Art had come together in Architecture.

Chrissi Batey, kitchen designer at My Fathers Heart, studied Interior Design at Sheffield Hallam University after completing an Art Foundation Course at Bournemouth really enjoyed advising the girls. ‘There are so many ways you can get into a career in Art.’ she said.    

Merlin Strangeway, another former pupil, is an award-winning medical illustrator, and one of only 30 medical illustrators in the country. Merlin went down the path of studying English and History at university, before her love of illustration took over and she studied GCSE and A Level Art before studying an extremely specialised illustration course.  She now visualises medical information in a way that makes it accessible to medics and to the general public alike. Merlin’s advice was to ‘Do the subjects you are really passionate about.’

Suitably inspired, the girls then had the chance to be creative: their task was to create outfits using only paper and other recyclable materials in the ‘Eco-Accessories Challenge’.  They took to the task with enthusiasm; Paper, scissors and tape were flying as they cut and folded materials to make amazing outfits on the themes of spring, summer, autumn, winter, air, earth, water and fauna, finishing up with a catwalk extravaganza!

I really enjoyed making the things and being creative!’ said Lara MacColl, and Celia Stevenson agreed: ‘I really enjoyed learning about the courses and the careers based around Art,’ she said.