Featuring MA Art & Design Student: Rachel Smith

Fri 24 Mar 2017 < Back to listing


Say Hello to Rachel who is happy to share what three projects she has loved doing at CSVPA, what she aspires to be, and what she is working on right now! Have a read and be inspired!

What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Rachel Smith and I’m from Essex, UK

What are you studying at CSVPA? 
I am doing my Masters degree in Art and Design but I also did a BA degree at CSVPA too. 

What dream career are you working towards and why?
I have been really interested in working on how to build brand identities recently and would like to be able to take that further by doing possible freelance work. I find putting typography to a name really exciting as types have their own meanings and that needs to be considered whilst going through the design process.
I’ve also been pushing myself to do more illustrating recently and I like for my work to have a meaning or to have a comment on something happening in the world, I could see myself being in an editorial environment maybe like Buzzfeed and be one of the illustrators to work on articles because of this like of sharing opinions in the form of work. 


So far, what projects at CSVPA have you enjoyed so far and why?
I really enjoyed our ‘objects’ project in which we were given an object and we had to do something with it. I was given a hot water bottle and then after research decided to play with it uses such as comfort and pain release. Accompanying that with my interest of communicating a message to do with either politics or social issues and using timing to create an impact. At the time this project had been set Donald Trump had just been elected president of the US and it was quiet a scary time because of his views and comments to women. With more research I fell in love with the quote “Nasty Woman” which feminists were claiming as empowering after it was used to try to degrade Hillary Clinton during the campaign stage of the election. I embroidered the saying onto a hot water bottle cover that I made and presented it to my tutor. It was my way of saying “Let us relieve our pain of this man becoming in charge of the USA and take comfort in this quote meaning that human rights need to be equal. 

In your course, tell us about your style and passion?
I think using art to say things I wouldn’t be brave enough to say normally is a passion of mine but I wouldn’t say I have a style. I’m currently experimenting in different fields, pushing myself to do more illustrations as well as graphic design work such as branding so that I have many options to explore. 

What are you looking forward to at CSVPA on your course, and why?
I’m excited for the end of our second semester as we have a conference to present the ideas for our final Masters project (what is your final master’s project?) and the preparation of that and researching what I want to do I find exciting. 

What are the top three pieces of work you are most proud of and why? 

1. My favourite project was the Object one where I was given a hot water bottle and used its meanings to give myself a voice, as there was political event I didn’t agree with and used the hot water bottle’s meaning of comfort paired with a quote that encouraged those of us against it as a way of relieving pain. 

2. Second piece is a branding project I have been working on to develop the visual identity of a Clothing brand that I own. By working on this it has given me practice and confidence in order to approach real jobs as a graphic designer. 

3. Third is my GIF animation project for the Met Office in which I needed to find fun ways for the weather to be shared on social media. I have created a series of location specific animations about a character from the place in different scenarios depicting weather. My set for Cambridge focuses on a graduate in their hat and gown and using key parts of Cambridge like the Trumpington cows, can be shared on social media to show friends and family what the weather is like where they are. 


What inspires and motivates you in your work, has this changed over the years? 
It’s from the Masters course that I’ve found I have the confidence to put my voice in my work and that motivated me that I can use it for good causes. I am also really motivated to push myself to try as much as possible because you never know where it can take you.  

How has CSVPA helped you so far? 
As I said in the last question, it’s helped me find my voice and confidence and let me explore every avenue I want to without holding me back. The tutors have always supported decisions and help you better them and I’m grateful that I’m here

How would you like CSVPA to promote you, your talents and other students? 
I think that we now have Instagram specific to the course is excellent especially as we get to share our work and have credit for who did it for people to see and contact us. Plus our tutors are brilliant at letting us know where the good places to be putting work online our, such as Behance and personal websites.

What are you working on now?
Currently I am working on an app design project for men’s mental health, more weather animations which will be sent to the Met Office, illustrations and the best ways to present my work in portfolios and online. 

To find out more about Rachel and her work visit here website by clicking here OR find her on Instagram @rachel_h_smith and twitter @rachelh_smith


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