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Optimistic, open and armed with degrees, the creative Class of 2017 is at your service

By Katie Deighton | Senior Reporter

July 12, 2017 | 9 min read

The universities have tossed their annual wave of a graduates into the milk rounds, summer internships and graduate schemes of the creative industries.

With the sector revived by this fresh batch of talent, The Drum spoke to six soon-to-be-grads to discover how their future looks with a diploma in hand.

New Blood

The grads of the New Blood festival

Rachel Summers, illustration, Falmouth University


I do illustration, but more angled towards editorial. I like the fast pace of publishing and being able to summarise entire articles with one or two illustrations. I’m also interested in book covers and typography, and I like being able to read to what I’ve been commissioned to illustrate and really understand the project before I start on it.

It’s good to get some contacts and do the freelance thing first but I don’t want to do that forever. While I’m a fresh graduate I’d like to do some internships and learn more about graphic design so I have some broader skills. I’d like to work in house somewhere or as an art director… but obviously later down the line. I wouldn’t go into art direction now because I think you need more experience in the industry and I want to see how I can do as an illustrator first before commissioning other people.

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It’s a lot to take in here [at New Blood]. It’s good to meet with people from different courses, not just illustration, and it will be good to speak to people from those courses and see what their experiences have been like. I've just seen a couple of people walking off with my business card, which is exciting.

Raquel Tomé, creative advertising, Falmouth University


New Blood has been hectic and busy… it’s 100 miles an hour at the moment but it’s been a good experience. I’m not even necessarily hoping for a job from this, just placements. I think we [Tomé and her creative partner Charlotte Benbow] are quite realistic. We want to see where the best fit for us is, what people want from us and how much we can learn from those people.

We want to experience everything. Even if we went into publishing for a year and just crafted copywriting, then went into television and crafted something else, that way if we went to an advertising agency we could bring that knowledge and experience with us and it would make whatever our work was so much better.

We’re looking for somewhere in the advertising industry where we can make a difference. I’d love to work for Leo Burnett. They’re storytellers. They do more than just sell stuff, they create content with actual insight and develop on it. Like A Girl was amazing.

When I look for a job I’ll be looking for an agency with a great creative director. I think you become a better creative if you learn from the people who have been in the industry for the longest, and who understand it, who know what they’re looking for and who know what they need.

Karl Bewick, graphic design, Glasgow Clyde College


This is actually my second time coming here – I came down last year, which was a great experience going into my honours year. It was great see what you’ve got to step up to, see what everybody’s producing and set yourself a standard.

I’ve actually got a job so I’m just here soaking it all in this time: relaxing, taking in the atmosphere and enjoying the work. I now work for M&C Saatchi. I saw the job advertised on a jobs board the last night it was up. It was an internship, and I went down for a trial and now I’ve got a six-month contract.

I’ve been living here [in London] for only two weeks but I love it. It’s such a creative city with so many options, so much to do. I don’t think I could ever have grasped what advertising was really like until I started working in it. It’s been a good learning curve.

Rahul Rudra, creative advertising, Leeds College of Art


I originally studied in Singapore. Back then D&AD seemed like something really far away, so I’m lucky to be here. The reason I came…? I don’t want to say get a job because that’s a given, so I suppose I'd say to meet creatives and network.

My dream is to set up my own shop. All my family members are entrepreneurs in their own fields, so I just feel like I want to do my own thing. My first step would be to work in an agency. I don’t know what sort I’d be looking for because I’m willing to work for anyone at the moment, but I would say the creative director is the thing I’d be most attracted to at an agency because if I’m looking at running my own shop, I need to learn how to mentor young creatives.

I don’t really want to use the word advertising for what I want to do because I think our industry really is a powerhouse of creative minds that can solve problems. I feel like I can use that to do more to solve world problems.

Cat Loots, illustration, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, University of Dundee


It would be great to pick up a bit work here but I think it’s just great for exposure and a chance to network with other people within the creative industries. My ideal job would probably be something to do with working in print. I’ve recently got really into printmaking and I enjoy anything that’s hands-on, but I’ve dipped my toes into a number of things – I’ve done graphic design as well as illustration.

I’d be open to working with an agency but maybe do something more outside of the box. I like coming at things from a different angle, and not necessarily always taking straightforward illustration commissions. I like problem solving, conceptual ideas.

I wouldn’t rule anything out. After graduation, I think walking straight into a job would take a lot of perseverance and you’ve got to really put yourself out there. A lot of that’s down to personality and just taking any opportunity that comes your way. I have looked for jobs but I’m slightly restricted at the minute due to location … but then again maybe not. There’s so many things to get involved with online.

Sarah Rathbone, graphic communication and illustration, Loughborough University


[New Blood] has been quite overwhelming but in a positive way. It’s nice that so many people have come over and been really enthusiastic to talk to us about our work. I’m doing a masters next year so for me, being here’s not about getting a job. It’s more about seeing different people’s work and talking to more people about the industry I want to get into. I’m not seeing it as a networking thing, it’s more of a learning thing.

I know I want to do branding and advertising but I want to hone down what specific area I’m interested in. I’ve been speaking to people from publishers, and people who brand food and drink, and just seeing which area I fit into better. Which is interesting, because people come over and say: ‘You’ll be good at this and you’d be good at that’, which I didn’t know about myself before.

My work is mostly nudity and food, so I’d imagine I’d end up down the cheeky advertising road – something fun.


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