Jessica Klein is studying online with IDI on the BA (Hons) Illustration course from the University of Hertfordshire. She is hoping that an industry relevant degree will lead her closer to her dream of setting up her own footwear design company.
“After finishing a diploma in photography at home in South Africa, I went on to study a degree in Audio Visual, but decided to end my course when I discovered it was not all that for me. I then changed direction entirely when going to my other home in Cologne, Germany, where my father lives. I did one week of job shadowing a Cobbler and before I knew it was sold: I want to make shoes. Thereafter it’s been a continuous journey towards developing my ability in footwear design.
“Having made my first sneaker prototype, I went on to approach the large corporation Adidas for a position. Since I did this at the end of 2013 and did not get the opportunity to join due to their requirements. I decided to start the next phase of my educational life, which was to study Illustration.
“IDI have been very supportive of me since I first made contact with the Institute. As I have gotten further into my studies I have also been very happy with my lecturers, who have all been really great in helping me grow and expand my thoughts further.
“I chose this course in order to enhance my opportunities in the footwear design industry first and foremost, but furthermore for personal development and creating good imagery.
“The first module was the most challenging stage for me personally; wrapping my mind around all the information and important steps towards creating good designs was very in-depth. I like to understand what I am doing to the last inch, so it took me a while to get into it properly. Now I am in my second semester and finalising some book designs as well as learning about writing. It’s all very interesting and I wish we had a bit more time in the day to take in more.
“I enjoy studying online with IDI. I think they allow everybody to work at their own pace and in addition to that you have one on one interaction with your tutors, which I think is much better when you are serious about developing your own style in design.
“Currently I am working and travelling in Australia, spending time on the beach and meeting people. I like to explore, so I find myself wandering through dilapidated buildings around the city. I enjoy photographing skateboarding and seem to capture the right moments (so I’ve heard from mates) collect shoes, scuba-dive, sing to myself, and right now am learning to surf in an amazing town called Noosa. The list doesn’t really end - it’s forever evolving.
“Like any degree, I will have more opportunity in the working world, however, it is not only about that; it’s also about learning to communicate clearly with others in order to achieve the best end result possible.
“I hope to have my own business, creating customised footwear for sneaker enthusiasts. I love great style and individualism and look forward to working with great people who love to make and create good things. I will always find inspiration in the things most people seem to overlook whilst they do the rat race and forget to stop and look around for just a second.
“If you enjoy visuals, as in you feel excited when you find a great comic book, see an amazing poster or catch a glimpse of graffiti on the train, do it. Illustration is about expressing yourself, finding your style and getting to know more about other great artists who have walked their own path in life.”