Kate Leigh is a student on the BA (Hons) Illustration course from the University of Hertfordshire, delivered online by IDI. Working as a freelance music teacher and with a young son to look after, the option of attending a traditional campus university was not open to her. However, she has found that the flexibility offered by studying online with IDI has enabled her to work towards her dream of becoming a professional illustrator at the same time as managing her work and family commitments.
“I have always loved drawing, painting and all things creative. Growing up, I was constantly writing and illustrating my own stories, and have always had a particular fascination with character and portraiture. Whilst I love my job as a musician, being an illustrator has been a lifelong dream, and I’m so excited to be studying illustration alongside my freelance music career.
“I worried about applying initially because I thought I might not have enough experience, or that I’d struggle to find enough time or be organised enough. The IDI Admissions team were really friendly though, and reassured me about everything.
“I am really enjoying my studies so far, especially the practical modules. I have just finished a module designing two book covers, and I absolutely loved working on that. I feel I am learning huge amounts about creative problem solving, and I’m starting to find my own unique style which is really exciting!
“The academic modules are fascinating and always relevant to my own practice, but I do find them harder work. I have been out of higher education for over ten years so it’s been a little challenging getting back into the discipline of academic writing.
“However, the interaction with tutors and my fellow peers has been one of the best things about the course. Sharing work and trading feedback on the forums is brilliant. The work of others has given me so much inspiration and I have received a lot of positive feedback which has really boosted my confidence. I have found the tutors to be really friendly and very thorough with their feedback. As with most things, you get back as much as you put in.
“Apart from improving my skills and finding my unique creative style, I am also hoping that the course will help me to develop the working practices and the contacts to get work as an illustrator. There are future modules which deal with the business side of the industry, which I am looking forward to. The course will also enable me to build up a portfolio of good quality work which I can hopefully use to launch myself into the industry.”