Category Archives: Student Stories

So, what is Reportage Photography anyway?

We chat to photographer and Central Saint Martins short course tutor Karl Grupe about the art of storytelling through photography and catch up with former students about the benefits the course has made to their own photographic creativity.

From conceptual typologies to classical photo essays, the final projects presented by students on the Reportage Photography course are always varied, but what exactly is Reportage Photography? Karl Grupe, one of two tutors teaching Reportage Photography at Central Saint Martins short courses, cites it as, “the art of storytelling through the use of still imagery. It is an umbrella term which can find its way into other genres of photography – fashion, editorial, photojournalism, visual anthropology to name a few. It is my goal to have the students leave the course feeling confident not through a belief in the precision of photography but through the play and alchemy that comes from constructing a language in photography.  Exploring and identifying where one feels comfortable in speaking visually is the essence of this course.”

Speaking with some of the graduates of Karl’s Reportage Photography course would most certainly confirm that this has been achieved.

Fran Hales is a freelance photographer, originally from New Zealand, residing in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Inspiring, challenging and motivating

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

We covered so many interesting topics and styles and I loved the weekly themed projects based around these. Karl who was our tutor is second to none. He has a brilliant way of teaching and works so well in encouraging and bringing out the best in his students.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My reportage project was called The Urban Emerald. It focused on the importance and value of green space and the wellbeing effect it has on helping people to unwind in a chaotic city such as London which swells to 11m people during the working week. The location I chose was Victoria park in London’s east end. Historically this park was created in 1845 to aid the working class in this area who were suffering from poor health and low life expectancy due to over-crowded living conditions. It was the first public park in London to be built specifically for the people and hence it is more fondly known by the locals as The People’s Park.

The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales
The Urban Emerald © Fran Hales

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

Absolutely. I already work as a photographer shooting mainly events. This course inspired me to think more about personal projects I would like to work on. It really showed me how to tell a story well and how to critique and edit my own work in a way I did not know before. It has given me more confidence. The support of the students and Karl the teacher helped me in having the confidence to present my work to the class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Do it! It’s so much fun and it gives you a great insight into the world of photography. You learn a lot whilst not being overloaded. I have done many short courses but this is one that really has made a change for me.

The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales
The Urban Emerald ©Fran Hales

Kat Kotula works in HR and is originally from Wroclaw, Poland. She has been living in London for 1 year.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Challenge, motivation, feedback.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

There was a micro assignment for every class based on the lecture we received that day. With only one week to complete, it was great motivation to go out and do something new, sometimes stepping outside the comfort zone. We were challenged to use different equipment, different techniques, exploring new topics. Being able to compare our  work to others was very beneficial as it showed how the same topic could generate very different possibilities and approaches! 

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?

Titled, “We are from the heart”, it focuses on Pippa, a single mother after being abandoned by her cheating husband, who has recently lost her job. Her life revolves around her two sons, Rudy, aged 6, a diva and a showman, and Max, aged 9, who has autism. Through my project I was trying to understand and document the family dynamic and the interactions between the three of them.  I wanted the audience to see the emotional bond that this family has and demonstrate that despite their tough circumstances, there is so much love and tenderness in their little family.

We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula
We are from the heart ©Kat Kotula

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I had already been to photography school in the past, where I learned about different techniques and genres and my final essay back then was much more arty and dreamy, based on my own inner emotions rather than the actual story.  With the help of Karl and the examples he presented in class and the personal feedback I received, I was able to tell a story that was not banal, was more personal and intimate but still, I hope, interesting to others.  I feel quite confident about my storytelling skills now. I have also learned a few new things about the research and editing of photos.  I will definitely use the series I created for my final project in my portfolio. 

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Absolutely take it and engage yourself fully in every micro assignment given.  Whether you are a novice or an experienced photographer, every form of self development is great. This course will open your eyes to different possibilities, introduce you to photographers or projects you had not known before or simply challenge you to think outside of the box. Also you will get independent feedback about your work, which will help you create something extraordinary. 

We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula
We are of the heart ©Kat Kotula

Christian Olsen’s ultimate goal is to study Photography at UAL’s, London College of Communication.  He is originally from Copenhagen and currently resides in East London.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?    

Immersive, relevant, stimulating.

What did you enjoy most about your course? 

The class discussions and peer feedback following our homework assignments.  Not only did it open up numerous aspects of your work for interpretation that you might have not expected, but it also forced inward reflection on what you succeeded in achieving and more importantly what you did not, which is the most significant part of the learning process.

Can you tell me about your Reportage Photography project and your inspiration behind it?  

Docklands was the name of my project.  As with every area of London, the Docklands is seeing transformation and transition in terms of industry, demographics and infrastructure.  Having studied in North Greenwich and commuting both by means of DLR and London City Airport, it struck me that this transformation is happening on a far larger and rapid scale than other parts of the city and history cannot keep up.  The aim of the project was to document the post-industrial state of disrepair and the bustling ambitions of the future and to juxtapose these as harshly as possible in an attempt to convey the unnerving state of the Dockland’s today.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen
Docklands ©Christian Olsen

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 

It has helped me immensely in creating a vision of where I see myself in my future photographic career. Before embarking on the course, I found it hard to handle projects of a more journalistic nature. But now I am able to hone in on more specific areas on the spectrum of photography.  I have also developed techniques of combining conceptual and reportage photography and I know what processes and pre-requisites go into creating a successful photo essay.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 

Definitely take it. Whether one is an experienced photographer or an amateur, the course content, tutor and other students will prove beneficial in terms of tools, techniques, inspiration and networking.

Docklands ©Christian Olsen
Docklands ©Christian Olsen

Following a series of Short Courses in photography at Central Saint Martins, Niaz Maleknia is now studying her Post-Graduate Diploma in Photography at UAL’s London College of Communication.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Motivational, interesting and vibrant

What did you enjoy most about the Reportage Photography short course? 

I enjoyed the weekly briefs and the feedback given by Karl and the other students. I also enjoyed learning about and discussing the work of other photographers.

Can you tell me about your Reportage project and your inspiration behind it? 

My end of course project was titled  Facebook Lolita. I am fascinated by the selfie culture and the use of photography to promote oneself and demonstrate on social media. I am a mum of a 13 year old girl and have therefore become aware of the explicitly of my daughter’s friends’ profile pictures.  I searched Facebook for open accounts and was able to screen shot the images that these girls aged 13-15 years old were posting of themselves.  The girls seemed to be living a double life, one in reality and the other on the social pages. My background is in English literature and the images reminded me of Nabokov’s controversial novel, Lolita.   I wanted to add the emoji faces to protect the identity of the girls and to also add a childhood element to them. I also saturated the colours. The final work was shown on an old slide show which made it seem more uncomfortable for the viewer.

Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia
Facebook Lolita ©Niaz Maleknia

Has this course benefitted your career or personal development? 
I have really benefitted from the course as it has enabled me to get onto the Post Graduate Diploma Course at London College of Communication. I was able to put together a body of work, and also gained a lot of knowledge which I am still finding helpful.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course? 
I would encourage anyone interested in photography to take the course, as it is taught to a high standard in a fantastic environment, which in itself is so inspiring.  Karl teaches you to look at things in a different way and the briefs are fun and challenging at the same time.  Karl is enthusiastic and gives excellent feedback so you move forward and develop your eye and skills.

Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia
Karl with students in class ©Niaz Maleknia

The next Reportage Photography Short Course is in March with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

Idea Generation Processes – How do you convert ideas into finished work?

What exactly is the creative process and how do we convert ideas into a finished piece of work? We chat to artist Madeleine Staubli about her experience on the Idea Generation Processes short course and how it taught her new ways of unlocking her creative ideas, plus experiment with new ones.

What is your name and where do you come?  

Madeleine Staubli and I’m Swiss.  I currently live in the countryside near Lucerne

What is your occupation?

Artist

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?  

Fun, intensive, great experience 

What did you enjoy most about your course Idea Generation Processes?  

It was a great opportunity to experiment with different materials and a great opportunity to get closer to my own artistic language. I learned how to use my brain in new ways and it still works even a whole year after the course. It was worth every pound. Ideal for beginners as for professionals.  I actually took Ilga’s Total Drawing course also and loved the efficient way of going through different chapters. The teaching speed created a “workflow” which made my hands become drawing hands.

What was your first impression of Central Saint Martins?

It gave me the real London feeling which I hoped to find.

What did you think of your tutor Ilga Leimanis?

I appreciated Ilga’s teaching method.  Even with 16 in a group, she was efficient and clear and she was able to teach a mixed level class effectively, it didn’t matter if they were beginners or advanced learners or professionals.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

I already had ideas about creating 3D objects but it seemed so difficult to realise them.  After the course it all became so easy and it felt as if all the doors in my brain were pushed open.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

If you really feel like experimenting and trying some other ways of thinking creatively then go for it.

What is the best thing about studying in London?

I love London and if I am there for a week I can keep my mind free of everything else. Being there enables me to occupy myself only with the things I want to.

The next Idea Generation Processes Short Course is in January with further dates throughout 2017. Check the Central Saint Martins Short Course website for further details.

Flash Fiction!

It is that time of year again, when all eyes are on the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist, and this year it is said to be the best and most confident in years.  Literary prizes such as the Man Booker are certainly inspiring, and here at Central Saint Martins Short Courses, a new creative writing course, Flash Fiction (Weekend), will teach you the craft of writing short stories in under 1000 words.

Taught by Creative Writing for Beginners tutor, Joanna Pocock, this 2-day course will invite students to read, write, and workshop stories in progress, with students finishing the course with a well-structured, complete piece of writing.

Past students of Joanna’s creative writing short courses have gone on to find successes in journalism, song-writing and even a short-listing for a literature award.

Season Butler, is one such success story, who after studying under Joanna, went on to enrol on an MA in Creative Writing and was shortlisted for the Leeds Literary Prize in 2014.

We spoke to Season about literary success and how a short course in creative writing led her into a career as a professional writer.

Books!

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?      

Energising, illuminating, challenging

What did you enjoy most about your course?         

The group taking the course with me was great, and I made awesome friends there. We were all in the same boat, trying to carve out a writing practice while juggling the demands of work and family and all the messiness of life. Writing can be a solitary activity; with the support of Joanna and the rest of the group, I didn’t feel that I was going it alone.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

This course was a springboard into my career as a professional writer. Even having studied English and Creative Writing as an undergraduate, the course at CSM was hugely valuable, helping to refresh and refocus my writing practice. For me, going on to read an MA in Creative Writing was a natural next step, and I don’t think I could have done it without the confidence and renewed skills I gained in Joanna’s class.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Go for it.  Joanna is a great teacher who creates a warm atmosphere among the participants, makes the often daunting task of writing something feel rewarding and (dare I say) fun.

Flash Fiction in a Weekend short course will take place on 26 and 27 November 2016. For further information please visit our website.

 

Ceramics Short Course alumni Maria Gasparian wins MullenLowe Nova Award

It’s been an interesting journey for Architect Maria Gasparian, who following an inspirational Short Course in Ceramics at Central Saint Martins, subsequently enrolled on an MA in Ceramic Design and graduated with distinction this summer.   Following this she won a MullenLowe Nova Award and Unilever Sustainability Award for her Colour Ceramic City, which aims to offer an engaging and sensory experience within pubic urban spaces.

Photo by Vic Phillips
Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City Photo by Vic Phillips

Currently on display at Brain Waves, a Central Saint Martins Lethaby Gallery exhibition, the self-supporting sculptural ceramic pieces and dynamic volumes, formed by extruded clay coils have an abstract plane with two faces that celebrates the plasticity of clay and brilliance of the glazes. The pieces are scalable and can adapt to local contexts offering endless opportunities for site-specific interventions creating vibrant spaces within a city.

Maria Gasparian, Ceramic City, materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips
Maria Gasparian, Colour Ceramic City, Materials: clay, earthenware glaze Photo by Vic Phillips

We asked Maria about her journey from ceramics short course student to award winning MA Ceramics graduate and how her Ceramics Short Course changed the path of her career.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?   

Eye-opener, Informative, Intensive

What did you enjoy most about your course?  

The teaching, hands on experience and experimentation.

How has this course benefitted your career or personal development?

The short course on Architectural Ceramics was a start of a new path in my career. I had been practicing as an architect at the time and also attending part-time pottery classes. Joining the short course gave me an idea about how to combine the two practices. Subsequently I enrolled on MA in Ceramic Design at CSM and graduated with distinction this summer.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

With work, study or family commitments it is often difficult to subscribe to a full time course particularly if it is in a new discipline for someone. Short courses are a very good way to try new ideas or test something that one had on their mind for a long time.

The next Ceramics for Beginners short course starts on 22 October 2016.  For further information please visit our website.  Taught by Simeon Featherstone, the course will teach you how to construct forms using hand-building techniques, create colourful and decorative surface patterns and also experiment with slip-casting.

Also in December we have exciting new course, Ceramic Screen-Printing and Ceramic Transfers, which will teach you how to design and produce your own screen-printed transfers.  Our full course offer of Ceramic Short Courses can be found on the Central Saint Martins Short Courses website.

CSM Short Courses Easter School!

Students travel from all over the world to study Short Courses at Central Saint Martins. We meet students who are changing career, preparing for a degree, beginners, enthusiasts, experimenters, and everyone in between. We spoke to some of our Easter School students about their Short Courses and why they chose to study with us

Helene Rosas - Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet
Helene Rosas – Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Helene and I live in France.

You’ve been studying Fashion Design and Marketing this week, why did you choose this course?

I am looking for a job in Fashion Design but, for me, it is important for a fashion designer to know how to build a brand and know the marketing process that comes with it. I feel it is important to know how this world works. My course has been taught by Erica Charles who is very experienced and really knows what she is talking about. Erica was really stunning, and we can all tell how passionate she is. She has taught me that even though some brands are not huge, there is a world behind it that was not obvious first. London has been an inspiration as well! The people, the museums, the streets…London has a very important cultural influence around the world. Everyone knows it, but you can feel it when you are here.

Sarah Beka - Jewellery Making for Beginners ©Jet
Sarah Beka – Jewellery Making for Beginners ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Sarah, I’m Belgian and I live in London, UK.

You have studied Jewellery Making for Beginners this week. Why did you pick this course?

I’ve always wanted to learn about making jewellery and how to work with metals. The techniques I have learnt and the professionalism of the tutor have been the best thing about the course. As I am a beginner at making jewellery, I feel I’ve learnt everything I need to know to start making on my own! The tutor, Anastasia Young, has been great. She gives clear explanations and is always ready to give help and advice. Anastasia has lots of experience in Jewellery. This was a great course to develop my potential, and I would like to come back for more courses!

Ingrid Monti - Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet
Ingrid Monti – Fashion Design and Marketing ©Jet

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Ingrid and I am from Paris, France.

You have studied Fashion Design and Marketing this week. Why did you pick this course?

 I chose this course for two reasons. The first is Erica Charles, the tutor. I read her profile and I was really impressed by her career and thought that she would have a lot to teach me (and I was right!). The second is that my previous career was only related to product and I felt marketing was something I needed to fill the gap.  When I arrived on the Monday morning, the sky was grey and the fountains outside the building were making steam. It really added some drama to arriving at CSM. Inside, I was thinking “Wow! I am studying at Central Saint Martins!” I feel like I am in the right place. Central Saint Martins and London has a different spirit to anywhere else: everything is cooler, less formal. The city has some amazing architecture but it is the people and their style that I like to observe.

Ingrid runs her own accessories brand Sainte Isaure which you can follow on Instagram and like on Facebook 

Costantina Boubouka - Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley
Costantina Boubouka – Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I am Constantina and I am Greek/Italian, but live in London, UK.

Why did you pick Fashion and Textile Forecasting for your studies?

I chose this course to get a better understanding of the industry and to find out what areas to focus on as a Trend Consultant. The variety of the subjects on the course have been amazing and it has been great to learn about the different areas people in the industry look to for inspiration. Our tutor, Bridget Miles, is a very knowledgeable tutor. She is very patient and open to discussions with her class. London is such an inspiring city to be in. It is a multicultural hub that is perfect for someone who wants to start their own business or kick start their career. The city surprises me every day with the new shops, galleries, and restaurants. They say that if you get tired of London, then you’re tired of life!

Chloe Mercer - Set Design for Film & Television ©Jake Longley
Chloe Mercer – Set Design for Film & Television ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I am Chloe and I am from York, UK.

You have studied Set Design for Film and Television. Why did you pick this course?

I wanted to build upon the Fine Art degree I have as well as aid my development. The course is helping me prepare for a new job that I am moving into. The class size is small so one to one contact with the tutor, Clara Zita, really helps you to understand and feel confident in your ideas and progress. The course covers 3D model making which I have not had much experience in before. I now feel confident in the process and method! It’s been nice to be taught by a tutor who currently works in the industry so they can offer first-hand experience and knowledge. I have not been able to get out to see much of London and the exhibitions as I’ve been staying behind after class to use the facilities Central Saint Martins has.

Inhara Ortiz Toledo - Fabrics and Fibres ©Jake Longley
Inhara Ortiz Toledo – Fabrics and Fibres ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Inhara, I am Mexican and I live in London, UK.

Which course have you studied with us this week?

I have studied Fabrics and Fibres, taught by Veronica Shattuck. I picked this course because I would like to get involved with the sustainable fashion industry. Learning where and how fabrics are made is very important and interesting to me. Meeting new people from around the world has been great and, as part of the course, I learnt how to make fabric from a fibre! Veronica, our tutor, is very good and knows so much about the topic, she has so much experience. I’ve loved studying at Central Saint Martins, it’s so relaxed and inspirational. You can follow my work here: @Obope

Marta Botas Perez - Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley
Marta Botas Perez – Fashion and Textile Forecasting ©Jake Longley

What’s your name and where do you come from?

I’m Marta and I am from Spain.

Why did you pick Fashion and Textile Forecasting for your studies?

I chose this course as I would like to work in the fashion business as a buyer. The course allows you the freedom to express total creativity in your works, to share them with your mates, as well as meet and learn from new people from different cultures. I felt very happy and comfortable at Central Saint Martins. I think it is a very good opportunity to develop your artistic talent and other creative people. I would really like to come back to study more short courses and maybe a Master’s degree. My experience of CSM and London has been amazing.

Our Easter School is fast approaching, please check our the Short Course website for all available courses and dates.

Student Review: Total Drawing

Angelica Salvia is a recent graduate of our Total Drawing course, taught by Ilga Leimanis.  We had a chat to Angelica about her experience on the course and how it has benefitted her career and personal development

Why did you choose to study Total Drawing?

I chose the Total Drawing course because I needed to regain a physical approach to creativity which I feel I had lost over the years through the increasing usage of technological devices in my profession.  Also, as a designer, I personally find it fundamental to stay challenged, strengthening my mental flexibility and forcing me to adapt to a different point of view.

What 3 words describe your short course experience at Central Saint Martins?

Solid, for its structure. The first part of the class was always very intense and focused on technique. The afternoon was dedicated to a looser approach to the visual representation and was more emotionally engaging.

Intimate, because of the limited number of people admitted to the class which allowed us to fully engage and concentrate.  The presence of like-minded people enjoying the moment and our encouraging tutor, created a positive creative energy in the classroom.

Flexible, for the variety of subjects drawn, the use of outdoor venues, and the freedom of expression gained once we were given basic technical directions.

Angelica Salvia
Angelica Salvia

What did you enjoy most about your course?

The Life Drawing sessions were surprisingly overwhelming and challenging. The task of catching the whole essence of a pose in only a few seconds when the model was changing poses very quickly was highly engaging.

How has this course benefited your career or personal development?

By slowly taking control of my drawing skills again, my spatial awareness has become more powerful.  Through drawing I have developed a more fluid hand, which allows me to design a more spontaneous and vivid imprint of my spatial visions.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking this course?

Whatever your ability, this course will be the occasion to learn new skills or refresh existing skills and perspectives. You may also find that a particular exercise actually triggers something you can adapt and use in your profession. I would suggest approaching it with an open mind as you might be really surprised with what you are able to achieve at the end of the day. Ultimately just enjoy the process and trust your intuition!

The next Total Drawing Course starts on 11 April 2016 with further dates throughout the year

The course is also taught online with the next course starting on 28 April 2016

Ilga Leimanis also teaches:

Drawing Portfolio – Daytime

Portfolio Sketchbook

Related Blog Post

 

PPA Exposed! Final Exhibition

Students from the Professional Practice And Academic Portfolio Course (PPA) held their final exhibition earlier this month, with themes focusing on time, memory and family history, self-portraiture, fashion and performance, street portraits, appropriation and collage, repetition and taxonomy.  Speaking about the course, tutor Kathryn Faulkner said:

The PPA is targeted at anyone who is passionate about Photography and is keen to learn more skills and develop their thinking around what and why they make photographs. There is no limit to age or experience but we are looking for well-motivated and engaged students who will work well together. The course is divided into two stages.  After set assignments in Stage 1, the students develop a self-initiated project during Stage 2 and this is presented publicly in a Final Show at the end of the course.  In this year’s final exhibition everyone made a highly individual and personal body of work. There is no house style and the purpose of the course is to help students identify what is most important to them. Students leave with a workbook, an essay, a new portfolio of work and some make artists books. Hopefully they leave with a new found confidence in speaking about their work too.”

Speaking about his experience on the course, PPA Graduate Charlie Gao cited the experience as being “rigorous as well as challenging your own creativity”.

“Being able to critique and see the flaws of your own work is something that develops over time, and I think important to making further advancements as an artist. Being able to develop my own work and photographic identity whilst surrounded by a group of peers with diverse photographic practices, bouncing ideas off each other, being creative, trying new things, working across different mediums – still, moving image, analogue, digital.  This course has the potential to give you the practical skills and confidence to practise photography in any context and to the highest level, whether professionally or academically on an MA course.”

Whilst fellow PPA graduate Zhen Lin spoke of the experience as being “inspirational, practical, and mind-consuming”.

Congratulations to all 7 graduates and their amazing final exhibition

LUCY BARRIBALL

MARILIA CAMELO

CHARLIE GAO

ZHEN LIN

ANNA JONES

OLIVIA LANGNER

TINNAPHOP TONITIWONG

A COLLABORATION (all of the above)

 

Need some inspiration?

Have you been thinking about mastering a new skill, expanding your knowledge, or boosting your career?  Liga Zemture, recently completed our Introduction to the Fashion Blogging Business Short Course and it changed her life and career.  Speaking of her experience over on her blog Marble Avenues, “Sometimes there comes the moment when you realize that you can do much more and much better — and this is the right time to do it.”  The course, taught by Laetitia Wajnapel, a Parisian journalist and photographer and founder of MademoiselleRobot.com, looks at how to create compelling online content, blogging for online publications, and how to create blog content for a business wishing to promote itself and increase its search engine optimization. Our next Introduction to the Fashion Blogging Business Short Course starts in August.

Read Liga’s full blog post over on Marble Avenues.

Instagram Competition Winner

During our Autumn Term we ran an Instagram competition for our Short Course students with a £50 Topshop/Topman voucher up for grabs.  The winner was Kateryna Solohub who took this wonderful snap during her Introduction to Drawing Short Course, taught by Peter Towse.  Well done Kateryna!  Studying a Short Course with us?  Share your experience! #MyCSM

Thinking about summer already?

Thinking about summer already?  Thinking about studying a Central Saint Martins Short Course?  Check out some of the students we met in summer in 2015 for some insight and inspiration!

Fashion Drawing for Absolute Beginners
Céline Leconte – Fashion Drawing for Absolute Beginners

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Celine and I’m French but I live in London, working as a General Practitioner.

You are studying Fashion Drawing for Beginners this week, what made you choose this course?

I recently accepted a place on the BA Theatre & Screen: Costume Interpretation course at Wimbledon College of Arts. Being a medical doctor, I don’t have any art background, nor have I done a Foundation course, so I chose Fashion Drawing for Absolute Beginners to prepare me for starting my BA, as fashion drawing is my weakest skill. The pace of the course was perfect as we started with the basics, helping us to gain the confidence to move on to more difficult drawing gradually. This way of teaching helped me to improve without realising and the on-going feedback helped us to learn from our mistakes effectively. The diversity of the class further enhanced my experience at Central Saint Martins as the different ages, skills, expectations and backgrounds in our cohort created a very open minded learning environment.

Wan Yuk Ng - Haute Couture Embroidery
Wan Yuk Ng – Haute Couture Embroidery

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Ng Wan Yuk and I’m from Hong Kong

You are studying Haute Couture Embroidery this week, what made you choose this course?

I chose to study this course as I love fashion and therefore wanted to study something fashion related. Also, in Hong Kong where I’m from, it is difficult to find a real, traditional and talented haute couture embroidery teacher. Luckily I found that teacher at Central Saint Martins Short courses. The learning environment at Central Saint Martins was fantastic and I’ve left the course with many haute couture embroidery techniques.

Rita Ceolato - Fashion Styling for 16-18 year olds
Rita Ceolato – Fashion Styling for 16-18 year olds

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Hi, I’m Rita and I’m from Italy.

You are studying Fashion Styling for 16-18 year olds this week, what made you choose this course?

I am studying Fashion already in Italy but I wanted to see the differences in teaching between Italy and London.  London is a very inspiring city to study in as there are such an eclectic mix of styles to see all around you. I’ve learned so much from this course and I want to return next summer to try out a tailoring or design course.

Nur Amani Marzoki - Service Design
Nur Amani Marzoki – Service Design

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Nur and I live between Malaysia and England.

You are studying Service Design this week, what made you choose this course?

I was involved in a project that delivers services to both supplier and clients, so this course was perfect for me. Service Design is a very fun and interactive course with a good balance between group activities and personal presentations. We learned numerous service design tools such as persona profiles and user journeys which will support me in my job. I am so happy to have found this type of course at Central Saint Martins, as I thought they only taught art and fashion. Thankfully I was wrong.

Megg Macedo Thurner - Fashion Design and Marketing
Megg Macedo Thurner – Fashion Design and Marketing

What’s your name and where do you come from?

My name is Megg and I’m from Brazil.

You are studying Fashion Design and Marketing this week, what made you choose this course?

As I am a Freelance Fashion Designer and Consultant, I wanted to learn more about the fashion business to help with the launch of my own brand next year, so this course was the perfect choice for me. I’ve learned so much about how a commercial collection works and all the steps we need to develop it. Most importantly I’ve learned the importance of being creative without forgetting about the consumer who ultimately will lead your brand. Previous to this course I studied Fashion Business Practice and Fashion Styling for Beginners and I wouldn’t hesitate to study another short course in future. I couldn’t be happier studying here at Central Saint Martins.

Julia Klokova – Experimental Fashion Drawing

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Julia and I’m from Kiev, Ukraine.

You’ve been studying Fashion Drawing for Beginners and Experimental Fashion Drawing Short Courses, what made you choose these courses?

I heard about these courses on Facebook and as I’ve been thinking about changing my career, I thought that studying some Short Courses at Central Saint Martins would be a good place to start.  Alexis Panayiotou has been an amazing and inspirational tutor and studying in the Granary Square building has been an inspiration in itself.  I feel like my drawing skills have developed quickly over these past few weeks and I’m happy that I can now draw without looking at the paper! I hope to study more Short Courses at Central Saint Martins next summer.

Caitlin Decker - Fashion Photography
Caitlin Decker – Fashion Photography

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Caitlin Decker from the USA but I’m currently living in Cambodia.

You are studying Fashion Photography this week, what made you choose this course?

I want to be able to photograph the clothing I make in an interesting and beautiful way.   Taking this course has taught me how to use my camera to its full potential and I’ve particularly enjoyed learning how different types of light work on bone structure and faces.  It has been fantastic learning from my tutor Leigh Keily, a true professional in the field and to also share ideas with fellow students who bring different styles and perspectives to the assignments.  London is an amazing city to study in with its wide variety of cultures, art and food, it is easy to take inspiration from everywhere. It feels like the city was built for creativity.

Simian Zhao - Art Direction for Fashion
Simian Zhao – Art Direction for Fashion

What’s your name and where do you come from?

Simian, I’m from China but currently living in London.

You have been studying Art Direction for Fashion, how has your experience been?

We have learned about the business side of the fashion industry and how to plan a fashion shoot from scratch.  This means considering everything from catering, to the weather, to basically everything! Our tutor Schelay McCarter is so well prepared, provides great guidance, and her advice on how to survive in the industry has been invaluable.  The Central Saint Martins building is breath taking and taking Short Courses that support my full time BA study at London College of Fashion has been such a wise choice.  I hope to take more and perhaps take an MA at Central Saint Martins in the future.  In London there is always something new to experience, be it a new bar, new exhibition, new restaurant, new event and I love that the city continues to surprise me.