Jade Walsh, Illustration, 2012

What are you doing now?

Since completing my BA (Hons) Illustration, I’ve developed and designed a range of greetings cards for Paper Rose, a greeting card publisher. Take a look at my work www.jade-walsh.co.uk/portfolio/paper-rose

Paper Rose also own The Art Group and Avocado Designs, which has meant I’ve been fortunate enough to work on some diverse briefs, and had my greetings cards stocked in high streets stores.

I’ve been involved in gallery exhibitions, illustrations for an event for ‘geeks’ (their words!), and had the mammoth task of illustrating the huge windows of the Curve Theatre in Leicester.

What were the main reasons you chose Derby to study?

I wanted to study at a local university as I live in Loughborough and wanted to commute. Derby was the obvious choice because as soon as I met the Illustration lecturer at the Open Day she sold it to me! I was also very impressed with the facilities and building at Markeaton Street.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

I can safely say I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, had it not been for my experience at Derby.

Before, didn’t really have the confidence to think I could actually pursue a creative career, but the fantastic guidance and support from the staff gave me that belief.

We had some excellent opportunities along the way, including a live brief with QUAD, Derby and an absolutely invaluable portfolio consultation with the Association of Illustrators.

The biggest one was to go to New Designers in London. I made so many contacts there, including Paper Rose, who two years on is still my main client. 

How did the lecturers inspire you?

Both Richard Levesley and Nicky were very positive, encouraging and gave good critical advice which helped me improve my work. They had faith in their students and were very supportive.

What are you future plans?

I’m currently researching new areas of work to branch out into – so watch this space!

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

Work hard – you’ll get out of the course what you put in. Take up all the opportunities presented to you and listen to the advice given. It worked for me!

"I think I can quite safely say I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now, had it not been for my experience at University." Jade Walsh