During the final year of my BA Illustration degree at Cardiff Met, I was offered an opportunity to work with Santander as an intern on a creative project. Cardiff Met is involved with the Santander Internship programme, and offers opportunities like this to students quite regularly.
My tutor Amelia brought the opportunity to me. She approached me one day in the studio to ask if I would like to work on a paid project alongside my uni work. I was very busy (as are all third years!) but the chance to work on a ‘live project’ was too exciting to refuse, so I agreed to it.
The project was to illustrate a children’s book for a couple who had come to Santander for financial help to make this book for their granddaughter with a view to turning it into a charitable venture. They had recently bought her a caterpillar toy that she was afraid of and wanted me to create a book about it becoming a beautiful butterfly for her. I met the couple with Amelia and a representative from Santander, agreeing on a price of £1200 for the book. Santander’s part in this was paying £600 of the fee for the clients. I received half of the money up front, and the rest when the project was completed.
I had a few months to work on it and there were times where it was hard to balance it alongside my university work, but I tried to put aside time each evening to chip away at it. I used digital media to create the book. Creating it gave me more experience in typography, digital painting and printing – preparing a book for print wasn’t something I’d ever done before so it was great experience.
Amelia was always there to help when I needed her of course, and when I needed help with typography I was able to ask Graphic Communication tutor, David Wrenne for advice. Having easily available support from professionals within the Uni helped massively with the project.
Eventually, after a few in-progress check ups with the clients, I presented the final product to them and once they approved we took it to a local printers. Five copies of the book were made, and it was awesome to see my work put into print by a professional bookbinder. Even more fantastic was seeing the reaction on the clients’ faces when they saw the book that they’d written for their granddaughter in the flesh.
This opportunity wasn’t something I’d ever have the chance to do without Cardiff Met and it was one of the highlights of my creative career so far. It’s always worth taking up your tutor on any live projects you’re offered at your time at University – not only are they usually great chances to get new experience, but they look great on a CV.