KaloolaJay Studio

Kate from ‘KaloolaJay Studio’ answered some questions to give us an insight into her work and how this developed naturally from her main interest and career. By being in a community of inspiring, creative people as well as having to explain project ideas through illustration and drawing, Kate developed her work as it is today: bold and contemporary, allowing her to create without limitations.

How did you start off as a designer?

I’m from a small rural town in Lincolnshire (a farm and fields kind of place) but moved to Sheffield at 19 when I started my undergraduate architecture course at university.

I’ve always loved drawing and painting, but never had lessons, so I’m self-taught. My life as a designer really took off when I started university and threw myself into the creativity of my architecture degree amongst a community of inspiring people. I especially enjoyed creating collages and found this was the best way to express my ideas and I still use this as a tool today. Although my prints are created digitally there is a lot of behind-the-scenes crafting and sketching that goes into them.

Do you have any educational background in the arts? – If so tell us about this and if this helped you develop as a designer

My background is in architecture and for the past eight years I have been studying towards becoming qualified, progressing through my bachelors and master’s degrees at university in Sheffield. Actually, I’ve just sat my final exams, so my fingers and toes are crossed in the hope that I will be able to call myself an architect in the new year! Working as an architectural assistant for the past five years I have had to explain building projects through illustration and drawing so in this sense I have developed my graphic design skills. I’m fascinated by being able to blend architecture and illustration in a bold and contemporary way through my prints.

Currently, my graphic design work is a side line to my full-time job as an architectural assistant. However, I think the two combine really well and when I can’t be as creative as I’d like to be in my job I can be more free and expressive when I’m designing my prints. Being free to create without limitations makes me happy and it’s why I started KaloolaJay Studio
Where would you say you gather your inspiration from and do you constantly collect this inspiration?

I gather inspiration from so many sources and create seasonal mood boards to collate ideas that I want to explore in the upcoming months. Instagram, Pinterest, my own travels and photos are a few places I gather inspiration from. Currently I’m really inspired by the #accidentallywesanderson collection on Instagram. Compiling inspiration is something I do constantly, and this provides me with fresh ideas to keep my prints current and exciting.
How do you use this inspiration?

Often, I will collect a photo of a building I particularly like and from this I will sketch out a composition for a print, so I have a mixture of sketches and photographs in my inspiration collection. The process of sketching from a photo really helps me appreciate the smaller details of a building and the atmosphere I want to create.
Pastel colours are often used in your designs/prints, why is this? Could you see yourself moving away from this type of pallet?

I was drawn to pastel colours over the summer and focused on a bright candy coloured, tropical palette. However, now that it’s Winter I’m moving into deeper/darker colours, with purples, reds and oranges. I love bright and vibrant colours and think that this will always be a feature of my work. I’ve also started to explore adding textures to my prints and like the collage effect that this brings.


Want this print? Click Here

Where next for KaloolaJay Studio?

I’m still in the very early stages of what KaloolaJay Studio might be and anything could be around the corner, but for now the plan is to keep enjoying what I’m doing and create more prints. I’m currently only selling prints online on Etsy but I’d love to get involved in more craft fairs and events next year. Meeting lovely people and sharing experiences and knowledge was always a big part of this for me and I’m hoping to get out and about with my prints soon. The main goal is to keep designing for happy customers.

Follow KaloolaJay Studio on Instagram!

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Georgia Campbell Design


Dean Pallister – Photographer

Dean is a Freelance Photographer originally from Darlington, North East who now lives and studies in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

Throughout practising photography his goal is to reach the skills of Roy and Adi Nachum, Steven Klein and Paolo Roversi. He aims in creating a very crisp style in his work and is very much inspired by Terry Richardson.

This interview was conducted in person unlike my other interviews so I felt the responses were different to what I usually get – I have written his answers after listening back to the recording of the interview.

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What inspires you? 

Peoples facial expressions in portraiture inspires me because of the way someone can look and how you can change the way the photo looks by changing their expression with even one word. A person can look sad and you can say one word to change that – they then smile and you can capture that, therefore capturing two images with different emotions.

The shiny effects, details and how they pick up light and tone is why I like cars as a subject. They always have shadow and light and I feel this is captured better in black and white and enhances the photographs.

When did you first pick up a camera?

At school in year 11 but I hated it and it was the worst thing I had ever done – at college I studied Art and Design and the photography I did there was completely different. We learnt about landscape photography, product and portraiture photography in a studio and it went from there.

What makes a good photographer and how do you think you could improve personally?

Someone who can see something that nobody else can – lowering or lifting an angle for a competition that you wouldn’t normally get to see just walking along a street.

I feel like I should experiment with my style more and maybe change it or just experiment more – usually my portraiture is simple but I would like to do something more elaborate like collaborating with Media Make-up students of Fashion Designers and do a bold, colourful shoot.

Who inspires you?

Lady Gaga – this is for many reasons but also because of the way she looks, I would love to photograph her. Paolo Roversi is also a photographer that I find inspiring – especially his images of Rhianna.

Why is photography an important part of todays society?

You can capture something that won’t be seen again and it can be used throughout history. A photograph tells a thousand words but it can also be responded to in a negative light even if its meant to be positive.

Candid or staged?

Candid always as it is real emotion you are capturing rather than telling someone what emotion you want them to feel. I like to pick up emotion in my pieces.

Whats the importance of photography to you?

Being able to take myself out of my own head for a bit – a release like drawing or painting. When I’m stressed I usually go take a few photos.

What’s your approach to Photography?

Just going out and doing it, being an opportunist rather than setting out to go take photographs.

Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?

New York City, Number One from ‘The Streets’


What stands out to me is how nothing is staged – people are all in a line doing their own thing with their own current thoughts that are captured in that one image.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

How to take a decent one. I’d say working in a studio gives you these skills – at college we would have a black sheet and put objects on it – like Karl Blossfeldt, this style of work made me gain knowledge .

From your point of view, what makes a good picture?

Something that shows more than a photo, something worth looking at like emotion.

What do you do to always keep up with the times while still maintaining your own ‘style’?

Go with your own approach. I would never enjoy using film which is coming back now, I have tried it but I much prefer digital photography and I don’t feel comfortable using anything else.

Usual Camera Settings to make sure he gets the same quality throughout his works


AV or TV

ISO 100




28-70mm – Most Used

Screenshot 2018-10-05 at 13.42.14

Would you class photography more liberating/restrictive than other art forms?

It is very much liberating – because if you can’t paint you can’t paint with photography you can’t not take a photo you can learn but with painting you have to have some skill already there.

Where do you see your career going?

Owning my own studio in NY City is the dream and following in the footsteps of Humans in New York – they find people in the street and record a video about them and take one portrait image and write about them, usually people with stories to tell such as the homeless

I would like to sell some work but I am just unsure how to market it.

Why did you choose to leave uni after your first year?

It was hell, it wasn’t following the direction I thought it would and I felt this held me back.

I expected to be taking thousands of photos and making a portfolio out of them but it was more of taking a photo and writing a huge powerpoint on it – or taking three film photos and developing them.

I feel I have the style and the skill to continue with my own practice without studying.


Website – www.deanpallisterphotography.com

Instagram – @deanpphotography

Stephanie Reid – Her Practice and Xposed Designers Platform

Stephanie is a Scottish born Textile Designer who is now based in London. She studied Textile Design BDes(Hons) at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee, Scotland in which she graduated with a First Class Hons Degree in 2016.

How did you develop into having the practice you do now – is this because of an educational background in the arts?

I have always loved art from a very young age. I was introduced to the idea of textile design at around 15 years old, I did a project at school on silk painting, where I learnt the basics of repeat pattern and decided to go on to study a degree in Textile Design.

During my time at university I interned for Timorous Beasties & Hatti Pattisson where I gained an insight into the textile industry. I then exhibited at New Designers 2016, which was an amazing experience. I was overwhelmed with the positive response to my design work. Through New Designers, I was offered a 6 month internship which lead to a full time job as a designer for a luxury furnishing fabric company based in West London.


Where do you gather your inspiration from and how do you collect this information?

I am obsessed with colour. Everywhere I go I search for interesting colour palettes and eye-catching pattern. My surroundings have always, and will continue to influence my textile design work. I would say my main source of inspiration comes from nature – my graduate collection was inspired by tropical plants of the rainforest. I visited Dundee Botanical Gardens and Kew Gardens in London to collect first-hand drawings and photographs. I take my time with this step of my process as I feel having good quality photography and drawings helps the development process greatly. It’s important to me to explore my subject in detail.

How do you develop your practice?

Once I have a bank of drawings and paintings, I usually scan all my artwork into the computer. I then extract pattern, shape and texture from each drawing. I use Photoshop to create motifs and to play around with scale. I then put my motifs into repeat and begin looking at different colourings.

What media do you prefer to work with?

I use a variety of media to create drawings, marks and textures. I usually reach for watercolours or gouache and I also enjoy using black ink to create interesting marks.

Some words of advise from a practicing Textile Designer…

I feel strongly about gaining industry experience. There is so much to learn and understand about the industry and so many valuable lessons that university can’t teach you. I would urge anyone trying to get into the industry to get as much industry experience as possible. I am by no means an expert, but since I started working within the industry I have learnt so much. No matter what degree you have, experience will always get you further, in my opinion.


Screenshot 2018-10-04 at 17.32.14

What kickstarted ‘Exposed Designers’

Exposed Designers launched around 3 years ago. We felt there was a gap in the social media world for new, emerging designers to get the recognition and promotion they need to establish their names in the industry. As we know, the design industry is a hard one to conquer, so we wanted to create a community of emerging designers to share their work and gain inspiration. It is also a place to connect with others and find opportunity within the industry.

I think social media is a great marketing tool, especially for those of us in the design industry. It is an image-based platform that has so many opportunities. I studied the relationship between social media and businesses for my dissertation where I learnt a lot about social media and how to use it effectively. So, having this knowledge was definitely an advantage when I set up Exposed Designers.

How do you decide what you feature/re-post?

At the beginning there wasn’t much of a selection process, I was trying to give as many designer’s recognition as I could. 3 years later, with almost 24,000 followers, we get a lot of requests, so unfortunately it is impossible to feature everyone. I look for high quality imagery, creative design work and a well curated Instagram page.

Would you like to expand this further in anyway, if so how?

I would love to expand Exposed Designers, in fact I am currently thinking of ways to do so. I am always on the lookout for brands to collaborate with, we have done a few giveaway competitions which I would like to continue with. I have also thought about advertising relevant jobs, competitions & internships through the website to help our followers get their foot in the door of the textile industry. I would really like some feedback from our followers, so if you’re reading this, please let me know what you would like to get through Exposed Designers in the future!

Is there anything you would like to add?

Steph runs monthly competitions through the ED Instagram page where she offers each ‘Designer of the Month’ a feature page on the website which gives them a platform to be seen by industry professionals and other designers.

“Hopefully in the future I will develop more ways to help emerging designers get noticed within the industry.”







York College – Make Your Mark

Recently the students studying their Extended and Foundation Art and Design diplomas at York College have exhibited their final major projects before they head off to new destinations and ventures. Here are just a few of the emerging talent from these courses at the college.

Ellie Morgan – ‘Loss of Identity’

Student of the Art and Design Extended course at the college, specialising in Fine Art. Her project was based on loss on identity and how the media can contribute towards this – ‘Once you are online you become a number not a person. From the use of media it takes away emotion and feelings towards one person, as it is over a screen.’ The series of images she created all had the identity hidden behind textures – which used various types of media.



Destination – Foundation Course at York College

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Holly Crerar – ‘Human Anatomy’

Before starting the Foundation Diploma, Holly studied for her A levels at the college – one of which was textiles where she realised her passion for the subject. ‘Human Anatomy’ is aiming to portray the idea that on the inside we are all the same no matter what views or opinions we have. I think that is so important, especially in this day and age when people are so often singled out for factors such as their beliefs or sexuality. ‘I wanted to create a textiles piece that is beautiful to look at, but has an important message behind it backed up by my research and background of the work. I hope everyone can relate to it and that it will make people think about these issues.’

The Foundation cause has allowed her to experiment with different areas with in surface pattern design, considering her favourite to be interiors because of the broad range of products you can create for it.

Holly was really impressed with the facilities Birmingham offered for the course she has chosen as well as the vast links with industry. Also the vibrancy of the city itself.


Destination – Birmingham City University

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Rose Kershaw – ‘Cirque Du Soleil’

Her piece is a costume made for ‘Cirque Du Soleil’, based off big cats.  She decided to make a body suit – for ease of movement for the performers and a see through mask so the performers could still use facial expressions to enhance their performance.

She chose to influence her costume with big cats because she felt that an acrobatic/dancers movements are very feline and that these linked really well.

Model – Jasper Mountain @niamitsu_no (Comic Book Artists)


Destination – University of Huddersfield, Costume design with textiles 

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Mia Proctor – ‘Japan’

Her project was all about Japan and the things that she loves about it – modern fashion trends, food and drink, nature and religion etc. Mia did a lot of research into these areas which lead her to produce her final pieces.

Her final piece was an alternate travel guide, she used Japanese book-binding and placed the pages so that it would be read from the back to the front- like a traditional Japanese book would be.

It consisted of – the things that you would expect to find in Japan, the traditional food such as sushi and then on the alternate page it had illustrations of the strange foods eaten in Japan such as raw horse meat.

She made part of the book on ‘Yami Kawaii’ which translates to ‘dark cute’ a new fashion trend in Japan which tackles mental illness and suicide by people wearing bandages, surgical masks, noose and syringe necklaces as accessories.

“Throughout this project, I wanted to develop my screen-printing skills so I did a couple of Japanese typography pieces using different colours and I also sold a few at the ‘Print Stuff’ fair in York. As well as these, I made a simple 2 colour screen-print with a Japanese poppy, which was one of the centre pieces in my creative show space.”

Mia also made badges and stickers from the illustrations she had made during the project, she thought this would be a nice idea so that people could take them and remember her work.


Instagram – @miaproctorart



Destination – Leeds Arts University, Foundation Year in Art and Design

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Elizabeth Forbes

After previously doing A level art, Elizabeth didn’t feel ready to choose a specialism so she decided to complete the Foundation Diploma at the college where this helped her to decide on a route

Initially when I came to York College I wasn’t sure what I would specialise in because when I completed art a levels I was only exposed to a small proportion of art and design. During a levels I had an interest in digitalising art work and repeats but I didn’t know what specialism would be most suited to me. After the first month or so of trying all the different specialisms I realised Fashion and textiles was the most suited for me due to the textile prints I am interested in as well as my interest in digital programmes for art. For my Final Major Project I chose to look at fruits and flowers because I found their textures interesting. Fruits and Flowers had great potential for textile prints because a lot of common textile designs contain that. When I was creating my prints I looked at Susan Driscoll, Minakani and Marimekko. I was most inspired by Driscoll due to her loose line drawings and filling blank spaces with colourful dots. After I had a few designs I looked into products that were most suited for them and with the help of my tutor I chose kitchenware. I was really pleased with my designs even more so once they were on an object and fabric. I look forward to studying Printed Textiles at University to develop my style and learn more about the industry.



Destination – Leeds Arts University, Printed Textiles and Surface Pattern Design

Instagram – @elizabethforbes.design

Lucy Fradley – Heads of Strong Old Age

Emerging Female photographer Lucy is currently based in Edinburgh, originally from Peterborough she made the move up North to study at Edinburgh College of Art.

What would you describe the preconceptions and stereotypes of old age to be?

From research and surveys I found that some of the preconceptions of old age were that they are “frail” “restricted” and “past-it” additionally there were views that they are dependant on others, staying at home most the day, leaving them “lonely” and “powerless”.

Tell us abit about these interviews? Anything that stood out to you in particular?

Everyone that I interviewed had stories about their childhood as well as many things that are currently keeping them busy. Such as organising charity events, working as a still life model, being involved in creative groups, travelling, along with many more interests and hobbies. It was lovely to get to know these people and listen to what they had to share, it was a real privilege. One of the things that stood out to me was that even though Liz has Alzheimer’s, she still spoke highly of the things that clearly meant a lot to her, for example her love for Ray was something that showed throughout the interview. Then when I went to photograph them in their house (that Ray had designed), Liz played the piano almost perfectly for me, it was as if the disease had stolen some parts of her memory but other parts of her personality and character were so strongly embedded that they remain strong and true.

Personally I feel that we can learn a lot from the older generation, whats one thing that you value that you have learnt from the interviews or the older generation in your life?

In my interviews I made sure to ask if there was any advice that they would like to share. I was advised to “listen to years” that we have so much to learn from the older generations, which was something I appreciated even more because of this project. “Grab the moment and make the most of it, do what you want to do, don’t think there’s nothing you cant do.”

What did you want to get across in these photographs?

I intended on capturing a sense of who they really were, and by using the interviews I could pick out certain aspects of what they told me about themselves and use them within my photographs. It was a way of me trying to give the viewer a fresh perspective of the older generation.

What have peoples responses been to this project?

The people that I photographed and interviewed were interested in what I was trying to say through this project and were very supportive. I left a comment book by my work in the exhibition and some of the responses given were that the “concept and photographs were beautiful” and that I “captured the beauty, character and value of the subjects” I had been told I had created moving and touching work. So I am extremely pleased with the responses to my project.

Amongst your works from this project which is your favourite and why?

The photograph of my Grandpa peeling the orange with his teeth is one of my favourites! He told me about how when he was younger he ate so many oranges that people called him the orange king and I feel I captured the humour of that as well as showing how he usually peels his oranges as well as including this comment within the sound recording. The project being a way of learning about someone I care about and thought I had heard all of his stories.



What usually inspires you?

I try to visit galleries as often as I can. I am also very lucky to be surrounded by so many creative people, everyone on my degree course is so talented and their energy often inspires me. My mum is also a creative and I always find myself inspired by her.

Nowadays almost everyone has access to devices with which it is possible to take pictures. What do you think is the difference between a professional photographer and any other hobby photographer?

There are lots of similarities between the two, but I think it comes down to the time commitment to photography, if you spend all your time working on your art it is inevitable that you develop a greater understanding and skill.

Who influenced you the most? Is there any other photographer that you considers as a kind of idol?

It’s so hard to pick just one artist, but the name that comes to mind is Irving Penn, his portraiture helped guide my project “The heads of strong old age are beautiful/ beyond the grace of youth”, and his still life work influenced me in one of my more recent pieces of work in as my “Mortality” project. He has always inspired me, when I did my A-levels, I entered a competition with a set of images inspired by him, I won an award and my work was exhibited in The Strand Gallery London.

In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?

I wouldn’t say that I avoid anything, I don’t want to stop myself from learning, infect if I feel myself avoiding I actively pursue that type of photograph. I want to improve and challenge myself in all directions. Recently I have been photographing events in order to develop and improve in those situations.

Would you class photography more liberating/restrictive than other art forms?

I don’t believe any art is restrictive, and I don’t find photography more or less so, I find that they can often intertwine anyway. Where suitable I try to involve other creative aspects to my work. My “Mortality” project included paint and clay with sculptural elements, so in my opinion it is best not to view any art as limiting because you can do with it whatever you can imagine or think of. I have always enjoyed creating other work which isn’t photography based, so I look for any chance to combine.

What will be the future of photography in next 20 years? We have seen an extreme shift in the photographic tech and styles in the last couple of decades. Where will it be in future in your opinion?

I’ve read that there are ideas about alterations being made to the lenses of cameras that will allow completely different ways of interpreting light, which if it can be done will be something really interesting to explore. I’m not sure how the internets involvement will alter photography further, but it has already opened up the opportunity to become involved in photography to so many people. I also believe that there will be elements of 3D photography that will be progressing because so many things seem to be going this way, i.e. 3D printing and the cinema, so there must be a way that they can involve photography in this development.

Where do you see your career going?

I’m still developing and exploring what I can do myself. I don’t feel like I can tell you right now where my career will go. I am currently taking it as it comes and I still have a couple of years at university to figure out where I’m going, and its amazing how much can change in a few months, so I’m excited to see where I end up.

Any upcoming projects that you would like to talk about?

As part of the CollectiveF8 we are planning an exhibition for when we return back to university in September. Due to deadlines that have just passed I haven’t yet started this new project but I have a couple of weeks set aside when I plan to fully embrace all of the wonderful art that Edinburgh has to offer in order to inspire myself.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t mentioned?

I am currently planning on arranging an exhibition in my home town, Whittlesey, Peterborough, for my latest work “Imprint”. I want to share my work with people from my own town that wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see it in my end of year exhibition in Edinburgh.

Email – Lucyfradley@yahoo.com

Instagram – @lucyfradleyphotography


CollectiveF8, a group of emerging Female photographers from all around the UK and further afield, currently based in Edinburgh and studying there at the College of Art.

They came together as a friendship group but realised early on that they worked great together in the studio, and wanted to curate some kind of opportunity to push each other’s work further.

‘We see a lot of collective groups around ECA, such as SoftBox, beginning to gain professional traction and were completely inspired to join forces!’

Interviewing a few of the girls separately I have been able to get an insight into them and their individual practices and can see how they possibly inspire one and other.


What do you feel you all share as a collective, other than a passion for photography?

Honestly, it’s probably both the love for and stress of our degree that brought us closer together! Aside from that, we all share the experience of being female artists and think it’s important to create a positive space to celebrate that – there’s still a lot of need for girls supporting girls in the arts. We’re all opinionated, passionate and care about our community – within ECA, the local area and our hometowns. This collective gives us a productive, structured outlet for that energy.

What do you all aim to achieve by working together?

Our fundamental aim is to create interesting opportunities to collaborate and show our art, beyond what we could achieve as individuals. We’re also concerned with addressing social issues and inciting change. A lot of discussion goes on as to how we can achieve that through photography – but each of us has a different perspective to bring to the table. Images are a universal language, and we believe photography is a great tool to raise awareness of the issues we care about.

What kind of collaborations are you interested in?

We’re really excited to collaborate with anyone who matches our creative energy – be it bloggers, journalists or other artists. We’re especially keen to work with galleries and art spaces to contribute to our local art scene in an exciting way.

What themes do you wish to explore as a collective?
The beauty of working as a group from all different backgrounds is that we have such a diverse range of personal interests and can learn from each other. There’s a wide variety of topics we’ve wanted to explore as individuals, and most of us are still figuring out who we want to be as artists – it’s exciting to support each other on that journey. We’re in the early stages of figuring out our common passions and joining creative forces on more collaborative projects.

Can other people get involved?

Who knows what the future holds – we’re totally open to suggestions! Fundamentally, we’re just a group of friends who’ve figured out that we work great together. We’re not taking on new members at this time, but we’re really keen to find out what our viewers and community want to see and what they think is important for us to address.

How do you see CollectiveF8 growing or expanding?
The possibilities are endless! We’re ready to hit the ground running and plan to start really engaging with the public, galleries and art spaces in the new academic year – whatever feels natural and inspiring. On a personal level, we’re hoping our confidence and experience grows as we tackle new challenges!

 I understand you have an up and coming project – tell us about that.

We’re really excited about this one! We have a fantastic venue booked for our debut exhibition right in the middle of ECA Welcome Week (18th September – 21st September 2018). It’ll be at the Fire Station, Edinburgh and is set to showcase a broad range of work, it will be a great way to show new students what it’s possible to achieve.

We need all the support we can get to make it happen – there’s more information at gofundme.com/collectivef8, and there’ll be some great incentives to donate!

Also on the note of inciting change, two of our artists – Izzie Budler and Amber Brown – were recently announced as the award winners of the Global Justice Academy Photography Competition. We’re very excited about this as it will result in their work being showcased in two upcoming exhibitions with relation to GJA events!

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us! You can keep up to date with our activites on social media –

Facebook: CollectiveF8 // Instagram: CollectiveF8

Check out their individual artist profiles on Instagram!

Amber Brown – Northumberland, England – @amberbrownphotography
Izzie Budler – Leeds, England – @eizzibuddler
Louise Burns – Bathgate, Scotland – @louiseburnsart
Lucy Fradley – Peterborough, England – @lucyfradleyphotography
Anna Hunter – Glasgow, Scotland – @annajameyphotography
Amy Iona – Edinburgh, Scotland – @amyionaa
Emily Lynch – London, England – @e.lynchphotography
Serina Ma – Shanghai, China  – @serina.m.photography

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Luke Allen – Events Organiser

Luke is an event organiser based in Newcastle. At the age of seventeen he set up ‘ARC Collective’ – originally this was to boost music in the area, trying to be a musical enterprise. This would be from building a studio to arranging gigs.

Deciding on a full rebrand in February this year he began to focus on events and gigs of all genres.

Luke also has a side of his enterprise that is more producing based, aimed more towards the grime/hip-hop scene. His idea is to produce an album that features rappers and MC’s – If anyone feels that they could be useful either with the events side of things or the album Luke is planning to produce then please feel free to get in touch with him.



What initially got you into the Grime and Hip Hop scene?

Probably listening to Hip Hop music, I was totally inspired by how a story could be convoyed through music: Something like Immortal Techniques “Dance With the Devil”, explaining how a small time drug dealer went through hell and eventually committed suicide trying to make it bigger in the drug scene. Eventually I started to listen more closely to the music and listen to more of an alternate version of Hip Hop and Grime stuff like Mick Jenkins “Jazz” – with a really cold slow Marimba in the background and such dark lyrics over the top. So I guess thats what got me into the scene the way the lyrics can inspire or tell a story or just make you feel such a strong Remotion  and the overall musicality of it despite what most critics will say of rap in general.

What gave you the push to set up your business, what was the ambition and how much of it have you managed to achieve?

The ambition is to one day turn the Collective into a full musical enterprise like it used to be but with much bigger backers than my own bank account and to eventually start funding venues with it and promoting more music. I have managed to secure venues all across the UK and scout bands to play at them. This July we are taking over the live music scene in Newcastle and we go on tour in August to Manchester and London helping bands tour and taking part in community festivals. Admitantly I have a long way to go but so far the events and gigs have been fuelled of nothing but hopes and dreams meaning nothing is impossible.

How would you rate your success and what advise would you give to anyone tackling the industry?

So far I would rate my overall success as quite low simply because where I am now is no where near where I want to be. I feel I’ve worked hard and done so much however I know more is required to take over the musical world the way I want to. I only really have two pieces of advice to people in the events industry. Firstly always be polite and always be communal. The moment that you believe your the big dog is when your venues and backers become hostile and demand things you don’t have. If your always polite and work with as many people as possible everyone will be supportive and help out. Secondly is that people who say you need to put loads of money into a business to make it work are people who earn too much for their own good and people who say you can create a business with no money at all may have the heart but not the brains. The trick with money and funding is this: How much can I get out of the little I put in? Before every transaction follow that philosophy and touch wood you should be able to stay afloat.

Do you find people to be helpful and supportive in the industry or would you say you have to look after yourself?

I find certain people supportive and certain people extremely difficult for example; I find that students are usually very supportive and if your ambitions can involve and help theirs they often help out where ever they can. My friends have been extremely supportive always volunteering for even the most boring of tasks like holding lights for model shoots. Family have been a real difficulty as none of them believe there is any business to be made in the arts and they all believe that it can only be a hobby. The music industry is undoubtedly crowded and hard to get involved in yes, but every once in a while and with a little bit of luck something amazing can slip through the cracks.  I also find that most venues are not supportive. They do not like Co-ordinators like myself trying to run events and I have sent emails, letters, messaged, rang and even approached venues in person and I’d say 75% have had no interest in me or what I’m trying to achieve.

Talking about how supportive people are in the industry – saying that people aren’t really when it comes to venues. What do you think can be done to tackle this?

There’s nothing much event directors like myself can do about it, apart from using every power of persuasion and a lot of money. If more funding is put into young entrepreneurs do we actually have something to offer venues of all sizes. Instead of using our own funds to try and get events started.

How hard is it to create events? What kind of steps have you got to go through?

Creating events starts by co-ordinating acts and the venue to be available and ready to go. After that you start actually creating the event, posters, the name of the event, using a budget spending it where it is needed. Then start coordinating photographers and event staff, organise acts, equipment and security. Theres overall a lot of things that could go wrong and always one of them does go wrong. Its how you deal with it when it does go wrong which can make or break an event.

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I understand you’re planning on creating an album, whats the vision?

To tell a story and to show people the truth behind certain elements of my life. The album I’m creating has been a year in the process and I’m hoping to release it later this year. It explores small stories like a friends battle with illness all the way to explaining my battle with my families oppression and my own depression. It however is by no means a totally depressing album there are tracks with fast and heavy beats to them and lyrics to match (without giving away to much).

Who are you looking to collab with? How should they reach out?

The tracks I’ve created are great and I believe this is some of my best music ever. However I cant sing or rap no matter how much I try so I am looking to collar with anyone who is into this type of music (hip/hop and grime) to help me create the album, all money gained from the album can be split evenly etc. The important thing with the album is that the message gets out. To reach out by all means message me on Facebook or the ARC Collective or you can get to me via email lukeallenst@gmail.com

Would you be happy to collab with anyone else on their projects?

I would be more than happy to collaborate with other artists, I love music and even if I cant make money of it I get such a buzz from being on stage or creating something that sounds really good.

What have you worked on and who have you worked with in the grime/ hip-hop scene?

My work in music goes far back however I have only really focused on Hip Hop/Grime music for a little while from releasing backing tracks on Spotify to creating full tracks for artists such as Buddahmann and Michael Mayo on Spotify and Apple Music. Although they were now over a year ago and I feel so much more confident and more advanced with my own style of music that I am considering taking them down and replacing them with the album.




The Art Cave Creations – Bronte Carr

Freelance illustrator, Bronte has recently finished her final weeks of the BA(Hons) Visual Communication course at Leeds Arts University. She runs my own online gift shop ‘The Art Cave Creations’ and currently has a mural she designed on platform 16 of Leeds train station.

Tell us a little bit about you! Where you are from, maybe something quirky

I’m 21 years old from Leeds, West Yorkshire. I graduate from Leeds Arts University in July and currently operate my online shop The Art Cave Creations from my bedroom. I love travel – so far, I’ve been to Rome, Brussels, Paris and Las Vegas; Next on my bucket list: Spain, Iceland and Amsterdam. Recently, I became the proud owner of two Axolotls called Mudkip and Pancake, and if you don’t know what they are I would 100% recommend checking them out on Google Images.

In January 2018, my illustration of Emley Moor Mast was erected as a 5ft mural in Leeds Train Station, by Network Rail. This was an amazing opportunity for me, as my work is on permanent display in one of the busiest stations in the country and I got paid for my service. It was a healthy taste of working on commission for big clients and I’m really proud of the work I put in; I feel enthusiastic and eager to work on more commission based projects in the future.

Press Release

Where would you like to see your online shop go/where can you see it going?

I’ve love to make my online shop into a full-time career, maybe even have a brick and mortar shop one day! I love the satisfaction of holding something I’ve designed and made by myself, and posting it off to a buyer. It’s very rewarding to receive lovely reviews and comments online. For the meantime, I’m happy taking sales as and when they come, focusing on improving every aspect of my shop to reach its fullest potential and have a consistent flow of sales.

Looking back how have you developed?

I’ve developed a huge amount since I first started out 2 years ago. I opened the shop back when I was first getting into illustration, so my illustration style and method of drawing was completely different than it is now. I used to scan in a lot of illustrations to be used for card designs, whereas now my work is almost all digitally drawn for a higher quality finish. My product range has expanded from just greetings cards to include stickers, notebooks, a colouring book, and just recently – badges and a mug! My branding has become a lot more professional and consistent, which has encouraged sales. When I look back at some of my original card ideas I can’t help but cringe a little, however if it wasn’t for those initial sales, I wouldn’t have grown to where I am today.

How do you feel now, currently as your practice stands?

In my practice right now, I’m a little bit nervous. I’ve officially handed in my final uni project, which means from now on there’ll be no tutors holding my hand, giving advice on my designs and ideas. However, it also means I’ll be free to explore my own ideas more, as I don’t have to worry about time keeping as much, or how many marks I’ll get for my work. To keep me on track, I’ve created a three-year business plan, including when I should be making new products, which craft fairs I should be applying to etc. This makes me feel more optimistic about my practice, as I still have goals to reach and a plan for what work I should be doing to succeed as a freelance illustrator and owner of my own online shop.

Who and what inspires your practice? 

I follow quite a lot of freelance designers and online shop owners who are really successful, as they represent where I ultimately want to be in my own practice. A few examples include: Katie Abey, who has thousands of Etsy sales and recently opened her own physical shop in Alfreton. Her illustration style is very bold and quirky and features a lot of pop-culture references. Secondly, there is Kristyna Baczynski, who creates a lot of illustrated story zines, which are always beautifully illustrated with thought going into every inch of the page. Her work inspires me to create more zines of my own. Another illustrator who I find inspiring is SavannahStormIllustration. Storm creates stunningly illustrated patterns which are then made into greetings cards and tea towels, of which I find the tactile quality and every day functionality to be an interesting way of showcasing a design.

I think it’s important to follow a range of artists with different styles and products, as it keeps the market fresh and brings me new ideas for my shop all the time. It’s inspiring to look at shops that have already ‘made it’ as it gives me vision of what my shop could look like one day, and gives me new ideas for how I can express myself through my art,

Long term what are your ambitions? Is there anyone you’d love to collaborate with?

Long term, besides having my shop as a full-time career, I would love to take on commissions. It would be a great way of working with other people creatively whilst still being able to direct my own vision as an artist. I’ve just created a 16-page full colour zine, called ‘Sloths: An Educational Zine’ which features information on sloths as a species and what we can do to help protect them in the wild. My aim is to send the zine to various different zoos across the UK that keep sloths in their parks, either to sell or to advertise my skills for other, bespoke projects. Ultimately, I’m going to send the zine to WWF, as they’re world leaders of conservation so it would be amazing to work with a client of such a high profile.

How would you describe your creative process?

My creative process starts off with me writing a list of anything I want to draw in the near future, be it fun sketches for Instagram or a new pattern idea etc. Sometimes I will sketch my ideas with a pencil on paper, however I prefer drawing with pens and will usually jump straight into Photoshop, drawing out a rough sketch on one layer and then gradually refining the illustration on separate layers. Anything that is fairly cheap and easy to produce myself, such as greetings cards, I make in my home studio. More exciting products such as mugs and phone cases are difficult to produce myself, so I enlist companies like Awesome Merchandise to produce these to a high quality. I produce all my own photography, which means my photos may not be the most professional looking, but they further represent my style and personality.

Any words of advice for someone just starting out and/or struggling?

My advice for someone who is just starting out is not to worry about your end goal for the time being. It takes years to grow into a successful freelancer, and part of the fun is finding your feet along the way. Embrace every idea that comes to you and work on building a community of friends and artists who you can turn to for advice, feedback and ideas to keep your creative process flowing.


How would you describe your work/illustrations?

I would describe my work as contemporary, cartoon-like illustration. My designs feature comic characters in vibrant, bold colours to create an upbeat and cheerful aesthetic. There’s no significant cause to my work, I just want to brighten up someone’s day with a jolly illustration.

Is colour something thats important to you?

Colour is very important to me as every colour represents a different emotion. A lack of colour would result in a lack of optimism and joy in my illustrations – colour is the element that makes them pop. I’m a very colourful person in day to day life, from the colours I dye my hair, to the jewellery I buy and the plants I collect. Using colour in my work represents the colour I see in my everyday life.

Where do you usually gather inspiration from?

I usually gather inspiration from the objects I see around me. I see my illustrations as an extension of my personality, so like to create characters that resemble animals that are of interest to me, my favourite plants and foods etc. I find it really difficult to draw people, and love making repeat patterns, so finding inanimate objects – such as ice cream cones, for example, are a great way for me to feel engaged and enthused with my work.

Website: http://www.theartcavecreations.co.uk
Instagram: @theartcavecreations
Email: theartcavecreations@gmail.com

Zach Pygall – Singer-songwriter

Originally from Sunderland, singer-songwriter and producer Zach is now based in Leeds, he self produces, as well as playing multiple instruments on his tracks.

He has recently released a new single ‘Blue Skies’ now available on Spotify, iTunes and all the other major streaming/purchasing platforms.

Strong Americana/Country and British Folk influences can be heard on his tracks as well as his North East accent.


Tell us about your creative journey

I started singing in school when I was about eleven. I thought I was pretty good at it so when I got to secondary school I joined the school choir. I was pretty terrible at sports and I wasn’t that good in the choir either but it seemed like a much better way to meet girls at the time! My music teacher there was really amazing and would give me the keys to the drum room during lunch breaks where I spent every day for about 6 months playing ‘Seven Nation Army’ over and over with my “band” mate, Kieran. I kept playing different instruments until I decided on guitar when I was about 16. I’m actually a grade 8 in keyboards but have completely forgotten how to play! Partly on purpose to open up my mind creatively again after about 8 years of classical training.

When did you first become interested in writing your own songs?

I used to write a lot of stories when I was a kid and when I became interested in music as a teenager, that just kind of naturally evolved into songwriting. I got bullied a lot as a teenager and writing songs really helped get those emotions out at the time. I never showed anyone any of my songs until I was about sixteen. I started playing in real bands around then and wrote a few basic pop-punk songs with them but a couple years later I just started writing my own stuff and playing them at music college. People really seemed to like them and it made me feel amazing!

Do you remember the first every song you wrote? Is this one you use now?


I don’t remember the exact first song I wrote but sometimes a phone recording of the very first ones will come on my iPod shuffle and it’s always horrendous! Especially if it happens in front of people… But some of them actually have some decent lines and chord progressions which is pretty cool! Others are just me screaming “I FEEL COLD!” over one note on a keyboard haha. The first song of my own that I performed was called ‘Going Away’ and it wasn’t half bad. It’s probably hanging around on an old YouTube channel somewhere still! 

What inspires you to create music and lyrics?

A lot of things inspire me to be honest. I really love writing lyrics so they can often be inspired by simple things like a conversation on TV or on the bus but sometimes they’re a lot deeper with a political message. One of my newer songs, ‘Casino’, is quite political and touches on gentrification, minimum wage and high living costs. It’s really catchy though and because I perform it pretty passionately, people really relate to it and sing along at my shows.

Tell us about your newly released single! What inspired it, can you say what its about or would you rather others take what they wish from it?

Well my new single is a bit different to my usual material. A lot of my songs have quite an obvious message told through a story. Blue Skies is less on the nose, which I think it needs. Sometimes I explain my songs at shows before playing them but never with Blue Skies. It’s definitely one that’s open to interpretation. I think whatever you want to get from it, you’ll get. It’s been a lot of fun hearing what other people have said about it so far! It was also pretty fun to make because it’s with a band this time, it’s actually been in the making since 2016! The next release definitely won’t take that long, but I am looking forward to experimenting with a band more. 

Who would you say your influences are? Name some favourite artists

My favourite artists are all very American and not usually well known here at home sadly! John Fullbright and Josh T Pearson are definitely two of my biggest inspirations. I saw them both on Jooles Holland originally. When I saw John Fullbright play I thought “Yes! That’s it! That’s the sound I’ve been trying to get out of me!” and bought his album ‘From The Ground Up’ immediatly, without even listening to it first. It’s still probably my favourite album. I actually met Josh T Pearson after his gig at The Leftbank a few years ago. He was such a nice guy! He recommended this book called ‘The War of Art’ and it really changed my perspective on writing. 

Was your move from Sunderland to Leeds a choice you made for your career in music? If so how has this impacted it and what are the opportunities like in Leeds for artists trying to make it

I moved to Leeds for university in 2013, I studied Music Production at Beckett and I’ve been in love ever since! I was supposed to spend a year in Australia but I missed Leeds and it’s amazing music scene so much, I came home really last minute after six months. Leeds has so many opportunities for upcoming artists. The music community here is pretty tight-knit but super friendly if you’re trying to break into it. The amount of times I’ve bought some used music gear online and when I go to pick it up, it ends up being a promotor or an engineer or something I already know is crazy! But not only that, the people here seem really interested to come see the shows. Some of my songs are really quiet and emotional but usually Leeds crowds are more than happy to be quiet and listen.

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Any releases you know of this year that you’re excited for?

I was pinning all my expectations on Josh T Pearson’s new album, ‘The Straight Hits’. It seems to be doing really well on Radio 6 but I still can’t make my own mind up about it. It’s so different to his usual material. I am looking forward to hearing the new Tom Williams album though. I was an engineer on his last record and he decided to keep the same band for his next one. I’m mates with all the band so I’m looking forward to hearing what they come out with! 

Have your recent travels helped you to write music over there/give you some inspiration for some up coming tracks?

Definitely! I didn’t have a guitar most of the time while I was travelling so I have a lot of ideas written down that still need working on. It also helped me write lyrics before the music more effectively. I definitely feel a lot more motivated since moving back to Leeds and I’m already working on my next release for later in the year.don’t worry about it : )
Upcoming Gigs

LS6 Cafe, Leeds – June 17th and July 9th

Follow his social media for gig and music updates.

Currently, Zach tries to play every open mic he can around Leeds, his favourite being  Northern Guitars on a Monday night. He plans on booking a full gig there soon. 




Isobel Budler – Bridges Not Walls

In January last year, when I was given the task of planning an RS-themed conference for Sixth Form, I wasn’t entirely sure of the slant I wanted to give it.

Five days later, Donald Trump announced his ‘Muslim ban’ on foreign nationals entering America and his plans to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. I found myself on a local Leeds demonstration that linked with an international day of action as part of the ‘Bridges not Walls’ movement; the focus for my conference became immediately clear.

 We are a Sixth Form that is located in a mainly white, rather parochial, town but with students who travel to us from the cities of Halifax and Bradford. The ethnic makeup of these students is diverse. In addition to this, Halifax is a place where refugees and asylum seekers are sent to settle.

The focus of the Bridges not Walls Conference is to build those very important ‘bridges’ in the experiences of our young people. I want our students to leave the day with an increased understanding of the world around them as well as the experiences of the people in it.

 The sessions we plan to deliver are: ‘Dispelling the Myths about Muslims’, ‘The Wall: Jerusalem and Bethlehem,’ ‘Refugees in Britain: tales from the front line at St Augustine’s Centre in Halifax’ and ‘Children of Calais.’

The people who deliver these sessions come from a variety of experiences and belief systems; they are teachers of diverse faiths and of no particular faith system, people who have travelled the Middle East, workers who support local refugees and asylum seekers, and campaigners. Their commonality is that they are all working toward a Britain of tolerance and increased understanding. Key to this is the youth; in the words of Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The future depends on what you do today.’ I want the youth to dream big and dream beautiful, to look beyond their own lives and to look to help, and understand, the lives of others. And above all, to act.Nancy, Conference Organiser for the Bridges Not Wall project.

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She is currently in her in my second year, studying Photography at Edinburgh College of Art.  She tends to gravitate towards subject matters that challenge hegemonic constructs in society, from patriarchy, capitalism or challenging stereotypes. Her approach tends to be looking at peoples personal experiences that help enlighten me and my audience.

For Isobel the project was about challenging Islamaphobia in western cultures and to use her art form as an outlet for the amazing, inspiring work Sajeda, Sumayya and Waseem do in their community.

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Tell us about your project ‘Bridges Not Walls’
This project started by looking widely at Religion before coming into contact with the conference organiser of ‘Bridges Not Walls’. I then met Sajeda and Sumayya; two muslim women and teachers who will be leading the ‘Dispelling the Myths about Muslims’ talk. They are both  very active in their community at challenging stereo types attached to Islam; they asked me to photograph a conference they hold called ‘Bridges Not Walls’ at their high school. Whilst the conference that I will be photographing won’t be held for a few weeks, I was also able to photograph the last meeting they held regarding their talk. Using a medium format film camera, I took snapshots hoping to capture the passion they have towards challenging stereo types. I see my photography series as a good outlet for the amazing work they do locally while also educating myself and the viewers on Islam.
How did you approach challenging Islamaphobia in western cultures within your work?
My approach to this project was to reflect the subjects views through my project. As a non-muslim woman, I was careful not to reflect my own opinions as they don’t have a place in this particular project. I met both of the women leading the talk multiple times, in both casual and formal settings. The first time we had a conversation with them at their houses; this helped build a rapport before then speaking to them in a less relaxed setting. This helped me gather an understanding of the work they do to challenge Islamapohia in western cultures, so I could truthfully reflect their views.
What did you hope to gain from this project in terms of helping the community, awareness etc.
My hope throughout this project is that I would finish it feeling enlightened and that I have enlightened others. I came into this project knowing very little about religion in general, I now feel more educated. Furthermore, in our current climate the Muslim community is marginalised and islamaphobia is increasing. I hope my photographs along with quotes and a statement make the audience more aware of the change these local muslim communities are making and inspire them to also challenge how our society views the Islamic faith.
What do you think the importance of recording these issues through photography is?
For me, photography is an amazing outlet, it can capture a range of emotions through how a subject is presented. An audience can instantly feel connected to a photograph and the message it is conveying, therefore the power of the message is extremely important. It changes the viewers mindset, an example of this is Nick Ut who photographed children running during the Vietnam war in 1972. His work is titled ‘The Terror of War’ and it changed how the whole world saw the Vietnam war. It showed that the war was doing more harm than good. I think the impact his work had on the world is inspiring.
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What aspects did you find most enjoyable from the project? 

This project was extremely enjoyable for me, there were loads of aspects that I found excitement and passion in. Speaking to ordinary people about their personal experiences has always been a focus of my work, in past and current projects. Furthermore educating myself on religion is something I’ve found a lot of enjoyment in, it is a subject I lacked knowledge in previously however now feel confident in.

How do you make people feel a connection? Or is this down to the viewer?

I believe this entirely down to the viewer to feel a connection. All I can do is create work I am proud of and makes me feel inspired, however the connection cannot be forced.

How did you approach translating/ capturing these ‘personalities’ of these people into a photograph?

I think its important to first build a rapport with the subject. Despite not knowing the subjects prior to the project, after multiple interviews and shoots I can honestly say they are now friends of mine. Building this rapport and not treating them as a ‘job’ or something that you are forced to do to get a grade is extremely important.
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Instagram – @eizzibubler