I first the lecturer that was met Andy Screen on the Friday of my first week at university. By that time, I thought I had got it all figured out and I was assured that it wasn’t as hard as expected. The nerves had faded out and I was eager to find out what “Communication Skills for Digital Media” really meant.
Well, my confidence went down the drain when I saw that this lecturer wasn’t going to treat first years like babies, but dive right into it and prepare us for our first presentation – due in just two weeks’ time.
Working with people I’ve just met, on a subject I had little knowledge about, I managed to get through it. We channeled the little confidence we had, worked to the tight deadline, used our creativity and did the research, all at once. I still regard it as one of the most effective introductory exercises I’ve ever done.
If you don’t already know Andy Screen from his graphic design and multimedia modules, then you should check out his freelance work (www.anjaradesign.com). No matter what type of design you’re into, from classical illustration to multimedia, it’s definitely worth the time.
Mr Screen’s personal and commercial work overlap evolving into a pin-up style that goes back to the armed forces tradition. It has the vibe of 70s British comedy and sea-side post cards of Donald McGill, spiced up with a bit of Americana.
How did he get here?!
“My way here has been a bit unorthodox, but it all brought something to my work. When I left school, I joined the Royal Marines and spent seven years there. Then, I worked in the prison system for another seven years.
“All this time I did creative things and I reached a point when I wanted to do it full time. So, I came to the University of Worcester to do my Arts and Design degree,” Mr Screen explained.
If you’re an aspiring artist, illustrator or designer, then you already know that keeping up with current practice is part of your job.
“Both doing my degree and now teaching at this level helped me stay in touch with what’s going on in my field. Working as a freelancer has the dangers of being in a bubble. This is an ever-changing area and you can get left behind quickly if you’re not careful,” Mr Screen said.
Why do this degree?
He then pointed out the many advantages that the University of Worcester brings to the table:
- You can choose your own pathway.
- Picking modules which help you develop your interests.
- You have the amazing opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.
“The crucial skill you need is creativity. Everything is second to that. You’ll develop your technical skills, learn to work to a deadline and understand a brief. You need your imagination and ability to think beyond the obvious.
“Then, you’ll have to get thick skinned. You have to get prepared for all the knock-backs and keep focused on what you do. Success only comes with perseverance,” Mr Screen advises.
From my chats with people from several creative industries, it looks like that’s the number one tip you can get:
Be determined and always keep trying, giving it your best!