I came to Wrexham to study Art at Wrexham Glyndwr University, on Regent Street campus, in 2013.
Before that, I was a multilingual simultaneous Interpreter working in the Legal and Financial Markets in London and Luxembourg. I did that for several years, but wasn't happy in my career and always had a passion for Art so I gave that up to come to the Art college here, because of the good reputation it has had for many decades.
I began my life as an artist in music, but when I was a teenager I had an accident and my hands weren't good enough to play the piano at the standard I was used to prior to the accident. At the time I was a concert pianist giving performances at a national level back in Portugal. Becoming a painter and a photographer has been like a second chance for me to lead a creative life.
I started by studying BA Hons Fine Art. The course changed my life. It allowed me to develop my craft and gain confidence in my skills. It is a great course at this institution. It's perfect for people of all walks of life and all backgrounds.
There is incredible support at all levels and the tutors are all highly qualified and established artists in their own right, with loads of honest advice. They really go out of their way to support all the students and they get really excited if they find a student with a lot of potential, it makes them very proud. They love to see all of the students do well during their time at university.
If you happen to have some sort of disability and need special support, you should not let that stop you from studying something you love to allow you to have a better and more fulfilled life. This university has the right people who are passionate about helping others, no matter their level of ability or talent. Everyone, from tutors to administrative staff, to library assistants all do so much to help people.
On the course, I learnt many things. I learnt more traditional artistic skills and techniques, but I also learnt to become a passionate and effective writer, communicator, people person, and most importantly a confident public speaker with excellent negotiation skills. I gained skills that have been very attractive to employers and was always able to find part-time work to supplement my income during my studies. All of these skills are very important if you want to make it in the real world as an artist and make money.
The Masters helped me solidify the skills I learnt at my BA, and I used the opportunity to learn new skills and expand the appeal of my artworks. I embraced technology and became an expert in my craft. I can now approach literally anybody from any level, and talk about my work with a lot of confidence, crucial to close sales.
The atmosphere around campus is fabulous. You are surrounded by experienced, friendly people. If you are shy and you want to become big, bold and beautiful with the help of fellow students, and you want to boost your confidence, no matter what your subject of study is, trust me, this is the right university for you. My practice has taken me to work with other departments of the university. I collaborated with the Psychology and Chemistry department during my MA, and I still had the same enthusiasm, welcoming feeling and support I experienced at the art school. I am really passionate about Wrexham Glyndwr University.
During my MA, I achieved things I never thought were possible for me, my work has attracted lots of attention from key clients in this country and abroad.
When I finish my MA, I will set up my brand DaCamara.com and take a break from my studies. I will concentrate on developing my artistic practice and continue to work on getting international exposure. I will be exhibiting my work at the International Art Fair in October in Budapest, which will be awesome.
Next year, after my break I will pursue PhD study. I am my happiest in an academic environment and I really want to be a university lecturer in the future and help shape the new generations of talent. My dream job, however, if I ever won the lottery, would be a coffee plantation owner in Papua New Guinea!