BA (Hons) Illustration
I am the director of Simon O’Rourke Ltd, my own company that was birthed in 2005 out of a desire to create beautiful wooden sculptures with a chainsaw!
I trained as an illustrator at what was then NEWI, and then graduated, needed a job and got offered a job by a good friend as a tree surgeon. I saw somebody carving one day in Wrexham and I thought, “I can draw, and I can use a chainsaw, I’m going to give this a try!”
I employ 2 other full time members of staff and some contract staff and we between us produce bespoke wooden sculptures, furniture, jewellery, burnt images to hang on walls, portraits and we also offer outdoor education and 1-1 tuition.
I am the company director and principle artist in the company. I manage the projects that come in and my workshop manager’s workload with the help of my wife who is my finance director and marketing/HR manager too. We are a small but effective team and try to offer a high level of care to each and every project that we are fortunate to work on.
I enjoyed student life and socialising of course, and with regards to the studying, the opportunity to play with different styles of illustration and the access to good resources was a great help.
I believe no education is a waste of time, and although my current role is only tenuously related to my subject in university, my illustration background gave me a really good foundation to the art of wood sculpture. Equally, learning 3 dimensional art has improved my illustration skills no end.
To anyone considering studying illustration, I would say enjoy learning the art of good illustration, but don't limit your future to the exact subject you are studying. Any subject has transferable skills.
One of the most important aspects of university life is learning to survive on your own, and there is as much value in social and community interaction as there is in study. Don't shut yourself away, get out there and interact with the people who may be your future customers or employers!
Discover more information about our Illustration Courses, or for more information about our range of courses within The School of Creative Arts, please visit the school page.