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WGU ten years

Toni
BA (Hons) Applied Art
2016
Full Time

I loved being at Wrexham Glyndwr University. After my A-Levels, I went to Cardiff to study fashion but I never felt like I fitted in. It did put me off going to university so I came home and got a job. My jewellery was my passion and I was making it and selling it at work and on e-bay. I decided to come and look around the school and find out more about the course. I knew straight away that I really wanted to get in and I’ve never looked back since. It was the best thing I’ve ever done.

The course has really helped to open up my mind. When I started and I looked at the contemporary work I didn’t think it was me, but I have learnt so much and my work has developed so much since then. In my first year I thought that I would be working with silver and gold but the course allowed us to experiment. I’ve used different plastics and now I really love working with Perspex. I never thought I would achieve the changes in my work from the first to the third year.

I also really enjoyed the Dragon’s Den challenge. We had to write a proper business plan and then pitch it to the tutors. This taught me so many business skills. We learnt how to prepare a press pack, how to prepare costings and many other business skills that I am going to need. I am still selling my jewellery from that project. As well as being an artist, I also need to be a business person. I need to promote myself and my work, so the business skills are really important.

The degree show was the highlight for me. After three years hard work, coming in and seeing it all displayed was an emotional moment. All the hard work finally came together and was there for everyone to see. All my friends and family came which was lovely.

I am now going to exhibit at the New Designers Show in London which is so exciting. It is exciting to know that 60,000 people are going to walk past my work. Scouts will be there from places like John Lewis so it is an amazing opportunity. I would never have had the confidence to do something like that and talk about my work before. I’m a totally different person now, both personally and professionally.

I’m active on twitter and social media and work hard to promote myself and my jewellery. I was so excited when I got a call asking if I wanted my work to appear in Tattler magazine. It was my work from the second year which was inspired by a holiday to New York. It is going to appear in a Strawberries and Gleam feature in Tattler.

It’s always exciting when I sell something. I currently sell my work at Richard Hughes Jewellers in Wrexham. I want to be working for myself and one day even open up my own studios and craft centre. Doing the course has given me the confidence and skills to make this a possibility.

We were like a little family on the course. You can ask anyone anything and they will always help you. I have been asked to be an Artist in Residence next year, which I’m looking forward to as it will give me the opportunity to help other students and to also still work here. I do have a workshop at home, but I will be able to enjoy the atmosphere here again.

I would definitely recommend the course. If you have a passion, then anyone can do it. The course will take you to a professional level and I absolutely loved it. It was hard work having a job and studying, but the support I received was great. All the hard work was worth it as I loved every minute.

Discover more information about our BA (Hons) Applied Art, or for more information about our range of courses within The School of Creative Arts, please visit the school page.

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