Creative Graduates To Follow 2017

Degree shows are always an amazing place to find new and exciting artists to follow. This year, I actually only made it to 2 shows - Herriot Watt University and Glasgow School of Art - but between the 2 of them I discovered a ton of fresh creative talent it would be criminal not to blog about. 

First off, I headed down to Herriot Watt University in Galashiels to see the Textiles degree show. Here are a few of my top picks...

Fiona Bertram | @textilesbyfiona

Juxtaposing inky illustrations and bold textures with blocks of bright colour, Fiona Bertram's collection was one of the most memorable. My favourite thing about Fiona's collection - other than the fact it is visually so pleasing - is the fact that it was designed for both genders. I like it when designers show that fashion is for all and I can only hope that one day when we are both rich and successful designers, I will have a wardrobe willed with Fiona's gorgeous garments!

Chloe Nalwoga | @chloe_nalwoga_

Combining intricate hand-drawn patterns with luscious finishes, Chloe Nalwoga has created a collection of dramatic wallpaper designs. Around the same time I have a wardrobe of Fiona's clothes I would also like walls covered in Chloe's designs. I'll have to get myself a nice place first though as her designs seem like they should only grace the fanciest of walls!

Cara Morris | @caraprintsthings

This year's award for the most adorable collection has to go to Cara Morris and her folklore inspired collection. Not enough patterns include both reindeer and seals and Cara's unusual colour choices and unique illustrative style make them an even more inspired combination.

Beth Nelis | @bethnelis

My last pick from the Herriot Watt Degree show is Beth Nelis - a very talented design who just so happens to be one of my best friends. Inspired by the Japanese principle of ‘Wabi-Sabi’ and Scandinavian simplicity, Beth's collection covers both soft and hard furnishings by including designs for printed linens and concrete homewares. I may be a little biased as I have know Beth for a good 10 years but I challenge anyone to look at these designs and not think they are proper lush!

About a week later the Glasgow School of Art's degree show started and because I knew a few of the of the people graduating I got to go to the opening night. Between that night and my second visit a few days later, I found a ton of new designers to follow...

Eilidh Glasgow | @eilidhglasgow_textiles

Another on of my best friends graduating this year, Eilidh Glasgow's woven fabric collection was amazing too! As well as the fabrics themselves, Eilidh also displayed a lookbook of her designs as patterned coats. This shows that Eilidh's fabrics tell the world that whoever is wearing them is important and stylish which is bound to come in handy as with a portfolio of such great work, Eilidh will need some clothes which tell the world how wildly successful she is very soon!

Poppy Tuckley | @poppyprintdesign

My other favourite collection from the textiles show at Glasgow School of Art was Poppy Tuckley's illustrated fabric collection. Combining illustration and textiles is something I would love to do one day so seeing someone doing it so well thrills me!

Isla Christie | @isla.christie

Yet another of my best friends graduating this year, Isla Christie graphic collection was my favourite out of all the jewellery displays. I met Isla when we both studied Portfolio Prep a few years ago and she has always had a talent for setting herself the fiddliest of design tasks. That clearly hasn't changed and with every individual piece made up of countless layers of clever paper, Isla's collection is not just a testament to her design expertise but her patience too. The level of technical skill that goes jewellery making blows my tiny little mind but when the results are this good it is definitely worth the pain-staking process!

Adrienn Pesti | @adriennpesti_design

Another colourful collection that caught my eye this year was Adrienn Pesti's work. Managing to keep it classy and contemporary whilst going all out with the colour, Adrienn's work looks like something you would find deep at the bottom of some sort of magical ocean on a rainbow-coloured coral reef. 

Ida Henrich | @idahenrich

Moving onto communication design, Ida Henrich's display was one of my favourites. For her final year project, Ida created a 48 page graphic novella which explores the subject of sexual health and how it is and isn't discussed in day to day life. The project proved comic books to be an accessible and intelligent way to open up a discussion.

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Colin McIntyre | @thefemaledrake_

The final creative in this round up that I actually know is artist Colin McIntyre. Colin's degree show involved some sort of performance piece which I accidentally missed seeing on both my visits (sorry Colin!) so can't really comment on but it was an intriguing installation and his business card were my favourite out of the many I picked up. Colin studied Portfolio Prep with me and Isla and is one of the most creative and self-motivated people I know so I'm always curious to see what weird and wonderful thing he does next.

Iona Letby | @iona_letby

Glasgow's communication design show is always very conceptual and the idea behind Iona Letby's final collection was ingenius. Exploring the relationship between celebrities and their fans in the modern world, Iona created a range of merchandise inspired by the aesthetic of religious cults and "wise" words of the Kardashian family. Including quotes such as "I'm not gonna eat at a restaurant like a peasant", the project was as hilarious as it was thought-provoking.

Valentina Pimanova | @valentinapimanova

The visually striking, monochrome screen-printed images by Valentina Pimanova made of the most intriguing exhibits at the Glasgow show. With this project, as well as much of her other work, Valentina explores the theme of "reality" by intuitively experimenting with a number of both digital and anologue techniques.

Dom Campistron

The last of today's 14 fresh graduates that I thoroughly recommend you go and follow is printmaker extraordinaire Dom Campistron. Whilst I do advise looking at more of Dom's work, she seems to be only artist in this round-up not to be on Instagram so you'll have to check out her website instead. There you'll find her graduate collection which was entitled "Wank!" and consisted of 6 posters which all aim to criticise the current representation of women's sexuality.

As I said at the start of this post (which now seems so long ago), I love finding new artists to follow at degree shows and next year I would love to make it to more and maybe even pop down to the new designers show in London. That said, even though I only went to a couple I was amazed by the amount of fresh creative talent there was to find. And best of all, as I seem to know about half the people graduating this year, I won't just get to follow their creative journey on Instagram but in real life too!