Creative Graduates To Follow

If you are looking for more talented folk to follow on Instagram then today’s blog post is one for you. I had a really lovely reaction to my DJCAD Degree Show 2019 round-up a few weeks ago so today I thought I’d share some more love for creatives graduating this year. Let’s start with Edinburgh College of Art. I must admit, I actually missed the ECA degree show this year because I am daft and didn’t realise it was on until it was too late. I did however know a few people who were organised enough to go and through the wonders of instagram I found a few new amazing illustrators to follow…

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Yanze Wang

The quirky duo above are my favourite piece from Yanze Wang’s varied portfolio of work. Yanze creates everything from simple pigeon drawings and abstract landscapes paintings using a combination of acrylics, gouache and coloured pencils. Throughout her work, Yanze consistently shows a natural ability to use colour, pattern and texture to create pleasing scenes filled with charming characters such as the playful pair abobe. Yanze’s work instantly reminded me of some of my favourite illustrators however her portfolio is unique as each of her creations is injected with her own unique personality. Yanze describes herself as an explorer and a joker and this fun, adventurous nature sets her work apart form the rest.


Amy Moss

One of the things I am most impressed by with all of the ECA illustrators I have seen is their talent for observational drawing. I don’t know whether there is more of a focus on drawing practises at ECA or this is just a coincidence but either way, I am impressed. One graduate who has a particular talent for capturing the world in a beautiful and expressive way is Amy Moss. Layering perfectly placed patches of shading and pattern on top of bright, painterly washes, Amy’s drawings have an excitable and spontaneous quality too them. I have actually seen some of Amy’s printed work in real life too and it is even more charming in the flesh.

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Amy Steele

The third and final illustrator - and second Amy - to be featured in this round-up is Amy Steele. My favourite thing about Amy’s portfolio is the gorgeous colour palettes she works with. In the piece above for example - a print inspired by the theme of “Maps” - I love how the hot pinks and bright oranges work together with the cooler tones to create an illustration with a real sense of adventure. There is so much texture layered into the image too, I just want to jump in and join the confused looking characters on their expedition. I can’t read maps so wouldn’t be any help but at least we would be lost in stunning surroundings.

As you can tell, I am super impressed with the ECA graduates I found and am sure this was just the tip of the iceberg of talent that was on display. I will make sure not to miss the degree show next year. One exhibition I was organised to make it along to was the Glasgow School of Art degree show. Here are a few of my top picks…

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William Sharp

This might seem surprising as illustration is usually my main focus at any exhibition but most of my top picks from the GSA degree show come from jewellery department. You might notice a common them amongst my favourite jewellers work too. I like jewellery which uses colour and clean shapes and one designer who does so brilliantly is William Sharp. Taking inspiration from a range of different design philosophies, William pays particular attention to the design process with the aim of efficiently creating sustainable pieces which double as both jewellery and interior accessories. The results of William’s meticulous process are incredibly aesthetically pleasing and would make a remarkable addition to any body or home.

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Emma Morris

One of the most colourful collections and possibly my favourite jewellery display was designed by Emma Morris. Within her work, Emma enjoys “exploring concepts of play in thinking, making and design” and this playful approach can seen in her colourful, tactile final designs. Emma took inspiration from playground frames as well as children’s soft toys and balloons when dreaming up her degree show collection. The final pieces are made up of powder-coated brass frames bursting with blobs of jesmonite. I love that fun and play are as important to Emma when creating as style is. And with a few awards already under her belt, I am excited to see where her practise goes next!

Olivia Taylor

My third and final pick from the GSA jewellery show is Olivia Taylor whose aim is to translate architectural spaces into wearable objects. For this particular collection, Olivia took inspiration from the architecture she explored on a recent visit to Japan. Each of the final pieces Olivia has produced is minimal in design but maximal in impact. Every element of the design - from the mirrored elements and intricate line work to the rich blue, gold and silver colour palette - has been thought out perfectly to make the biggest impression possible. This attention to detail continues throughout Olivia’s lookbook and social media too which sets her up perfectly to take her beautiful new brand out into the world.


Verity Pease

Last but my no means least, my favourite display from the entire show came from illustrator Verity Pease. Verity is graduating from GSA with a degree in Communication Design and a portfolio filled with both stylish, abstract designs and loose, intriguing drawings like the pair above. Tying Verity’s varied portfolio of work together is an otherworldly sense of adventure. Each of her wondrous pieces of work transport you to somewhere altogether new and far more interesting than reality. Verity had a broad range of prints on sale at the show and I took home an adorable little postcard featuring a charming cloud-headed character which now takes pride of place right in front of me on my desk.

I love exploring degree shows - both in person and virtually through social media - and am always amazed by the new batch of talent that is released into the big wide world every year. Some of my favourite artists today are people I have followed right from when they first graduated and it is inspiring to follow their journey as they progress creatively. I have left links to all the graduates’ Instagram accounts above so you can do the same with this lovely lot.