Thursday, 17 May 2012

Interview # 1: Graduating from art college

This is Faith...

This is Sarah...
This is the first of hopefully a number of interviews for our interface blog.  

This week, i've had the great pleasure of talking with two of the final year girls in the University of the Arts CU: Faith who's been studying Painting at Wimbledon, and Sarah who's been studying Illustration at Camberwell.  

Enjoy reading their insights, joys, challenges and thoughts on their time at art college...

Looking back on your 3/4 years at art college, what have been some  highlights?
Faith: Well the biggest thing was becoming a Christian in first year!  My whole purpose for life and my degree was now completely different.  Getting involved in the CU and meeting Christians weekly for encouragement has been brilliant.  Knowing that this three years has been the most important of my life - because I have been saved, I have a unique identity, and realising that even when i wasn’t particularly keen on art college at the start, I can now absolutely see why I have come!
Sarah: There are so many! I guess first year was so much fun where everything was new and i was making new friends every day! 

What have you found particularly hard?

Faith: Knowing in my head that my identity is in Christ, but I still need to be myself, so working out what that looks like.  The challenge of being arty involves such a wide-ranging variety of identities, so working out how I live out my faith, and how it works out in my art practice has been a challenge in amongst the ‘anything-goes’ nature of college.  I’ve desperately wanted to integrate my Christian life and my work without editing or weakening either - i’ve wanted to live fully for the two without compromising on either one - this has been hard!
Sarah: Trying to get the balance right with work, not idolising it and always putting God first, even when there's a massive dead line looming!

How has it been as a Christian?

Faith: I think it’s been amazing to see with clarity.  Once I realised that I was a stranger in the world because of my identity in Christ, I began to see the futility of the career-based life and the worldly desires that are pretty much the air you breathe at college.  God’s helped me to see life in black and white.  Also it’s been brilliant to see this year that my future is not set on my degree show but on eternity with Christ.  I’ve been realising more and more what I do have in Christ - but with that comes the challenge to witness about the certain hope we have in a sincere way.
Sarah: It's been awesome but also hard. Back home I didn't know that many christians my age and it's so encouraging coming to london and finding so many young christians who are super passionate about God. It's really encouraging! But talking about God at uni can be hard.

What would you do differently if you were to do it all again?

Faith: I think I would have a different attitude.  Partly because I started art school with the career-based attitude that most people have, rather than knowing Jesus and knowing he’s got everything in his hands.  My whole perspective has changed - I am a new creation, so I would approach everything differently from the beginning!
Sarah: I'd try to be more confident in talking about God at uni.

What advice would you give to a Christian just starting out at art school?

Faith: Work really hard and focus on your studies - you’ve been given time to develop your gifts so make the most of it.  Remember that God’s put in you that place.  Approach everything prayerfully.

Sarah: Find a great church!!! SOOOO important, I found one where the friends I have there feel like family, its such a blessing. Get stuck into CU as well it's great encouragement midweek.pastedGraphic.pdf 

How do you feel about the prospect of graduating in a few weeks time?

Faith: Excited!  God’s given me security in my church family which I am grateful for, and knowing that my future lies in his hands.  I feel very reflective looking back on my time at Wimbledon.  I’ve learnt double what I thought i would - both becoming a Christian and growing in my faith, and developing in my painting practice - it’s been brilliant!
Sarah: Excited but super scared!! Can't wait to start working!

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