Hello! I suppose some introductions are in order. I am a student, studying Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies at Cambridge University. I’m not here to discuss my studies directly, but I feel it’s important to mention them as I am so enthusiastic about my subject that it is bound to bleed through sooner or later! I am currently at a fairly pivotal moment in my life, inasmuch as I am trying to decide what on earth to do with myself after university ends in just over a year’s time (eek!).
I am an artist. Primarily a digital painter, and predominantly of fantasy illustrations.
I am a writer. Primarily a prose author, and predominantly of fantasy stories.
You may be thinking, “Well, what’s your problem? You’re clearly made to be a writer and illustrator of fantasy novels!” But here we come to difficulties. For a long time now, I have harboured dreams of entering the world of commercial illustration, concept art and design – to work behind the scenes on films and shows like Lord of the Rings, Brave and Dr Who, or on games like Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted and American McGee’s Alice. But, when the time came to choose a degree, I decided to pursue the academic path to Cambridge rather than enrolling in an art college. My ‘writing’ side took precedence, and I told myself that I’d be able to teach myself more appropriate skills to illustration and design on my own than as part of a largely irrelevant Fine Art course. Anyway, hadn’t everything I’d read told me that people wanted portfolios rather than degrees? I threw myself into academia, and put my artistic ambitions on the back burner for a while.
And here I am, three years on from making that decision and wondering whether I am destined to be forever torn between writing and art. Most of my peers are looking to become journalists, publishers or screenwriters. My university course has prepared me admirably for employment in any of those jobs. The careers service has plenty to offer for students wanting to enter those industries. Yet the more I peer out into the ocean of my future, the more the shoreline signposted ‘art’ seems verdant, while the coast labelled ‘commercial writing’ seems barren.
And so I come here, hoping to combine my two creative parts into a coherent whole, and to help anyone else struggling through the quagmire of choosing and entering the creative industries! I hope to present you with a track of my own progress as I work to build my artwork to a professional level, and to share with you any useful resources I find or ideas I discover along the way. I want to reach out to anyone who is in a similar situation, and make friends with whom I can share this process of soul-searching and identity-forging in a world of dazzling possibility!