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Julia from Spain, Foundation Diploma in Art and Design

Julia López Martínez, from Spain, is studying for a Foundation Diploma
in Art and Design, on Leeds College of Art’s MAGPI pathway (Moving image, Advertising, Graphic design, Photography and Illustration).

Here, she shares what she's learning about design – and about herself – while studying in the UK.

Can you give us a bit of background to why you chose a UK qualification?

'I decided to come to Leeds to study my Foundation Diploma because I think that this country has a great perception of the art and design world. The culture and the universities show a strong commitment to education in these areas, and this is something that many European countries tend to leave behind by prioritising other fields.'

What do you find most inspiring about your degree and institution?

'What I find most inspiring about my course is the freedom and the amount of responsibility that is given to the student.

'Our tutors might initially set our tasks with a few limitations and instructions. However, from that point onward, we are always encouraged to develop our projects and ideas from our own perspectives, having the chance to decide on the form we want to give to our work.

'Furthermore, my university (Leeds College of Art) is an inspiring institution by itself, being an independent art school with very committed staff who are always ready to help.'

One of Julia's design projects (Image ©Julia Martínez)

How did your perception of your subject change as a result of your course and studies?

'Before coming to the UK to study Art and Design, I wasn’t even sure of which path I wanted to take. Now that I see myself as an aspiring graphic designer, I can say that my perception of this field is completely different from what I used to know! My excitement for this subject has grown since I discovered the infinite forms that graphic design can take, without the limitation of just two-dimensional formats.

Want to study art or design in the UK?

'Graphic design can be present everywhere, and this is something that encourages me to explore every single stimulus I might ever have, because it could develop into a piece of graphic design.'

What did you like most about the teaching methods and styles you experienced?

'The teaching methods and the way of learning was one of the main reasons why I decided to come to the UK to develop my studies. My desire was to learn something through the methodology of doing it and learning through practice, and this is exactly what I have been doing since I came here.'

What does being ‘creative’ mean to you?

'To me, being creative means being able to form things that cause sensations for people, whether they are positive or negative, but always stimulating the person who experiences them in some way.'

What advice would you give students hoping to apply to your course?

'My advice to all students applying to the Foundation of Art and Design course is to enjoy what you are doing, to not overthink too much and always be confident of what you like, because in the end that’s where you will perform better and produce the most successful results.'

Julia and friends at the college (All photos ©Julia Martínez)

What was your most memorable trip, workshop, course or speech? Why?

'There are so many events that stand out in my memory from these past months! However, what will stand out in my memory forever is the mere experience of having changed my whole life completely by moving here. The fact of having moved to a different culture and atmosphere has taught me more things than any other event in my life. I will always remember the time when my perception of how I considered things changed, and how differently I now value every aspect of my life.'

What are your ambitions for the future?

'My ambitions for the future are not defined yet. At least not professionally, but I can say that what I’m sure about is that I want to make a living with the possibility of being able to keep learning at the same time. Not necessarily learning large volumes of complex theories, but learning with the same intensity as I’m doing now. Catching information from every experience I take, and adding it as a contribution to how I perceive life!'

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