Read the transcript below for the video of the MA Illustration Q&A: 'Meet our alumni: A Virtual Q&A'.

How do you study creative, practical skills off campus, when the value of creative subjects at university lies in studio time and working alongside other artists and tutors in person?

STEPHANIE LENNON: When you start the course, you'll make a lot of friends. I'm very blessed now that I've got this gorgeous group of international illustrators, and we became very close over the two years. And make sure you develop those relationships because the tutors will help you, but having your fellow coursemates' support is invaluable. You can always jump on a Zoom or a whatever online streaming platform you want to have a chat and get together and show your work and get feedback. Me, personally, because I was working at home, because we started the course during the pandemic, so you're working from the kitchen table. But everybody was more than happy and more than willing to give each other, feedback and support and positive feedback as well. So critical when they thought you could improve something or try something different, but also super supportive if ever you were stuck. So, yeah, definitely developing those relationships with your coursemates because everybody's in the same boat. We're all in it together. So there was definitely that spirit to the course, and the tutors were brilliant.

What is the biggest change you have seen happen in the kast couple of years in illustration?

NATALI DE MELLO: To use inclusion in illustrations, like you use different characters, different colors and shapes, and different ways of talking about of making this inclusion and considering the audience. For me, I'm an immigrant here in Canada. I'm not Canadian. I'm from Brazil, and I have several clients here. Well, the commissions are related to this immigration, and so I have to consider all these inclusions. So everything that I've learned, even during MA and that we have seen about inclusion, I'm using now. And it was important to learn. So this is what I've been seeing. And besides that, artificial intelligence, but I'm just learning about that. It's not a threat. For me, it's like, that's another subject, but this is something that's new that I've seen.

Can you share some best practices and tips about the course?

JULIAN MILLS: Although you're going to hand in a portfolio, and I find that it was good to start building the portfolio, putting everything into the portfolio document, as you're going along, make backups of everything. Because if your hard drive goes down, you will have a heart attack. Yeah, but just start filling things in. And as you as Natalie said, keep notes and document why you do everything. Because that is, kind of, the thing you get asked a lot. You have to justify why am I making because not you're not doing a BA. This is a master's. And you'll be asked, why did you make that decision? And it can't be arbitrary. You have to be able to back it up. So that was an interest. Yeah. So don't think, OK, I'm going to build this document because my documents end up being hugem like 200 page, PDF. And you don't want to be doing that in the last week. So just constantly just keep documenting it. Why did I do this? What sketches have I done? What things have I looked at? And then there was an app, Zotero, we used, for documenting referencing. So if you're referencing everything, everything has to be Harvard reference, which sounds really scary, but it's actually it's a bit long winded, but it's not as scary as it sounds. And if you use the tarot and you can talk to the people at ask, which is like how they help you your academic writing. They're really helpful, and they will talk you through the process of doing your referencing.

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