|KATIE BARTON - interview
Why did you choose to study in Brighton?
I was really taken by the atmosphere of the town, rather than the university
itself! Although the reputation of the course did help me decide to go
there. But first and foremost it was the shops, people, clubs, geography,
and character of the place.
What was the best thing about the Brighton Illustration
The emphasis on life-drawing, drawing from life is integral to my painting.
A lot of courses don't teach you how to paint, the Brighton one gave me
a better chance.
What were the best moments in the whole three years?
My year group were a really good bunch of people. We all got
on well and socialised a lot. The fundraising parties
were probably the best memories I have.
What did you expect would happen once you'd finished the
I didn't have any definite idea. I knew that it was unlikely that I
would find regular illustration work immediately. Everyone knew it was
a competitive industry and we would probably not fall into careers straight
What work are you doing now? What are the problems involved
in being an illustrator?
I am working as a salesperson at Habitat. It's difficult trying to
juggle career opportunities with the reality of having to do ordinary work
to pay the rent. Trying to find time to paint. It's hard to stay positive
and be patient, not get disillusioned when you don't get any illustration
What do you think was the best piece in your degree show?
My last project, I illustrated a novel - 'Like Water for Chocolate'
I produced some very large still-lifes inspired by the story. I really
enjoyed painting in a free, expressive way. Previously I had been quite
uptight about the painting process and my work was very stiff and unexpressive
as a result. My favourite out of the set is called 'Rose-petal
sauce', I love the colours.
Life after graduating in Brighton?
I moved to London after leaving college, I felt that London was the
best place to be to start a career. However I found it very expensive and
isolating. I had to live quite far out so I didn't experience the benefits
of London, only the worse bits! I've now moved back to Brighton. Because
it's cheaper it's an opportunity to save money but also have a better quality
of life. I have more friends here.