What did you do for your final degree show?

Caz Hildebrand

‘I produced a limited-edition silkscreen print entitled A Type of Homage, an alphabet inspired by and derived from Mondrian’s paintings. I have no idea why I imagined this would help me to find a job, and it probably slowed my career to a near standstill for a few years, but ever a lover of puns, the title seemed irresistible, and was intended to be the start of a series.’

Caz Hildebrand, creative partner, Here

Killian Cooper

‘I made a hoax “hitman for hire” website with my best mate. We staged a crime scene of chalk outlines, yellow tape and forensic evidence. We sold merch like branded balaclavas, frying pans and body bags. At the degree show, we thought it’d be funny to wear the balaclavas and carry a stuffed body bag around Dublin but the Irish police force didn’t think it was funny. They mistook us for IRA terrorists and pointed guns at our heads. Luckily we escaped with just a warning and graduated unscathed.’

Killian Cooper, art director, Hungry Castle

Emily Evans' DRC project

‘For my degree show I exhibited three large collages I had made about Child Soldiers in the DRC. The pieces were about 1.5 m x 2.5 meters each and had been created in paint and collage. I really enjoyed working on a large scale – much to the annoyance of my flatmates in our tiny house. Once I graduated I stopped as I thought it was impractical. Recently I’ve started working large again and, often put commissions straight on to wall spaces. I really enjoy the freedom it gives – it’s strange how things come full-circle.’

Emily Evans, illustrator

Dominic Wilcox

‘My memories of my degree show are that it was a bit chaotic, stressful and left until the last minute. I had an idea for Edinburgh Zoo where they could fill balloon animals with helium and tie a gift voucher around their neck and release them into the sky. ”Balloon animals escape from Edinburgh zoo!” was my strap line. I also made this strange interactive story using software called Director. I can’t remember much but you could talk with my floating head.’

Dominic Wilcox, artist and designer

Ben ChristieLuckily I was given some simple but sage advice just before my show, which I’d highly recommend to any ideas-driven ”graduate to be”: It’s irrelevant which projects you put the most blood, sweat, tears and sleepless nights into. Just pick your best ”quick hit” ideas from the last three years, adding a little retrospective revision where necessary. The people you really want to see your work will likely have a matter of seconds before being distracted by an industry pal, old classmate or tutor. It’s your thinking that should be on display, not your life-story. The job that gets you a job is as likely to be a one-day brief or fleeting thought you had on the train, as it is a six-week epic saga you slaved over. Keep it simple, stupid.’

Ben Christie, creative partner, Magpie Studio

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  • Chrissy Styles November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Disagree with the last point – your graduate show might be the last time you get the chance or time to be really self-indulgent. Savour it. The quick-hitters are what your portfolio is for.

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