Sue Elder's story

Sue Elder's story

Throughout the course I felt able to approach my tutors at any time, they were always supportive and encouraged me to expand and experiment with new ideas.

Our BA (Hons) Illustration third year student, Sue Elder, recently shared with us how Buckinghamshire New University is supporting her on her journey as a mature student and the opportunities she has encountered.

Sue mentioned that as a mature student it took her a long time to finally reach a point where she was ready to return to higher education, however after visiting BNU on an Open Day she knew she was ready. “I had spent some time looking at different universities but for me going to BNU was the obvious choice due the range of experiences and facilities the university would be able to provide. Before applying I attended an Open Day, during which I was given a tour of the studios and the print making department, which was innovating. At last I could see an opportunity to visualise the endless ideas that had been bouncing around in my thoughts for such a long time!

During her three years studying at Buckinghamshire New University, Sue mentions she has developed her confidence and continues to be supported by her lecturers to push herself to produce the best work she can. “Going to university was a huge step for me, I had little confidence in my ability as an artist and was uncertain as to what to expect. I am pleased to say this overall level of anxiety was quickly resolved. Throughout the course I felt able to approach my tutors at any time, they were always supportive and encouraged me to expand and experiment with new ideas. This approach enabled me to come to the right conclusions for myself, this was important as it gave me the confidence to develop future projects in different ways.”

Sue Elders' illustration of a blackbird

Sue shared that over her three year course she has been able to broadened her knowledge in Illustration. “I have learnt so much more than I previously knew about the variety of opportunities within the many different areas of illustration including editorial, product design, digital and print. Learning how to follow and complete professional briefs and entering competitions were such valuable experiences. My skills have improved greatly and I am confident in the many different approaches I now use in my work. I am achieving something special for myself which is giving me the confidence to venture into a new career as a freelance illustrator and explore the many opportunities that lay ahead.”



Although at times difficult, Sue states the tutors are there to support her. “Some days I did feel overwhelmed but have been reassured by sharing my concerns with my tutors which has resolved the problem and moved me forward. I think the most important thing for me was to know that I would be supported and encouraged in the process of developing my ideas, to achieve positive outcomes and experiences.”

Sue Elder's mosaics of a wave in the night time

She also mentioned that the facilities at Buckinghamshire New university help her achieve her goals. “Having such great facilities also meant I was able to access a range of different mediums. The ‘Red Shed’, with the genuine letter press, which remains in perfect working order, provides the opportunity to produce contemporary work using traditional printing methods. There is such a wide variety of both traditional and contemporary equipment, resources and knowhow within the print department which is unavailable in other universities. I also feel that the ‘Product Design’ department provides opportunities for creatives to explore and incorporate other mediums into their work through pottery, metal & woodwork, laser cutting and 3D printers all of which are available to use as part of the course.”

Learn more about our BA in Illustration
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