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Posted 16.08.16

Graduate Q&A: Changing perspectives with Allie Couch

By Sarah Packer

Behind the scenes of Allie's final major project 'Changing Perspectives'.

Selected for our Best of Summer Show exhibition, named as one to watch in Computer Arts Magazine the ‘Talent Issue’, featured on Creative Bloq and now a semifinalist in the Adobe Design Achievement Awards.

We sat down with BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate Allie Couch to hear all about it...

Tell us about the work you had in our Graduate Shows.

The project I showcased at the Graduate Shows is titled Changing Perspectives. It’s a film campaign designed to challenge people's perspectives on physical disabilities.

Having a disability is a life changing experience, but it doesn’t have to always be a negative one. Many people overcome their disabilities and go on to redefine the boundaries of ability and achieve amazing things.

There is a stigma with physical disabilities that someone's ability is judged based on their physical outward appearance. I am trying to challenge both able and disabled people’s perspectives on this by visually demonstrating the liberation of a changed mindset through fun and interactive typography presented in a film.

For the project I collaborated with the awesome Round One Films, and the venue in Devonport was in collaboration with Real Ideas Organisation (RIO), a social enterprise organisation.

"The nature of the college just allows people to flourish; the facilities and access to them are incredible, and you can pick up new skills quickly."

Tell us about your time here at the college.

I actually joined the Plymouth College of Art family five years ago when I started A-Levels here. At the time, I knew I was creative but I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be.

It didn’t take long to figure that out though, as the first time I ever picked up a DSLR I fell in love with taking photos, which led me into doing photography alongside my degree for the last five years.

Allie's work at D&AD New Blood exhibition in London last month.

But graphic design was the real thing that interested me. I loved studying at the college so much I didn’t even look at other colleges and universities, I decided straight away I wanted to stay.

I can’t even explain how much of a different person I am now compared to when I came here five years ago, or even from the start of my degree.

The nature of the college just allows people to flourish; the facilities and access to them are incredible, and you can pick up new skills quickly.

"Say yes to as many things as possible and don’t pass up opportunities, no matter how good, bad or unmanageable they might seem."

The lecturers have been amazing on my degree, they really care about you and your work. They are so accessible both in studios and via email, and having that support is really encouraging.

Seeing how much the college has changed over the course of me being here is awesome, the college is really doing something special in this city.

One thing I have never been good at is having confidence in my work, but I’ve never let this stop me. I remember being a first year on my degree and seeing third years taking on live briefs for external clients and thinking “Wow, if I ever get the chance to take on even one live brief in third year, if I’m ever good enough for that, I will be so happy.”

I took on my first live brief a few months later, and then joined the college design hub ‘The Agency’ where over the last three years I’ve taken on a number of external briefs in a variety of styles, and also done some branding work for the college.

I’m mentioning this because this really shows the opportunities that the college gives you if you make the most of it and how much this degree has changed me into the designer that I am today.

What are your plans now you’ve graduated?

I’d love to work for a vibrant and fun design agency (well, who wouldn’t?) that specialises in branding, interactive experiences and advertising.

Allie designed the branding for our latest Open Days materials, ranging from printed brochures to large banners and signs.

I love experimenting with new software and learning about innovative up-and-coming technologies.

I’ve also always been one to get my hands dirty and get involved with some practical, handmade work, so I’d love to be a part of a place that explores both digital and analog approaches to design.

"Seeing how much the college has changed over the course of me being here is awesome, the college is really doing something special in this city."

What advice would you give aspiring designers?

Probably the best piece of advice I could give aspiring artists and designers would be to take up any opportunities that come your way.

Say yes to as many things as possible and don’t pass up opportunities, no matter how good, bad or unmanageable they might seem.

Allie is now working with grad Owen Jones on the design concept for Plymouth's Fashion in the City event.

If you don’t have confidence in your work, take it anyway. If you don’t have the time, make time and take it anyway. Mario Testino said, “My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious, you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities.”

I remember a time back in my second year where I had three coursework modules on the go, but also around five freelance and in-house studio projects and live briefs as well.

Did I have the time to take on extra work? Probably not, but you learn to make time, and because of that I have had some incredible experiences and met some amazing people.

Keep up to date on Allie’s progress as she enters the industry:
Website: www.alliecreative.co
Facebook: AllieCreativeCo
Instagram: @alliecouchx
Tumblr: allie-design.tumblr.com

Interested in working with Allie? You can contact her directly at hello@alliecreative.co
 

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