Christmas Gift Guide: Shop our Grads
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but we know it can be stressful knowing what gifts to get for the big day. In the spirit of supporting small businesses and shopping locally, we’ve picked some of our incredible graduates who are making and selling their wares for the festive season. Check out some of these independent makers and put your hard earned cash directly into the creative community.
Savannah, graduating BA (Hons) Illustration with a First Class honours, is inspired by nature, the simplicity of everyday life, 90’s Japanese counterculture and nostalgia. Recently, Savannah was selected as part of our Christmas Card collaboration with Tate. Her design ‘The Joy of Winter Christmas’, features a playful winter mountain scene. Since graduating, Savannah has been selling quirky and cute illustrations online, with her colourful designs also available as stickers and risograph prints.
With clients ranging from The New York Times to Pavilion Books, Illustration alumnus Jake Williams has been non-stop busy since winning the prestigious BDC New Designer of the Year Award in 2017. Here, we highlight his stunning illustrated children's books 'Really Remarkable Reptiles', 'Leonardo da Vinci’s Life of Invention' and 'Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery' - perfect for the little adventurer in your life!
Milly is a Welsh illustrator who graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration in 2021 with a First Class honours. She draws inspiration from the humour of everyday life and documenting inner thoughts, communicated through funky lettering, bold colours and abstract shapes. Milly’s work was chosen for the Plymouth College of Art and Tate Christmas card collaboration, with her pink and blue ‘Tis The Season’ design catching the eyes of the judges. Milly continues to design fun and bold prints and stickers which are available on her Etsy page.
Xanthe studied a UAL Foundation Diploma in Art & Design in 2015 before pursuing a degree in Education, English and Drama at Cambridge University. Xanthe is a figurative oil painter whose work layers portraits and overlapping organic forms, using shadows to capture impressions of the natural world. Xanthe is showing her work at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition until 2 January 2022. Xanthe sells her small works and studies on her website, but is able to do larger pieces and commissions on request.
Gabe graduated with First Class honours from BA (Hons) Illustration with the Class of 2021, and had two of his designs chosen for this year’s Christmas Card collaboration with Tate. His work takes inspiration from the beauty of nature, femininity and the power of expressing emotion and telling people’s stories. His highly relatable ‘Ugh’ design is an expression of some of his own holiday season emotions, captured in an image of the perennially tangled Christmas tree lights that so many of us wrestle with each year. Portuguese-British Gabe works predominantly with traditional mediums, alongside digital software and also explores different printmaking techniques, book binding and embroidery.
Benjamin first started his studies with us at the Saturday Arts Club before progressing onto a Crafts degree, graduating in 2017, specialising in glass. Since then, Benjamin has developed into a passionate glass artist, pursuing his love of working with molten glass, using it to express his ideas and create beautiful objects. Benjamin’s career has taken him around the world, working with some of the world’s best glass artists including Maxwell Wintrebert in Paris and Nancy Callan and Mel Douglas in Washington State. He is currently based in Murano, Venice and has showcased at Venice Glass Week and Talente Exhibition in Munich, with his glass art in several other major private collections.
Charlotte, who graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration in 2020 with a First Class honours, was a busy student and an even busier graduate. During her studies, she won a competition by Hubbox for a new menu design, was one of three students who won the Toy design first prize at the Mojo Nation Student Design Challenge in London and was shortlisted for the New Designer of the Year award in the Social Impact Design Award category. Charlotte’s work uses illustration as a tool to ignite social change and reframe discussions on global issues.
Donna graduated from BA (Hons) Jewellery (now BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices) with a First Class honours and is currently studying MA Jewellery at Plymouth College of Art. Donna’s current work explores the gaze of the female body, the role adornment plays in attraction and our desire to be seen. Using modern and traditional techniques, Donna predominantly crafts with silver and currently works out of her home studio in Cornwall.
Graduating from BA (Hons) Illustration with a First Class honours, Max’s illustrations focus on fashion and portraiture, with hyper femininity as part of his style. Including bright, sherbert colours, bold bouncy shapes and a mix of scratchy pencil marks and flatter smooth textures, Max’s work aims to expand the idea of boyhood by normalising and celebrating femininity in males. Max’s work has been included on It’s Nice That as well as his work being displayed as part of the Ignite Festival in Plymouth’s city centre.
Rebecca studied BA (Hons) Jewellery (now BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices) and takes inspiration from architecture and the decorative arts, especially art deco and art nouveau designs. Working with traditional jewellery making processes in a non-traditional way, Rebecca incorporates 3D printing and lost wax casting processes into her work, with Japanese aesthetics also playing a big role in inspiring her designs.
Abi specialises in both traditional and digital forms of art, with her work ranging from portraiture and character design to greeting cards and resin decorations. Abi’s style includes cute and quirky animal characters to dark and brooding fantasy portraiture, with adorable resin products and fun badge designs to boot. Abi is also available for commissions so get in touch via her website or Instagram handle below.
BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices
A trained jeweller and entrepreneur, alumna Chloe opened Me and East in 2017 with the aim of supporting independent craftspeople and businesses, and joining the campaign to keep the Independent British High Street alive.
Chloe's store stocks an exquisite selection of handmade gifts, clothing, jewellery, ceramics and more, all by a wonderful mix of independent British makers. Visit the store in Totnes or shop online.