Portrait of Amelia Sharples

Amelia Sharples

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

During my studies at college I was selected to exhibit my work within the Pall Mall Gallery, London, it was such success which enticed me to explore my talent further to degree level. After the completion of two years studying at University I opted to undertake a Year in Industry. I worked at Christopher Farr Cloth, a small-scale luxury printed interior textiles design company in London and at the market leader, Muller headquarters within the print and packaging department. These placements have allowed me to put my skill base acquired at University into practice within a commercial setting. My placement at Muller furthered my interests in colour science which has led to my research topic for my final year dissertation. 

What made you want to apply to the Art and Design course at the School of Design and to Leeds?

The Art and Design course covered all aspects I was searching for in a degree, it can be tailored to your own interests via the election of the many modules on offer whilst providing a good balance of creativity and academia.  I chose the University itself due to its prestigious Redbrick and Russel group status. 

What is it that makes you most excited about studying Art & Design?

The most exciting thing about studying Art & Design is the extent to which I have stretched my creative skill base delving into new mediums which are out of my comfort zone, completely changing and advancing my work. I came to Leeds as a painter and have since been exploring sculpture and three-dimensional mediums. 

What aspects of the course do you enjoy the most?  

The aspect I most enjoy about the course is creating in the School of Design Workshop. The workshop equips for casting, woodwork, welding and 3D printing to name a few. It is from here that I get my creative energy and drive because there is always something new to learn. I love seeing the journey of my work and the assistance provided allows for the more ambitious ideas to come to life. 

What would you say about Leeds as a city?

The city itself is full with history and culture. Amongst its stunning architecture is a series of fabulous shopping centres not to mention the cluster of reputable galleries and museums which can not only keep you occupied but aid in research. Another great aspect about Leeds is its location, it neighbours many other great cities which makes travelling and exploring very accessible. A few miles out of Leeds you are plunged into beautiful peaceful countryside to escape from the busyness of city life allowing for the best of both.   

What would you say about the learning facilities at the School of Design and at the University in general?

The School of Design offers a variety of learning facilities, which are often renewed with the latest up and coming technology. Such equipment is open to all students should they require it and this can be done outside of timetabled sessions so that students can become as proficient as they will. What is perhaps the best part about access to facilities across campus as a whole is that if your school doesn’t hold the equipment required there is potential to collaborate with other schools in the University. Such collaboration opens up new possibilities which can lead to even more interesting results. 

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

The Student Union is home to an abundance of societies attending to all needs and interests, since joining the University I have joined and trained with both the Ballet and Snowriders societies. Aside from this I am a member at The Edge (University Gym) where I have participated in swimming, badminton, squash, rock climbing as well as the many classes. 

What would you say to students thinking of applying to your course?

The course is very diverse! You are able to acquire knowledge and a broad skill set from a variety of areas - from graphics to marketing - but also within research and academic based topics all of which are vital when departing university. You are able to make the course whatever you want as the practical side is very open and unrestricted and you have the freedom to select modules in order to specify the course to your interests. 

What would you say about the course to future international students?

I would say to future international students that the course itself is very multicultural and this is beneficial to the whole school because such culture and diversity infuses into the work produced by students informing new innovations and aesthetics. Secondly, the studios are a great and friendly place to be. It’s a really good place to meet new people and talk with those who share the same interests. 

What do you plan to do once you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?

After graduating I will to return to Muller where I have been offered a position following my year in industry placement. This position will require a lot of the knowledge I have gained throughout my studies from marketing modules to colours science. Not only this but the time management and organisation skills gained from meeting deadlines will be crucial in my role as I manage the artwork through to print. Another skill that will be valuable and transferable to my role is my ability to work as a team, a skill achieved through group projects and assignments across the School of Design. My dissertation research which I am currently undertaking will be vital to my understanding of topical issues in relation to consumer behaviour. This will allow me to bring new knowledge to the market leading company.