How I got in: Oliver's textile design degree at CSM
Applying to study a creative subject at the University of the Arts London
Oliver Roberts is studying a BA in Textile Design at Central Saint Martins (CSM), part of the world-renowned University of the Arts London (UAL).
Choosing to study textiles was a no-brainer for Oliver. Despite some challenges along the way, he used these as a learning experience. In this interview with Unifrog, Oliver shares his tips and tricks for applying for a creative subject, as well as a look into his experience at CSM so far.
What was your journey like to CSM?
I found CSM through talking to my teachers and then I used Unifrog’s University tool to look at the different courses they offered. I think I chose to do the BA (Bachelor of Arts) because I was shocked that I received an offer in the first place, so I thought that I might as well make the most of the opportunities that came. I was pleased I did.
Did you face any challenges when you were applying?
One of the biggest challenges I faced during the application process was the number of portfolios I had to make. That was quite a lot of extra work, because I was also creating portfolios for my A level textiles and art course at the time as well.
How did you create different portfolios?
What I found really useful was using social media pages to inspire my work. It's really interesting to look at different students’ portfolios on Instagram. I have a huge PDF filled with my work, so I just thought about what the admissions team wanted, and started to pick out things that I had already created. It's very important to always take pictures and keep track of everything you do because you'll never know when you'll need it.
What prepared you for studying a creative subject?
Doing two creative subjects is a lot, but I think it prepared me well for moving on to the degree level because it's so intense - making and designing. And it is a lot of work, but it's really fun.
What was surprising about CSM?
Friends on my course have done different creative pathways before. There's no rush to find your niche. I think especially in the creative world, there are so many different pathways. One thing I’d tell myself is, take your time to find your thing and it’ll come to you.
What’s it like to study art at university?
Yes, I study textiles, but I can walk into the ceramics, the jewellery, the product design, and the print workshops, and access the resources. That's something I never really had access to when I was in sixth form. So I've been able to explore more creatively because I've had access to a lot more actual technical stuff.
What’s your favourite thing about being at CSM?
My favourite thing about being at CSM is the building, which is huge. There are so many different creative people working in the building and it has one of the biggest libraries for design in Europe, I think. There's always some kind of event or opportunity going on. The studios are massive and there’s so much access to everything you want to get involved in. That's definitely the best part of CSM.
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