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Meet the designers behind the new alumni merchandise


Written by
Eleanor Harvey
Published date
27 October 2021

We’re delighted to announce that we have new UAL Alumni Association merchandise, with designs by four UAL graduates!

In February last year, we launched the annual UAL Alumni Design Competition 2020, where graduates submit entries to be printed on the UAL Alumni merchandise. The brief? Creative, contemporary, simple designs that celebrated the spirit of UAL and the impressiveness of our global community.

The merchandise will be available at all future UAL alumni events; you’ll be able to pick up tea towels, notebooks, tote bags, and an a5 print (all for free!).

The winners

We spoke to Amy, Anoushka, Su and Yolande to find out more about their inspirations behind their winning designs.

Amy Flynn

BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery Design, 2017, London College of Fashion (LCF)

Photo of Amy smiling into the camera
Amy Flynn

Why did you choose to study at LCF? 

The Fashion Jewellery course at LCF encouraged being experimental with materials, so I knew it was for me. I’d always made things that were not typically clothing or jewellery but crossed the boundaries between the two. The fact that I could bring my love for textiles into jewellery making was why I chose LCF, that and its reputation!

What was your time at LCF like? 

It was a real learning curve being at university, I was the first person in my family to go into higher education and I remember turning up to London without a laptop, I didn’t own one (but also did not realise I would need one!) It was amazing to be surrounded by so many people who were passionate about the same thing as myself, and I miss spending my days at LCF in the jewellery studio with my peers, creating and talking.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After graduating I took a few years away from fashion/design and travelled. I returned to the UK at the end of 2019, eager to get back into it. I started making Jewellery again in 2020 under the brand name ‘Dripped Goods’, I’m making things slowly in small batches to cherish for a long time. Alongside this I work part-time as ‘Textiles Champion’ at a non-profit, delivering workshops to the local community, teaching skills to mend and up-cycle old textiles that have been donated.

Illustration of eyes with different people in different positions inside the pupil
A5 print. Credit: Amy Flynn

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your winning design?

My design is inspired by the origin of the word ‘Pupil’ (part of the eye), which is derived from ‘little person’, as universally one sees a miniature reflection of themselves in another's eye. I also thought it incredibly apt for this brief as the alternative meaning for the word is to be a student. My hand-drawn illustrations depict the people that collectively make up the community of UAL. I hope everybody that looks at my design can see some part of themselves in it.

How did you feel when you found out you’d won? 

I was delighted when I found out I’d won. It was a turning point for me as I was struggling at the time, trying to find work during the pandemic was difficult, and when I got the email to say that my design was chosen it really lifted my spirits. I think it was a sign for me to not give up on my creative pursuits.

What's next for you? 

Going forwards I’d like to do more commissions and collaborate with designers working in other mediums as well, perhaps create bespoke buttons for garments! I’m looking to get Dripped Goods into a studio space too (I currently work from a spare room) so that I can invite people in to create custom pieces such as wedding rings; I love creating jewellery that is sentimental.

Anoushka Cole

MA Material Futures, 2017, Central Saint Martins (CSM)

Photo of Anoushka in her workshop with sketches around
Anoushka Cole

Why did you choose to study at CSM? 

After completing my textile design degree and working for a few years I was really starting to question what art and design could be, and how to make and create in a more sustainable way. The MA Material Futures course at CSM seemed to answer a lot of these questions and really challenged me to look at the creative world differently.

What was your time at CSM like? 

I think intense is the best word to describe CSM, in both a great way and an exhausting way! I grew an insane amount within the two years I studied there, and I learned perhaps more of what I didn’t want to do than what I did. I still feel like I’m processing everything I learned a few years later.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

Since graduating I’ve been working as a freelancer on a number of material-focused projects as well as setting up a studio and working as an illustrator and printmaker. CSM definitely taught me to be a jack of all trades and say yes to everything.

Pink square with different shapes in green and blue
Tote bag design. Credit: Anoushka Cole

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your winning design?

I’m an avid doodler and always find my hands drawing shapes whenever I’m focusing on a new project, so for this one I just let them run with it. CSM is such a mishmash of creative humans from all walks of life, working together and making space for one another, and this idea of ‘it takes all shapes’ seemed to fit well with my experience of that space.

How did you feel when you found out you’d won? 

I was so elated to find out my design had won, we were a few months into the first lockdown and like many self-employed people, the projects I was working on had come to a rapid halt, so it was the best timing to receive such an uplifting boost. Drawing has been my saviour throughout the last year and a half, so it was lovely to receive such positive feedback and really feel connected to UAL again.

What’s next for you? 

I’m continuing to work on freelance projects focusing on material research whilst also growing my hands-on making skills, I’m currently exploring painting, sculpture, and jewellery casting.

Su Ekin Demir

MA Graphic Design, 2014, London College of Communication (LCC)

Photo of Su against a graffitied wall
Su Ekin Demir

Why did you choose to study at LCC? 

I wanted to do an MA in graphic design and LCC was the best with its extensive fields, facilities, and great reputation.

What was your time at LCC like? 

LCC offered me many opportunities to explore graphic design; conceptually (during MA projects) and to execute projects in many different techniques. LCC allowed me to experiment with many hands-on techniques, such as laser-cutting, screen printing, foil blocking, bookbinding, etc. I also very much enjoyed the opportunity of attending many seminars and workshops across UAL and digging for inspiration in the libraries.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

After graduation, I continued living in London for another year, working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. Afterward, I moved to Antwerp, Belgium, and have been working at different design agencies and companies. Currently, I work as a full-time designer at an agency and continue to do my own projects.

Graphic image of different people in lots of different bold colours
Notebook design. Credit: Su Ekin Demir

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your winning design?

The UAL community is so diverse and dynamic. Students coming from all around the world and connecting in such an inspiring place in such an international and inspiring city, London. My work is celebrating the diversity of the UAL community. I made an illustration with different artistic characters and turned it into a pattern, and don't they look great all together?! :)

How did you feel when you found out you’d won? 

I was thrilled to hear that I won one of the prizes! I was especially very excited that one of my works was going to be a UAL merchandised product and would be given to thousands of creative graduates.

What's next for you? 

I'll always keep on being productive and continue what I'm passionate about; being a designer, maker, founder, creator. All the things that make me feel alive and remind me who I am. Hopefully, many more inspiring projects to come, together with some collaborations and art projects. Still, so many things to explore.

Yolande Mutale

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication Design, 2019, CSM

Why did you choose to study at CSM? 

I chose CSM as it felt like a course that wouldn’t put you into a box straight away. I liked how broad the boundaries were and that you could easily switch focus. I remember walking into the degree show a few years before I applied and feeling the exciting energy in the building. I really wanted to be surrounded by a great creative community which I defiantly felt like I had.

What was your time at CSM like? 

I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to specialise in when starting so I bounced around a lot. I ended up doing several different modules from Time and Movement (film) to Narrative and Voice (illustration). I think by the end this really informed the way I work. I’m so glad I got to experiment as I feel I have really developed my practice. During the second term of the second year, I got to go on an exchange to SVA in New York which was the most incredible experience. It was very different from CSM and very technical, but I felt like I learned so much during my time.

What have you been up to since you graduated?

Since graduating I have been working freelance as an illustrator as well as working as a Creative at an Advertising Agency. I have tried to seize every opportunity as they come and make the most of being a creative in a big city.

Illustration of different faces in side profile, in pink, yellow, blue and red and all different sizes
Tea towel design. Credit: Yolande Mutale

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your winning design?

The winning design was based on the many personalities and people I would see at CSM. I used vibrant colours and comedic hairstyles to reflect this energy.

How did you feel when you found out you’d won? 

I was really excited when I found out! Very proud that my work had been chosen.

What's next for you? 

I would like to pursue more illustration projects, not just commissions but also my own personal work. I don’t have a strict plan for the next few years, especially with the pandemic things are very up in the air, but hopefully, I would like to get to travel for an extended time whilst freelancing!

The merchandise will be available at all future UAL Alumni Association events - and it's completely free!

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