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Festive Gift Guide: Shop our Grads

Shop small and support local talent this Christmas - browse our hand-picked selection of unique gift ideas from a handful of our talented graduates.

In the spirit of supporting small business and shopping locally, we’ve picked some of our incredible Arts University Plymouth graduates, so that you can spend your hard earned cash on meaningful festive gifts from independent artists and makers who we’re proud to call members of our creative community.

BA (Hons) Illustration, class of 2022

Shri Gunasekara is an illustrator whose work features bold shapes and compositions as well as vibrant colours and textures. Her work explores family dynamics and intimacy through picture books, graphic novels and comics. Shri’s projects are an accumulation of fun and intimate family connections through a vivid and exuberant palette of visual storytelling.

At the 2022 Summer Shows, Shri was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Commendation Award. This new annual award is to recognise outstanding creative and academic achievement, alongside a sustained contribution to the university community.

Buy now: 'Bobby is Bored' Picture Book £15

@smileyshri_
etsy.com/smileyshri

BA (Hons) Craft & Material Practices, class of 2016

For those who like to gift activities, craft graduate Luke Axworthy followed his passion for metal smithing and works as an artisan blacksmith and instructor. Offering blacksmithing classes for all ages at the unique Flameworks Creative Arts Facility in Plymouth, Luke is passionate about teaching blacksmithing and building people’s confidence with metal work.

The classes cover various blacksmithing and metalwork techniques from heat and hammer control to making damascus steel and creating your own tools, learning and mastering fundamental hand-forging processes and exercises.

Buy now: 2 hour blacksmithing class from £50

@axworthyluke
www.flameworks.org/blacksmithing

Luke Axworthy

Luke Axworthy offers one on one blacksmithing classes

BA (Hons) Illustration, class of 2018

George Goodwin is an illustrator who graduated from BA (Hons) Illustration with a First Class Honours in 2018. Creating unique artworks based around his love for nature and science fiction, his projects often reflect his ethics in regard to the environment and our relationship with the planet. As a graduate he has been featured in Computer Arts and Digital Arts magazine as one to watch in the Best Grad awards as well as having his work highlighted in Creative Boom’s highly coveted Inspiring Illustrators feature. He now illustrates under the moniker OMGIDRAWEDIT, and offers colourful and quirky prints of his illustrations featuring house plants, veg shops and arcades.

Buy now: ‘Veg Shop’ Print £25

@omgidrawedit
omgidrawedit.bigcartel.com

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, class of 2022

Oliwia Nowotnik, who graduated with First Class honours in 2022, set up the Wia Wear label while studying for her final year on our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course. Talented designer Oliwia was picked to showcase her collection at London’s Graduate Fashion Week 2022. During her time at Arts University Plymouth Oliwia also acted as a public speaker and ambassador for the IGNITE: Festival of Creativity, speaking at live events and appearing in interviews with the BBC.

Based in Plymouth’s Go To Marketplace (GTMP) in Drake Circus, WIA WEAR’s designs are inspired by Oliwia’s expressive and extreme art, illustrations and graphics. Using handmade and reworked garments, with bold graphics Oliwia credits creating her label with giving her purpose, which is reflected in the clothes that she makes.

Buy now: PRESENCE GRAPHIC HOODIE in Orange £70

@wiawear
wiawearfashion.com

UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication, class of 2019

Alongside Wia Wear at GTMP, you will find Nina Westwood’s MINSKI, a slow fashion collective with a focus on creating sustainable and funky clothing using a variety of hand crafting techniques. Nina is a graduate of our UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Practice: Art, Design and Communication. She was inspired to create Minski in 2019 while taking part in our annual Pre-Degree Design to Sell event.

Since the inception of MINKSI the label has developed into a project advocating upcycling, slow-fashion and the importance of fun. Nina uses hand printing methods frequently to design fabric and rework old clothing. Taking inspiration from festival and bohemian style, as well as streetwear, she aims to create a sense of fun and playfulness in her work and encourages people to try clothing on and get experimental with their outfits.

Buy now: Bucket Hat £30

@minski.official
minski.co.uk

Minski Hat

Bucket Ha by MINSKI

BA (Hons) Fashion Design, class of 2016

Another graduate based in the GoTo Marketplace is Poppy Yeoman, who graduated with First Class honours from our BA (Hons) Fashion Design course. She is the founder of The Original Fruitcakes and previously had her clothing sold in a space on Southside Street in Plymouth’s historical Barbican. Promoting sustainable fashion, Poppy’s hand-picked funky vintage garments are perfect for any slow fashion enthusiasts

Buy now: 'Love is a Snake Pit' Bodice £55

@theoriginalfruitcakes
depop.com/theoriginalfruitcakes

Bodice

'Love is a Snake Pit' Bodice by The Original Fruitcakes

BA (Hons) Illustration, class of 2012

Ben Challen is a London based printmaker and illustrator, who graduated from Arts University Plymouth in 2012. Known for his encyclopaedic documenting of natural history and specialising in nautical narratives, his work is inspired by the beauty of the natural and unnatural world - from the Mariana Trench to the Crab Nebula

Buy now: 'Seas The Day' Print £50

@benchallen
jealousgallery.com/collections/bench-allen

Ben Challen Seas The Day 720x

'Seas The Day' Print by Ben Challen

BA (Hons) Graphic Design & MA Printmaking, class of 2021

Sue Lewry, graduate of BA (Hons) Graphic Design and more recently in 2021, MA Printmaking, has gone on from her studies to being an active part of the local creative community. Over the summer, Sue successfully fundraised over £8,000 with Crowdfunder and Arts University Plymouth to grow Colossal, her mobile screen-printing workshop and limited edition print shop. Sue recently completed a residency which included four months of access to the specialist print facilities at Ocean Studios.

Visit her website to buy bright and bold limited edition prints that have been screen printed by hand.

Buy now: 'Blue Circles' Print £20

@suelewry
suelewry.com

BA (Hons) Illustration, class of 2014

Graduating with a First Class Honours, Samuel Thorne is an illustrator and designer inspired by the Golden Age of animation, vintage comic books, pop art, 1950s advertisements and 1980s skateboard graphics. His work has appeared on the front cover of Little White Lies digital magazine and he specialises in gig posters, album artwork and screenprinting. You can find his retro cartoon inspired designs on stickers and postcards, perfect for stocking fillers.

Buy now: 'Pizza Jaws' Vinyl Sticker from £1

@samuelbthorne
samuelbthorne.bigcartel.com

Three of our graduates from our BA (Hons) Illustration, BA (Hons) Textiles and BA (Hons) Fine Art courses have collaborated with Tate on their annual Christmas card collection.

Eleanor Andrews’ ‘Christmas Time Mischief’ designs, Faye Bentley’s ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas’ designs, and Stella Olivier’s ‘Coniferous Forest’ designs are all on sale now at Tate galleries and shops across the UK, as well as online.