Illustrator Zara McDermott wins Silver at the Creative Conscience Awards
BA (Hons) Illustration student Zara McDermott has won Silver at the Creative Conscience Awards with her innovative zine about ethical foraging, designed to promote good health and wellbeing in a sustainable way.
Originally from Kent and now starting her final year of study at Arts University Plymouth, Zara’s zine won in the ‘Health, Wellbeing + Disability’ category of the Creative Conscience Award. The awards are designed to celebrate exciting projects that focus on social or environmental impact.
Zara’s foraging zine was created in response to the Global Challenge themes that are embedded across the curriculum of Arts University Plymouth, encouraging every undergraduate student to link their creativity to their families, communities and nation, finding new ways to create meaningful world impact through their work.
Zara won an Arts University Plymouth Global Challenges Award earlier in the summer for the zine and was supported by her BA (Hons) Illustration team to submit the project to the 2023 Creative Conscience Awards. Last year, Arts University Plymouth BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Kate Channing won the Gold Creative Conscience Award for her innovative entry to the ‘Packaging Design’ category.
Creative Conscience Award Silver Badge
Freelance illustrator Zara McDermott said: “I’m over the moon to have won a Creative Conscience award. It's great to be showcased alongside such an array of amazing projects and creatives. I find it inspiring the power that creativity has to make positive change in the world, and it's an honour to be acknowledged by an organisation that is devoted to creating a space that celebrates people wanting to make a difference with their creativity.”
“I really enjoy studying at Arts University Plymouth. I especially love the Illustration department and I love my course, it's everything I wanted it to be. The tutors are so supportive, inspiring and knowledgeable, always helpful, they've taught me so much over the two years so far! Overall it's fabulous. I think the course is a good mixture of learning about the illustration industry, working freelance, expanding your skills, also mixed in with learning more about yourself as a creative and discovering your practice and nurturing your passions and finding your unique voice.”
“I'm very open to where my practice takes me after I graduate. I’m an advocate of saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way, even if it scares you. I would love to continue to create work that has a positive impact and helps make the world a better place. I’m very interested in health and wellbeing and how we can become happier and healthier people.”
BA (Hons) Illustration Lecturer Phillip Trenerry said: “Zara created an artefact that welcomes new audiences to the world of foraging. Her publication identified positive benefits to this activity, including engagement with and care for green spaces, dietary awareness and improvement of mental and physical health. Zara's advocacy was delivered through vibrant illustrations and a warm written tone and she was careful to consider the ethics surrounding her project, from health and safety through to accuracy of information. Zara worked openly and positively with art direction throughout the creative process. She is a pleasure to work with.”
Associate Professor Stephanie Owens at Arts University Plymouth said: “Zara’s work is an excellent example of what is possible when students embrace the Global Challenges element of our undergraduate curriculum. Students at Arts University Plymouth are free to specialise and develop their own unique interests and pathways, but we structure our curriculum in a way that encourages every student to to recognise that what they do and what they create lives within a broader societal context, helping them foster meaningful impact in the world outside of their studios as well as within them.”
BA (Hons) Illustration at Arts University Plymouth empowers students to make their mark in a competitive design discipline working on everything from indie publishing and children’s literature, through to comic books and commercial products. Students develop professional skills including creative problem-solving, project management, and working to briefs and deadlines.
Throughout the course, students explore traditional and forward-looking image-making in different contexts, including editorial, publishing (book design and illustration, comics and graphic novels), surface pattern and print, moving image, graphic design and design-to-sell products (zines, toys, stationery, limited edition prints, and more). Students are also taught to develop a culturally curious attitude and be sensitive to the ethical responsibilities that illustration comes with.
To find out more about BA (Hons) Illustration at Arts University Plymouth, the next Open Day will be held on Saturday 21 October 2023, with opportunities to meet expert academics, speak to current students and get a taste for life at the UK’s newest independent arts university.