Cornwall LivingIssue #80
Sink or swim
We hear from BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduate, Shaun Williamson, about what has and continues to drive him on his personal quest to raise awareness and help others.
Plymouth College of Art believes that high-quality education for life in contemporary arts practice is the creative catalyst for personal and cultural transformation. Its manifesto includes ten propositions, written by Principal Andrew Brewerton. These, added to the themes of Creative Learning and Social Justice, define the college’s strategic plans for the future.
“I discovered a love of design and making people smile, solving problems and creating new things. Now I live, eat and breathe design.”
Current students, recent graduates and alumni were invited to contribute their own propositions. Graphic Design graduate, Shaun Williamson, joined Plymouth College of Art as a mature student, driven by a passion for people and a desire to petition for change through his work.
Shaun believes that you have to fight for what you want. He tells us: “I was a late starter due to an illness I had as a child. Between the ages of 14 and 20 I was in and out of hospital with cancer and am now an amputee. I went to college to find my new adventure and my new passion. I discovered a love of design and making people smile, solving problems and creating new things. Now I live, eat and breathe design. It’s something I really enjoy doing, to be able to use my skills to push forward awareness movements to help others.”
Shaun’s proposition, ‘Sink or swim’, is demonstrated in the pictured artwork – designed using the college’s themes of Creative Learning and Social Justice. He explains: “For so long anything I wanted or needed, whatever I wanted to do, I had to fight for. Going back to college after leaving education at 14, I really felt the sense of ‘sink or swim’.
“It’s easy to apply my ethos to this industry; there is always someone better than you and there is always someone right on your tail, so you have to keep going and keep learning. I like learning – I want to continue to grow and expand on what I know.”
Shaun continues: “For my latest project, ‘Silent Signs’, I designed an awareness campaign with the objective of educating employers about invisible disabilities. I want to help employers create a safe space for their employees, so they can openly discuss their disabilities. The campaign is a voice for those who don’t have one, helping others understand the challenges they face.”
If you’re interested in creative study, why not explore the diverse range of design programmes that Plymouth College of Art has to offer? Simply go online and book into one of the college’s open days.
"I discovered a love of design and making people smile, solving problems and creating new things. Now I live, eat and breathe design."