Professionals help DGC learners plan route to success

Creative Industries students at Dumfries and Galloway College (DGC) had a November to remember as they took part in three fantastic events with experts in their field.

The month began with a talk by former DGC student Chris McWhinnie, who leads Lockerbie-based company Creatomatic’s build and development studio as Operations Manager.

Chris shared his experiences as a student and his career progression, offering key pointers for CVs and portfolios alongside case studies of work produced by the highly successful Creatomatic agency.

Penny Humphreys, Lecturer in Visual Communication at DGC, said: “It’s always a pleasure to meet up with our amazing graduates and for them to so kindly share their success stories with our current students.”

Alison, an HNC Visual Communication student, said: “It’s interesting to hear how everything we’re learning works in industry practice.” While class-mate Heather commented: “It was great to learn about the professional setting and how they work as a team.”

The following week, DGC’s HNC/D Visual Communication students were invited to visit the Creative Studio at Browns Foods, Kelloholm, by its Creative and Marketing Director, David Sprott.

It provided learners with a fabulous opportunity to experience a studio environment and meet the Browns team — including graduates of DGC’s HND Visual Communication course, Junior Designers Navid Ali and Eilidh Sinclair who are both now employed by Browns.

Visitors were shown examples of work produced within the studio and enjoyed a tour of the facilities before a creative case study briefing by David, which will form part of a new collaboration between DGC and Browns.

The students are now working to create brand and packaging designs for product ranges to be reviewed and critiqued by Browns — and the project will conclude with students presenting their finished creative solutions to David.

Ms Humphreys said: “Industry liaison, experience and feedback is vital for our learners to develop skills and creative portfolios that are essential for progression to the creative industries sector.”

Student Abigail agreed and added: “It was great to see the creative studio environment. I liked how we got to speak with the designers individually and to see all the work they produce.”

To cap a fantastic week of learning, students were given an incredible insight into the world of film and television during a special workshop with Clive Tonge, Lecturer in Film and TV, at University of Cumbria.

Clive spoke about his role as film director on the 2018 horror film Mara, and provided great detail into some of the financial and practical realities of working in the industry.

He also presented a career pathway option open to DGC students and concluded the session with some lighting concepts, including a hands-on film lighting session.

Students Nathan and Con said: “Clive made the whole industry side of it sound very accessible and attainable if you’re passionate and work hard… And the lighting workshop was great, real hands-on learning.”

Ms Humphreys said: “We really appreciate the opportunities and practical experiences provided by Clive, and how positively our students engaged in the presentation and workshop.”

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