We recently caught up with MA Graphic Design student to talk about their MA exhibition held in the Northlight Studio.

Here MA Graphic Design student and Technician Demonstrator on the BA (Hons) Illustration course, JR Ryan discusses his work.

Can you tell us a bit about your work?

My work reflects my interests in a wide range of topics that range from advertising, marketing and corporate branding through to social awareness.

As a graphic designer, my current work is focused on propaganda and how everything from government-sponsored hate campaigns, to corporate advertising use the same set of psychological tools to manipulate their target audience to think in a particular way. I wondered if the same psychological tools could be used to deprogram some of this forced perspective, and open people up to other possibilities to think about the subject differently.

I like to use a lot of bold colour and materials in my work and use both 2D and 3D imagery, as well as physical objects to explore concepts and designs. Some days I will work purely digitally while others will be exploring hand made designs like silver jewellery, or large scale installations.

How have you found studying on the course alongside working at AUB at the same time?

Very challenging! But rewarding too. I have a lot of respect for anyone who takes on a degree of any sort while working. It’s hard graft. Fortunately, as a technician at AUB, I have been able to draw upon a large wealth of technical abilities and knowledge to create interesting projects.

And I’m surrounded by inspiring artists, coworkers, and students all day every day. To be honest, they might not know it, but they all kept me going. Second only to my partner Sharon, of course!

What do you plan to do now, as a practising artist?

I will be continuing to develop the subject of my MA, designing an antidote to propaganda, and taking that farther into research and applied practices. But mostly, I’m happy to have some time back to focus on my jewellery design business (saltwaterstudios.co.uk). And, of course, I’ll still be providing the technical/digital skills aspects of the BA and MA Illustration courses. Beyond that, who knows?

Find out more about AUB’s MA Courses.


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