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So exactly a year ago tomorrow I moved 190 miles away from home to Leeds to study an art foundation degree at Leeds Arts university. I hadn't even considered a foundation and barely knew what it was about around a year and a half ago; so I'm writing this to inform and maybe even help others with their decisions if thinking about entering the creative industry.
An Art Foundation is basically a year-long course which lets you experiment in all areas of the design industry. I tried out fine art, graphics, photography, fashion, architecture, and more.
I applied for Leeds Arts University & Buckinghamshire New University. I chose Leeds, and here's why.
1. Moving Out
I was always itching to get out of my house and this felt like the perfect way to test it. One year away, three holidays within that to come home, fit me perfectly and I could decorate! It was the best thing I have ever done, the nerves soon go and the enjoyment soon overflows. I ended up making the best friends I could ask for and making more memories every day. You learn so much about yourself and how much you're capable of.
Having a one year course to do this is great for anyone not sure about university or the path they want to take creatively.
2. The City
Secondly Leeds itself I just feel in love with. It has everything anyone could want: theatres, clubs, pubs, coffee shops, hidden gems, culture, galleries, I could go on for ages.
If you visit, here are some quick recommendations: Roxy Club, Leeds Arts Gallery, Cosy Club, Domino Bar. You're welcome.
It really felt like a second home to me. You feel welcome and close to everything.
3. Options & Experiences
My foundation course allowed me to try everything and then specialise in my favourite area for over half the year. It's a fast-paced course but constantly exciting and fresh. Coming into the course, I thought I was destined to study Illustration because all my work had been based around that previously but the foundation opened me up to so many options and Graphic Design soon became my true passion. I can't tell you how many people finished the year going into something different than what they expected to be—something they enjoyed and felt connected to. I learnt areas within Fine Art, Photography, Object Spacial Awareness, Fashion, Pattern, Textiles, Illustration, Advertising, Moving Image, and of course Graphic Design.
The Foundation at Leeds Arts put me on the right path, 100 percent.
4. A Home Away from Home
My grandparents live in Yorkshire about half an hour out of Leeds so it was lovely that I could visit them and see them so much more than usual. Moving away was taunting but knowing there were familiar faces near by really made it feel like it was home away from home. Plus free meals.
This was the key one for me. It gave me so much freedom. I could do what I want when I wanted to and it felt amazing and surprisingly, I did more than I did before. I cooked all sorts risotto, stir-fry, paella, chili, and so many new things because I had the space to experiment. I even started going to the gym. I got so much control of my life and it felt liberating. It allowed me to choose what I wanted to fight for and the decisions I wanted to make.
I'm starting to feel like an adult and I love it.