Thinking, Writing and Processing. It really is something we all tend to go through in some sort of creative project during a point in our lives. Emily Higgins takes these three words and promotes her own work through this process. Having been a student at Winchester School of Art herself, and now working in London I thought it would be a good idea to ask a few questions regarding life just beyond university- we all fear it ever so slightly but it is not something to be afraid of!
Nicola Manuel: To people who may not know you who are you and what are you currently working on?
Emily Higgins: I’m the Content Producer at a digital design studio called The Bright Place. It is my job to source, edit and write multimedia content for our mobile apps and online websites. Right now it’s a really exciting time to be responsible for the words.
Following my BA at WSA, I studied Design Writing Criticism at LCC where we were encouraged to think of design as a lens to view the world. I enjoyed thinking about design in terms of storytelling and how different modes of writing can make it more accessible. This led to a short spell writing for the publication Grafik, and it was here that I wrote a column previewing forthcoming books and journals. The digital formats were very hungry, and in an oversaturated sea of words, finding the right ones proved to be a challenge!
So now, remaining very much in the digital world, I feel really fortunate to be able to combine my love for the arts with great writing. And this is most certainly something that began at Winchester.
NM: Having been a student at Winchester School of Art yourself, what would you say is the best aspect you have taken away from studying there?
EH: I’m a great believer in learning through making, so getting inky fingers and panicking about workshop access were an essential part of my education. I loved the printmaking facilities in particular, always looking forward to working with a physical process (at WSA, I lived in the screen printing workshop, at LCC the letterpress). I usually think of briefs in terms of design process; how something might materialize – and now, even though it’ll bypass the ink and the paper, there’s nothing like seeing people use and interact with that thing you created.
Art school gives you that pure, unadulterated time to really get lost in your practice, which has to be one of the most valuable parts of a design education.
NM: Sum up your work in three words…
EH: Collaborative, Evolving, Inquisitive.
NM: Are there any strong opinions you wish to pursue within your work?
EH: I design my writing to be read aloud; great writing sounds good! So having a voice is vital, in whatever form my work manifests. I enjoy playing a proactive role in the team’s challenge of balancing content with aesthetic, and it’s exciting to see how writing is increasingly considered as a part of design. If there’s one thing that I take away from all my studies, it’s that design and writing aren’t so separate after all.
NM: What is the best advice you can give to new graduates coming out of university in today’s climate?
EH: Hitting the sixth months post-graduation was difficult. But if you can, hold out for that thing that you really want to do. If you’re passionate and dedicated, you’ll get there.