This girl can – Chloe illustrates her success thanks to DMU

Having her illustrations feature in a TV advert for a nationwide sports campaign is just one highlight of Chloe Hall’s career since graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in 2013.

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The Graphic Design (Illustration) graduate was commissioned to create a range of illustrations, which showed women taking part in different activities for the animation that was used for Sport England’s This Girl Can - a campaign to get women and girls moving, regardless of shape, size and ability.

Since graduating, Chloe’s gone from strength-to-strength as a freelance illustrator, creating patterns for CardNest, a greetings card publisher and monthly subscription club, and having her cacti pattern used on the Art of Organics beauty box packaging.

The 25-year-old from Leicester said: “It’s great to see my patterns being used for a different purpose other than on my own stationery products. Getting my work into shops and boutiques is something I am always really grateful for!

“In terms of my biggest successes so far, I think exhibiting with Codswallop Collective at Pick Me Up in 2014 was also one of them, as well as being a part of The London Illustration Fair in 2015.”

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Chloe didn’t even know she wanted to run her own business until she found out about the DMU Enterprise Team, saying: “I was lucky enough to get a space on the scheme which meant I was given a grant to help get my business running.

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“I was also assigned a mentor in the creative industry, and had the opportunity to attend informative lectures and talks on subjects such as tax returns, self-employment and social media campaigns.

“Without the DMU Enterprise Team I don't know if I would be running my own business, it was so helpful!”

During her time at DMU Chloe was given the freedom to develop her own style, which focuses on prints and patterns inspired by nature and plants.

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“I genuinely loved DMU! We were encouraged to enjoy what we were creating, which I think is really important,” said Chloe.

“We had access to a lot of workshops, from pottery to screen-printing, and I made sure I used these facilities as much as possible. They helped us all to realise how we liked to work and shaped our styles.

“I knew I liked to draw but wasn't that great at designing, so the graphic design element of the course was really helpful. I also really enjoyed book-making and print-making and if it wasn't for this course I would have no idea how to use Photoshop!”

Chloe’s confidence has grown a lot in the past year. She said: “I feel I have developed a style now which I am happy with, and I hope the enjoyment I get from creating these prints is reflected in the products I create. My stockists list is growing as well as my online following.

“I have nearly always worked part-time while running my business and it takes a while to get into the swing of managing your time efficiently. But knowledge comes with experience and I think the longer you run your own business the better you understand about how to run it.”

Find Chloe on Instagram and Twitter.

Posted on Tuesday 28th February 2017

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