Satirical Brexit illustrations by DMU grad impress top design school

A series of sardonic sketches satirising attitudes to Brexit helped a talented De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate win a coveted place at one of the world’s top-ranked postgraduate art and design universities.

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Leicestershire artist and Graphic Design (Illustration) graduate Amy Austick will study at the prestigious Royal College of Art (RCA) after impressing tutors with a portfolio of wry, lo-fi illustrations – including drawings of fanciful vox-pops about the vote to leave the EU.

The 23-year-old, from Birstall, graduated from DMU last year. Her Brexit series was a reworking of a final-year DMU project spun from snap reactions to the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge.

Amy begins an MA in Visual Communications at the RCA in October.

“The wait to hear if I’d got in was agonising,” she said, “but I was a bit shell-shocked about it when I found out. It’s taken a few days for it to really sink in.

“Lots of my idols went to the RCA. It has a reputation for being experimental and pushing the boundaries. That’s what appealed to me.”

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Amy is the latest in a line of Leicestershire illustrators who have honed their skills at DMU – including celebrated Private Eye cartoonists Kevin Woodcock and Ed McLachlan, British Comic Awards winner Rachael Smith, and Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley, who is one of Amy’s chief influences.

She paid tribute to the course - and the tutors – which refined her artistic skills and helped her develop her droll, abstract style.

“The Graphic Design (Illustration) course at De Montfort University pushed me to be myself,” she said. “There are other courses that tell you what to do, but DMU helps you find out who you are as an artist.

“That’s really important to me. I’ve grown at DMU.”

Amy began her time at DMU with Art and Design (Foundation Studies), which sparked her love of illustration. She scooped the best illustration project prize at the university’s Degree Show in 2016, and later completed an internship at Leicestershire fashion giant Next.

Amy is seeking funding to help her with her studies at the RCA. You can contact her, and see more of her work, at her website or follow her on Instagram.

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Posted on Friday 31st March 2017

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