As another flock of children are ushered through their GCSEs and Highers, I’m reminded of this old post I published on Instagram last year.
It’s GCSE results day! Hooraaay. I got ok marks in my GCSEs, then went to college to study... 🎸 POPULAR MUSIC PERFORMANCE. (What?)
Alas. I survived 3 months of that before I retreated to school for some AS levels BUT THEN I wanted to travel! See the world! Ahhh yes. 17 year old me set sail for the Netherlands (in a Boeing 747) and lasted 4 months working as an au pair/cleaning lady for a Dutch family with 2 naughty boys called Felix and Joris before I was desperate to come home and get my full A levels. I got them, then studied animation, then illustration, then worked at Lush while illustrating part time and travelling some more. I lived and nannied in Italy and Germany and Switzerland before accidentally moving back home and getting my MA at Edinburgh College of Art.
Nowadays, I’m an illustrator in Berwick, a small town in the North of England (like, reeeeally North). Scotland is 2 miles away. If you are very quiet you can almost hear the bagpipes and smell the haggis.
I do live illustration and graphic recording, as well as running workshops, part-time lecturing, illustrating for books and sometimes helping agencies out when they need an illustration for something like a brochure or an in-house presentation. I’ve illustrated for Dove, Nespresso, House of Fraser, Stella Artois, Northumbrian Water, Virgin Money, to name but a few. As well as lots of wee local things and private commissions.
Ok that was a loooong winded way of saying that GCSEs are important but they’re just the start of figuring out your own career path.
With technology expanding at its current rate, your career likely doesn’t exist yet anyway.