Carla Batley

BA (Hons) Fashion Art Direction

"I’ve gained so much help, knowledge, friends and paid client jobs from simply reaching out to others, joining communities online and keeping in touch with other like-minded people"

The Course

My course was great! I absolutely loved the course and everything it provided, both in skills and facilities. I gained a lot from studying this degree, my networking, researching, organising and general art/design skills all improved massively in the duration of my studies. My most notable improvement, the skill that has served me the most in my current/future career is definitely my networking ability – after many projects and collaborations, I quickly realised that networking is possibly the most important skill to have within the design industries. I’ve gained so much help, knowledge, friends and paid client jobs from simply reaching out to others, joining communities online and keeping in touch with other like-minded people.

Industry Placement/Internship

I didn’t take the opportunity to do an industry placement or internship, however I do know of people that did and it has been super helpful! I think if I had the chance to go back and proceed with that option, I would. It would have been great to have gained some extra industry knowledge, before finishing my studies.

Student Support

The support on my course was great! Anze Ermenc and Lesley Raven were particularly helpful and were always around for questions or any feedback needed. All the staff that I encountered during my time on the course were incredibly helpful and understood a range of different issues, problems or information we may have needed support with. In terms of services, all provided were great. I especially loved the range of books/research material etc provided by the library, this was such a great resource! Also, the printing services and range of materials (paper, stationary etc..) provided were amazing.

After Graduation

After graduating, I went on to apply for jobs in the 3D design industry as during my final year, I quickly realised this was the career path I would like to go down. However, as I didn’t take a specific graphic or motion design course, I realised that I was lacking the basics needed to get these jobs. I decided to take time off applying and spend the summer learning the basics (Adobe After Effects mainly). During this time, I received an email from an Australian fashion company, Undress Runways. This led to my first freelance project. Since then, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with many different companies and brands, working on a range of different things: music videos, VR fashion events, animations for live concerts and fashion promotion campaigns. More recently, I’ve started selling NFT’s (crypto art), a fairly new industry to me and a super exciting place to be able to work on my own ideas, projects and personal pieces of art, whilst still making an income and connecting with art collectors who see my works as pieces of art. I love working freelance as it gives me the freedom so set my own work hours/days, work with a range of interesting people/companies and learn a huge number of new skills as many ideas clients have, are techniques I would have possibly never tried myself. However, the main challenge of working freelance, is that I have to be super disciplined with myself and my time. It can get hard to differentiate between ‘work-time’ and allow myself some free time as I’m almost always close to my PC and able to work.

Advice for Future Fashion Graduates

The main piece of advice I would give to students studying now would be to not take the services and support for granted! Make sure to make the most out of your studies and experiment with different styles, techniques and ideas! In terms of advice for the world of work after graduating, I personally think the best thing to do after graduating is to take the time to network with other like-minded people/creatives! I’ve learnt and gained the most from simply getting in contact others that I looked up to for their work styles/skills. Some of these messages led to paid freelance jobs for me and other opportunities that I would have never experienced had I not emailed or sent a message on Instagram/Twitter etc..

Carla Batley is now a Freelance 3D Artist, see her work here