Stories from the sea

Edinburgh College of Art graduate and now teaching fellow in illustration talks about her project that paired students with primary school pupils from Orkney.

Inspired by the short drawing trips that she took part in as a student at Edinburgh College of Art, Lucy Roscoe was keen to take the experience further and enable her students to immerse themselves in their surroundings on a longer field trip.

The idea was made a reality thanks to an alumni-funded Innovation Initiative Grant.

Lucy Roscoe

A creative setting

Orkney was the setting for a week of intensive creativity that explored visual storytelling and images.

Undergraduate illustrators were paired up with primary school pupils to collaborate in a project where they could draw and published their illustrations.

The illustrations from both sets of students created a book entitled 'Drawing Book, An Orkney Journey'.

I suggested we take students further afield, taking students out of their comfort zone and immersing them in a different environment, rather than short visits in between other classes.

Inspired by the environment

The students took every opportunity to make the most of the unfamiliar environment, to capture the changing atmosphere and to draw as often as possible.

'Drawing Book, An Orkney Journey' offers a fascinating insight into the Illustration course at Edinburgh College of Art, and a peek into the talents and imaginations of current ECA students. The project has also been influential in Lucy’s own work, with both a sense of place and creative publishing key aspects of her lectures and teaching.

At home with tradition

Lucy arrived to study illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, and remained after her undergraduate degree to complete an MFA. It was the idea of an independent art college that appealed to her because she felt that brought with it the history and community of a red-brick institution.

She was keen to study illustration as a discipline in itself, rather than the visual communication courses offered at lots of other institutions.

I really just fell in love with Edinburgh College of Art when I came to visit. The pillars and statues of the college, in such a beautiful city had a romance that drew me in!

A physical future

Lucy’s project spurred her to organise another event called Bookmarks @ECA. This was the first artists’ book fair where students, staff and alumni had the opportunity to test out their own publications on an audience, discuss the nature of the book form and meet other makers from different schools.

Related links

Student Experience Grants replaced Innovation Initiative Grants (IIG) in summer 2018.

Student Experience Grants

Illustration at Edinburgh College of Art