Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Vibrant and inspiring

Tabitha Wall with sketch pad sitting against wall

Cambridge School of Art is such a vibrant and inspiring place to be.

I didn't start my university education here, though. I mainly chose my first university based on a recommendation; and because it had a massive range of art courses.

Although I was happy with the social side, the course itself felt like a step down from my A level. We had very limited contact hours, and for the term I was there we were only given a few briefs. The room we were taught in was a dark attic and there were too many people, often meaning we had to share small desks.

The tutors didn’t seem particularly interested in my work: I don’t think they even knew my name. When I came back for Christmas, all my friends were raving about their experiences. I knew I wasn’t happy with my course.

Artwork by Tabitha Wall depicting a box of Ruskin Brand extra long safety matches
Artwork by Tabitha Wall depicting the definition of entrammelled and sealife trapped by litter
Artwork by Tabitha Wall depicting the definition and effects on sealife of microbeads

So I approached Cambridge School of Art instead. The interview was great; I really felt like Chris Draper, the Course Leader, was interested in me and my work.

I also feel like it’s a step forward from school, but without losing the personal interactions and friendliness. The briefs are stimulating and engaging, but help and guidance is always given. We are eased in to more challenging projects, eg being given briefs to write short tweets before being asked to write a whole essay.

After a year I know the names of everybody in my year and we all work together to guide and push each other, particularly through the weekly crits.

Illustrations P is for Peacock and O is for Octopus

I think it’s great to be alongside other well-respected art courses, too. The MA Children’s Book Illustration, for example, is really well known, and it's inspiring to be working alongside students in the print room, seeing their work and creative processes.

At ARU, I recently trained as an ambassador, because I know that I can recommend my course and talk honestly and positively about my experience so far.

Tabitha Wall, BA (Hons) Illustration

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Images: a selection of Tabitha's work