Let’s take a closer look at Orientation to Art & Design, a stand alone nine-week course* that combines studio and workshop practice in order to give international students the chance to build their portfolio while living and working in central London. The course works directly with the college’s International Office to ensure that the curriculum is regularly updated so that, upon successfully completing the course, entry to a UAL foundation-level course or a programme at other UK universities is very likely. 

We chatted to course leader Martin Blake.

Martin Blake, Orientation to Art & Design

Martin Blake, Orientation to Art & Design

What are you most passionate about?

Helping students to develop their visual thinking and to begin their careers within their chosen future study pathways. My personal interests are very broad based and reflect the range of subjects, topics and ways of working that the Orientation to Art & Design course covers.

Mono Print, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Mono Print, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

How did you come to work in your field / discipline?

Initially painting and fine art were my main interests although more recently my ideas have evolved towards more sculptural and architectural concerns.

String Sculpture, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

String Sculpture, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Tell us about your work.

I work from a studio, and the work I produce is concerned with wall mounted constructions which operate somewhere between abstraction and figuration.

Studio Drawing, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Studio Drawing, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Tell us about Orientation to Art & Design

Orientation to Art & Design is a fast moving course aimed at all students who wish to develop a portfolio of project work covering a large range of different ideas, subjects and approach to making. Visual thinking and making are the means through which students discover their potential and future study options which gives the course a diagnostic edge. On this course, students will meet and be taught by a team with different specialist subjects including: fashion, jewellery, graphics, fine art, 3D and related research study. Students can expect to participate in research drawing at museums and galleries, which form a key part of sketchbook reflective study.

This stand alone semester course is designed specifically for international students that are looking to progress to further study on a UAL foundation-level course or a programme at another university.

Beginning with basic drawing and observational skills, the coursework will progress through painting and colour theory, life drawing, 3D construction projects, clay and plaster casting, architectural drawing, photomedia and design for the body.

There will also be projects based around visits to local museums and galleries. All projects must be completed and the final part of the course will involve producing an exhibition of completed work.

Progress on the course is regularly evaluated through tutorials that are scheduled as part of the timetable.

Human Alphabet, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Human Alphabet, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Name a favourite book, film or song that you would recommend.

Night Studio by Musa Mayer, which is a memoir of Philip Guston.

Box Project, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Box Project, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

What/where is your favourite London discovery?

The Wellcome Trust which is a free destination for the incurably curious.

Box Project, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

Box Project, Orientation to Art & Design, ⓒMartin Blake

What advice would you give to aspiring creatives?

Build on your achievements and learn by your mistakes – which may turn out to be more interesting!

If you are interested in applying for Orientation to Art & Design, we are now accepting enrolments for the course starting in April 2018. There are also later dates available for courses starting in June and October 2018 and January 2019. We also offer a full range of short courses in all subject areas that are starting soon! View all upcoming available courses on the short course website.

*Please note that this course is 7 weeks during the summer semester starting in June.