When Olga Kuzmenkova attended a short course at Central Saint Martins, Graphic Design – Beginners was not her first choice. What Olga went on to experience was an incredible week of discovery, “I felt like my mind had exploded and the world had turned upside down. As if I have discovered my other self.”
What is your name and where are you from?
Olga Kuzmenkova. Originally I’m from Russia but for the last four years I have been living in different places. After a couple of years in Riga, Latvia, I moved to London where I live now.
What is your occupation?
I am a journalist.
What course did you study on and why did you choose it?
I studied Graphic Design – Beginners, a course I’d picked nearly at random after discovering that there were no places left on 100 Design Projects (this was my first choice). I knew I wanted to pick a design course as I had some interest in the field for a while.
What did you enjoy most about your course?
On the very first day one of the tutors told us, “Guys, I understand you’ve never studied here (at CSM) before but, trust me, it is very relaxed, no pressure at all.” Then the tutor gave us our first brief, turned on some light music and let us dive into our creativity. I enjoyed this kind of atmosphere so much, where you can just relax and experiment freely in a truly supportive and non-competitive environment. The whole course felt like a creative journey, an exploration of visual language, types, layouts, beauty, colours, composition, and so much more. It was incredible how so much could fit into just five days.
How has this course benefited your career and personal development?
After an intensive week of graphic design I felt like my mind had exploded and the world had turned upside down. As if I have discovered my other self – I started drawing (something I was convinced I could never do), sketching, painting, experimenting with different media (watercolours, acrylics, pens and pencils), taking photographs, and exploring the creative opportunities of the film camera.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about taking a short course at Central Saint Martins?
Just go there and see what happens!
What do you believe is integral to the work of an artist, in any discipline?
Creative freedom, fearlessness, an open mind, an ability to appreciate failures as part of the learning process and being kind to yourself.
What 3 words best describe your short course experience at CSM?
Creative. Mind-blowing. Happiness.