BSSP’s collaboration with the Illustration degree course at the University of the West of England in Bristol is a very important part of our annual activity. We invite submissions from the final year students from which we select the design for our anthology cover. Big thanks to course leaders, Chris Hill and Jonathan Ward and to all the students for taking part in the project earlier this year, despite the covid restrictions that were in place.
What did you think when you found out your design had been selected for this year’s BSSP anthology cover?
It was pretty exciting. I thought it was a strong design and to hear other people thought so too was very validating!
With such a broad brief for the anthology cover, how did you approach creating your design?
Funny story! The original design was meant to be for a festival poster that I had pitched at work, my boss really didn’t like it and asked me to do something completely different. I was very disappointed because I really liked that design and felt that it had a lot of potential. A couple of days later I told my tutors about it and they asked me if I had considered using my design for something else. I looked into the BSSP brief and started to think that my idea could really fit the project. So, I worked on it with a new perspective, made adjustments, and went for it!
How many drafts or re-drafts does a piece of your work go through before you’re satisfied with it?
A lot, my way of working can sometimes be a bit chaotic… Usually most of my work is done in one layer and I don’t tend to notice if something’s not working out straight away so when it gets to that point there’s a lot of rearranging and adjusting I have to do but I’ve found that this process has led to a lot of happy accidents throughout the years which is something I’ve learnt to embrace.
How much do you think the uncertainty of the last 18 months has affected the work you have produced?
It’s hard to say, I’m sure it has in some way… I’ve honestly been so busy throughout this last year that I haven’t really taken a moment to even consider it. After almost two years of everything online I can at least say that the way I work has definitely changed.
Which artists and illustrators have had the biggest influence on you?
God, there’s so many, I’ll just leave a bunch of instagram usernames! @yonil @ewfullstop @bugjoos @flesh.png @koteriink @kel.lauren @gastonpacheco_art @rocketboiart @alaylays
What are you planning to do now that you have graduated?
I’m hoping for a bit of everything! Finishing uni through a pandemic was incredibly tough and felt like I was missing out on a lot of stuff but now that it’s done it feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest and I can move freely now. I have a part-time job as a video editor/graphic designer which is a field I’m interested in but I’m definitely not closing any doors yet, I want to work on animation and editorial sometime soon.
Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 14 will be launched at our Awards Ceremony on October 9th when the 2021 BSSP winning writer and story will also be announced. The anthology is available to pre-order from Tangent Books : https://www.tangentbooks.co.uk/shop/bristol-short-story-prize-volume-14