This newly-formed society hopes to create a community of illustrators at Bath Spa. The Illustration Society runs weekly meetings in coffee shops around Bath, trips to galleries, museums and illustration events and are even creating their own Zine. But don’t be put off if you’re not quite a professional – the society is open to budding illustrators of any ability!
The society was first officially formed at the beginning of the 2017/18 academic year, though the idea was originally conceived by second year co-presidents Emma Flood and Laura Medlicott a few months before the end of their first year. Both students study Graphic Communications at Sion Hill and found that, whilst they enjoyed their course, there wasn’t enough of an element of illustration. They wanted the opportunity to find other people at Bath Spa with the same keen interest in illustration, but without a specific course for it, that opportunity didn’t exist at the time. That’s how the Illustration Society was born.
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Emma and Laura posted their idea on Facebook to gauge if there was any interest and to their relief – it was welcomed with open arms! Katie Conner, another Graphic Communications student, and Honey Debney-Succoia, a second-year Publishing and Creative Writing student, then joined the team as Treasurer and Secretary and the committee team was formed.
Honey was more than happy to talk to us about her experience with the Bath Spa Illustration Society.
How, and why, did you get involved with the society?
I was getting to the end of my first year and I realised that I wanted to be a bit more involved with university and join a society. My hand eye coordination isn’t the best so I knew that a sports society wasn’t really an option. I love art but I don’t get a chance to practice it much with my course so Illustration Society just made sense.
The Society needed to be officially set up so I decided that it would be a great opportunity to help Emma and Laura out. I told them I’d happily act as Secretary for the society. Since then, it’s become my baby just as much as theirs – I’ve grown rather attached!
What does your role as Secretary involve?
My role is basically to act as the organiser. I arrange where our meetings will be held, communicate relevant information to our members, respond to our emails and run our Instagram account. As a committee we work together on a lot of jobs, but those are the kind of things I spend most of my time doing.
We want to feature articles and interviews to really showcase the illustration community here in Bath
What is the best thing about being a part of the society?
What I love the most is meeting other people who are passionate about art as well as me. On my course there aren’t that many people that I come across who are as interested in creating art as well as enjoying other people’s as I am. It’s amazing to feel like you’re a part of a community who are involved in such an interesting, creative industry. There are so many more opportunities presented to us because we came together as a society than we would have had as individuals.
What plans does the committee have for the future?
At the moment we’re really focusing on organising a variety of events with the society – arty board game nights, gallery trips and trips to illustration fairs. On top of this we’re looking at further developing the zine we make to include more than just art submissions. We want to feature articles and interviews to really showcase the illustration community here in Bath. We also have exciting plans to give our members the opportunity to have their work sold by exciting reputable organisations (that’s all we can say for now though!).
Who is the Illustration Society for?
Anyone! Well, anyone who enjoys art. We’re open to people of any ability, we’re just here to have fun. There’s never any pressure to share your work with others if you don’t want to, and you don’t need to have any previous experience. All we ask is that you bring your own drawing equipment, but this could just be a piece of paper and a pencil! It doesn’t need to be anything fancy.