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First impressions of an Art student in London

December 8th, 2016 | Lena Yokoyama


Deciding that I want to pursue a career within the arts wasn’t very hard to do as I have honestly never considered doing anything else. Alongside many different interests throughout my life, drawing and creating visual art has always been my biggest passion and probably the thing I would consider myself to be most talented in. "It's the only thing that while doing I completely lose track of time and never get tired of. I’m sure many of you can relate to that. 


I’ve been studying Art and Design since September 2016 at the University of the Arts London. And even though it’s only my first year, I can say that since I’ve started, I’ve completely changed my approach to art and the way I work. I’ve been exploring a lot of different mediums and techniques that were partially new to me. I’ve learned to become more confident using paint, collages, and even self-made drawing tools like tooth brushes, sticks, sponges, etc. and make use of more space like the walls and the floor. Some may say it’s not important to go to Uni as you can do all these things at home. I agree. But if I’m honest, never in hell would I get myself to draw 100 images of someone’s face using a tree branch and ink if I didn’t get assigned to do so. By doing these things, I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and even though throughout the process I’m thinking what the f is this, in the end I’ve learned a new approach towards realizing and developing my ideas and expanded my creativity a little more. 
















The way we start new projects is by doing big researches, which includ going to galleries, libraries, internet researches, discussions with friends and tutors, or taking inspirations from other artists. In the process we document all of it in our sketch books which we like to carry with us at all times. The work in my sketch book ranges from experimentations in form of doodles and notes to detailed drawings and whole pieces. Before I came to Uni I never really used a sketch book. I did all my drawings on loose sheets of paper which ended up at the bottom of some drawer eventually. So the fact that Uni makes me stay organized by documenting my work in one single book ispushing me a lot more towards becoming a professional artistsome day. 


Even though I’m not quite sure where exactly I’m headed yet with my art, I already know that I like working to a brief and having a purpose behind the work that I’m doing. I like the idea of being able to tell stories, convey messages, or express an opinion in an image based way, which I think can be seen in my work. I like to make art inspired by personal interests, current events or even political affaires like in one of my recent works „Remember“ which focuses on the nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011. (you can see it on my instagram, @lenabelle_)


If you want to learn to become a great artist some day, I couldn’t think of a better city to study in than London. Just by living here and experiencing daily life, you can get inspired by so many things. From the street art in Shoreditch, over street musicians in the tube station, to the thousands of galleries and exhibitions happening each week.
Not to mention London being a melting pot of so many different nationalities. In these couple months I’ve been here I have not felt like an outsider a single time, since the majority of people that live here aren’t originally from England anyways. Including my school, about 50% are international students coming from countries like China, Japan, USA, France, Russia,…. And Austria of course! Making me a minority in this school unfortunately being the only Austrian so far.
But anyways the point is, London is a city that never sleeps in which it is almost impossible to get bored. Especially as a young and open minded artist. Whether it is fashion, film, fine art, or graphic design you’re interested in, there’s something for everybody and all I can say is, check it out for yourself!


My biggest goal for my studies here is to expand my illustrating and graphic skills as well as my creative awareness which I know will come naturally just by being in a creative study environment and surrounded by other talented students. I look forward to develop my visual communication skills since I’ve always preferred expressing myself using visual art over written texts as I do believe that an image can say more than a 1000 words.

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