Student Ambassadors from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) recently went along to Deans Community High School to share their experience of studying in an art college and working in artistic practices.

The inaugural DeansCon event was an afternoon of learning about potential career pathways in the Creative Industries. It was attended by over 50 pupils from three schools in the Livingston area.

The ECA Student Ambassadors who participated were Hope Smith (Graphic Design - BA Hons), Gemma Hood (Intermedia - BA Hons), and Abigail Lamb (Animation - BA Hons).

The school pupils also met and worked with Gary Erskine, a Scottish graphic artist who has created artwork for both Marvel and DC comics, and who is currently working with the ACES outreach project at ECA.

All of the work created from the event is to go on display in the school library.

About the ACES project at ECA

ACES (Access to Creative Education in Scotland) provides encouragement and advice for students who may be under-represented in universities and who are considering applying to art and design based courses.

ECA co-ordinates ACES activities at the University of Edinburgh for 20 schools in Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders.

Through weekly workshops and other activities, school children can find out about creative pathways, meet and learn from industry professionals, and collaborate with ECA staff, students, alumni and partners.

In addition to Gary Erskine, who led a series of workshops in 2015, our summer schools have included a course on handmade sketchbooks with Painting graduate Christine Clark, a workshop on Graphic Novels by Illustration Masters student Yasmine Pirouz, and a printed textiles course from graduate, Lynsey Jean Henderson.

Through ACES, school pupils have twice contributed to the Edinburgh International Festival, including as part of a week-long, 3D printing and sculpture-making workshop led by Professor Chris Speed on the theme of ‘Chinese whispers’.

The programme has also enabled high schools to participate in Innovative Learning Week events on the theme of drawing at ECA, including Best in Show (2013) and Strictly Come Drawing (2014).