Advice on Studying

“Don’t be afraid of producing work you like, instead of what you think other people will like”

Xanthe Simmans, Graphic Designer and Illustrator

The earlier you identify what you want to do in life, the easier it is to direct yourself and your work towards that area. I always tell myself that if you're not a bit stressed or unsure of how to approach something, then it's too easy and you're doing it wrong. My achilles heel used to be trying to integrate the practices of illustration and design into my work. I always used to see design and illustration as two separate things that couldn't be merged together. While at university my peers were producing projects that were heavily design-based. As a result, I always felt like my work wasn't valid and would ignore my illustrative instincts. Despite my efforts, illustration would always bleed through into my work and by third year I identified and admitted to myself that illustration was a focus that I wanted my work to embrace alongside design.

Instead of separating the work, I started experimenting with how I could blend the two in my spare time. It made the experience more enjoyable and by embracing this practice instead of ignoring it, I quickly discovered my style. The projects started to have more life and were stronger in what they were trying to convey, and my illustration skills improved exponentially. 

To make the most of your time at university, don't be afraid of trying new things and producing the work you like, instead of what you think other people will like. Trust me, you will enjoy your time more, gain deeper insights and work far better this way. But remember to always be humble and remain open to new ways of working.

Xanthe Simmans is a graphic designer and illustrator, previously an in-house Graphic Designer at Google.

Posted 25 April 2017 Collection: Studying
Disciplines: Graphic Design, Illustration

Studying

Learn More Sign In

Lecture in Progress relies on the support of patrons and professional members to provide the ongoing insight and advice to the next generation. To help support sign up now or find out more. 

scroll to top arrow-up
share

Become a Member

Lecture in Progress is now free to access. Become a member and receive a number of additional benefits.

Student Member

Free

Alongside a wealth of behind-the-scenes advice and insight into the creative industries, join now to get exclusive access to offers and promotions. You’ll benefit from:


  • Student offers and promotions
  • Two weekly newsletters
  • Bookmark content
  • Shape the future of Lecture in Progress

Professional Member

£35/per year

By becoming a professional member, you’ll be helping us in our aim to support the next generation of creatives. You’ll also get the chance to shape the future of Lecture in Progress, and benefit from:


  • Professional offers and promotions
  • The biannual Lecture in Progress newspaper, delivered to your door
  • Insight reports into creative education and industry
  • Two weekly newsletters
  • Bookmark content
  • Shape the future of Lecture in Progress

Lecture in Progress is made possible with the support of the following brand partners