November 30, 2022, by Agnes

How I stumbled into an art career during my maths degree

Do you ever start one thing and end up with something completely different? For instance, starting a Maths degree wanting to be a teacher and three years later having a blossoming art career instead? Too specific? 

Let me paint the picture: imagine me, second year, running out of money, scrolling through UniTemps looking for something to do. I stumbled across a Student Content Creators assignment and decided to apply with some of my digital illustrations. It might be worth pointing out that since A Level Art, I haven’t really shared my art anywhere and I certainly never thought about applying for a job with it. However, I thought it could be a fun way to break up my written content, so I took the risk. Luckily, they liked it! 

The first project I took part in was a piece of content for prospective Maths students titled “my favourite place on campus”. Due to a combination of factors – mainly the fact that we were all deep into the Pandemic Times – the link to this post started being shared around the School of Mathematical Sciences. I started receiving emails from various staff members expressing how nostalgic the illustrations made them feel and how much they liked them. This was a great confidence boost, but I didn’t expect any further developments.  

Summer rolls around and I receive an email with a massive art commission! It turned out that some of the staff in the School of Mathematical Sciences liked my drawings so much, they decided to commission me for a set of 5 paintings to be printed and hung up around the Maths building. You can see one of them over on the UoN Maths twitter, or take a walk around the building and see if you can spot all of them!  

This made me a lot more confident in applying for illustration jobs. Since then, I’ve taken part in the Rainbow Library project and I’m currently working as an illustrator for an academic research group. Not only that, but the word about my work is spreading and this summer I was commissioned to create another set of posters, this time for the School of Computer Science. 

I suppose the moral of the story is – just go for it! Say yes to random opportunities even if you don’t feel entirely qualified for them. You never know what it will lead to.  

Posted in Agnes