In 2013-2014, I took part in the National Saturday Art & Design Club at Anglia Ruskin University. It was an incredibly valuable experience, as it proved to be a turning point for me.
The opportunities we were given to use the university's amazing facilities meant I got to learn a range of art skills and techniques, some of which I continued to use and develop in the years following. I was allowed to be experimental and expressive in my artwork without the restrictions and pressures of the GCSE Art curriculum. For the first time I could take risks, be adventurous and move outside of my creative comfort zone.
Not only did the art club help me develop creatively, I also learnt many valuable transferable skills including a good work ethic and how to collaborate with my peers. It helped bring me out of my shell and gain confidence. I made some of my closest friends, many of whom are now studying creative degrees at university too. I discovered that a career in the creative arts is possible because we got to work with real artists, have masterclasses with professionals in the creative arts industry and have an overall taster of what a creative degree is like.
Out of all the different specialisms we got to try, I enjoyed animation the most. Now, six years later, I am in my second year studying Illustration and Animation at Anglia Ruskin University. I don't think I would have had the confidence to apply for an art degree without doing the Saturday Art & Design Club. I will always be grateful for the opportunities it gave me and how it inspired me to pursue a career in the arts.