Gradwatch 2022: Eden Poole, Winchester Faculty of Artwork
“I’ve always struggled with the idea of having a ‘style’: I just wanted to be able to create what I wanted to create in that moment in time,” says Winchester School of Art grad Eden Poole. She needn’t have worried, however, having emerged from her Graphic Arts course with a distinctive but hugely versatile style of motion graphics that ranges from psychedelic and expressive to delicate and dynamic.
She discovered her love of motion graphics through the course’s multidisciplinary first semester, which gave her “the chance to really discover what I wanted to do”, she says. “It also was nice to be surrounded by all different people with different specialisms. Having illustrators, motion designers, photographers, and graphic designers, you got to really learn from each other.”
Top image: Joy; Above: Mixed Emotions
That idea of community was central to Poole’s university experience, but was hampered by the fact a significant portion of her study years were under the Covid lockdowns. She reckons the pandemic made things “ten times harder” for creative degrees in particular.
“I personally thrived off working in a studio with everyone around, and not having that was challenging,” she says. “Creative degrees are so hands-on and require so many different physical things. Some of us couldn’t access key software and had to adapt to it. I do think we missed out but it did make getting that degree so much more rewarding knowing you had got it through a pandemic.”
Throughout her time at uni, she found herself becoming increasingly interested in speculative approaches, and exploring the potential of these through 3D modelling and animation. She’d never had the opportunity to explore motion design before her degree, and decided fairly early on to take a couple of related workshops, relishing the challenge of learning both new design principles and software tools. “Motion design was a bit of a risk for me…. I decided to just give it a go and have loved it ever since,” she says.
Having graduated, Poole is finding the idea of the unknown her biggest hurdle to overcome. “Being in education for so long now the main challenge is embracing the unknown instead of fearing it,” she says. However, some of those fears have likely been assuaged by her internship at I Love Dust, which describes itself as a “UK based design crüe” based across Brighton and Southsea.
“They have given me the opportunity to work on a massive range of projects and given me the time to explore different avenues within the creative world,” says Poole. “There are so many incredibly talented people at I Love Dust and to learn from them has been an amazing experience. I definitely feel like it has made me 100% know this is what I want to do and I am very grateful for the opportunity.”
For now, her main ambitions are to “create some cool stuff” – for her own benefit, as much as anyone else’s. While it’s not easy without the structure of set uni projects, she’s keen to continue exploring her love for learning new skills and creating things “just for the fun of it”.
As for the best bit of advice she received at uni, Poole says it was all about being encouraged to give everything a go: “My lecturer would constantly push us to try these crazy and sometimes weird ideas we had, despite having the fear it might not work out. He made me realise that if you don’t go out of your comfort zone and create things that might not work you aren’t reaching your full potential. It’s okay for things not to go to plan.”