Vicky is a Textiles Design student in Dundee. As a bilingual student she has faced hurdles with language and parental expectations but with the help of a university access programme Vicky is now studying a subject she loves.
Take help where you can get it.
Hello, my name is Vicky Huang. I am a second year Textile Design student at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee. Whilst I was at school I took part in the ACES programme (Access to Creative Education in Scotland). By the end of S5 I had decided that I was interested in doing an art and design course. As a bilingual student, I had difficulty with preparing my UCAS application and wasn’t sure what was needed for my art portfolio and ACES were a huge help with this.
My parents thought studying art was a risk.
As a typical Asian parent, my mum thought art and design was a risky course. I am the first person in my family to do a creative course at university and there was pressure from my parents. My mum expected me to do something else instead of art - she thought I would have difficulty to find a job in the future and didn’t understand what I would do with an art degree. Now when I look back, I totally understand what my parents were feeling. They were worried about me and they didn’t have much knowledge of art and design. At the time, I was afraid of making a wrong decision in my life.
I found support in places beyond school.
I was the only person in my year who decided to apply for art and design courses at university. Three of my art teachers retired at the beginning of my final year in school which meant I didn’t have a chance to take Advanced Higher Art and Design or any other art-based subject. Fortunately, I was lucky to be working with ACES and I really enjoyed the workshops they provided for us. They made me feel more confident to experiment with different materials and processes. I am really glad that I talked to ACES ambassadors. They have given me the opportunity to find out what an art college like and gave me so much help during the application process. The support and encouragement from ACES made a huge difference to my self confidence… and I met so many nice friends.
Take a risk on what you love.
I am more open minded than before. I now realise that I can focus on my education rather than worrying about future employment. Now, I am studying a course that I am passionate about. I believe that a creative degree definitely has a future. There are so many opportunities in the creative industries. I have also become an ACES ambassador to help the younger generation of creatives looking to study at university.
Some words of advice.
I think there are people who don’t understand why you would study a creative course. Maybe some of these people don’t have much knowledge about art and design, just like my parents two years ago. It might be a brave decision to study a art and design, you may be anxious about the future and struggling to make a decision. But please do what you enjoy the most.