Fresh from being featured in our Hand-Picked Exhibition back in September, Lisa McConniffe, a recent Womenswear and Accessory graduate from Manchester School of Art has just started her MA at the Royal College of Art. I wanted to catch up with her to find out how the first few weeks has been at one of the most prestigious art colleges in the world.
When did you first become aware of the courses at the RCA? I came across The Royal college of Art when I was doing my A Levels and looking at universities, however I always thought that I would study postgraduate fine art there. When on my BA course at Manchester we would often have RCA students past/present do discussions on their experiences.
How was the process in applying to the RCA? Easy, daunting, any surprises? I wasn’t daunted by the prospect of applying last year because I felt that I knew who I was as a designer, and I knew that I had a lot to offer the RCA and vise versa. I also felt that I had nothing to lose by applying!
What made you choose the course you're now studying? I chose Womenswear Accessories because during the past year through placements and collaborations I discovered that I was much more interested in working with accessories, more so than fashion, and the RCA offers a really specialised course for that sector.
How have the first few weeks been? Has the experience been what you'd expected so far? The first few weeks have been a clash between exciting and daunting. I went to the RCA with an open mind, and in a way it has surpassed my expectations with the amount of knowledge the tutors and technical staff have, and the opportunities that are available to students including visiting designers/artists.
The accessories studio also has a great atmosphere, and I’m already collaborating with other specialisms including a Textiles Mixed Media student on an eyewear project, and also a 2nd year Womenswear Knitwear student on accessories for her pre-collection.
What advice would you give anyone wanting to apply to the RCA? The advice I’d give is make sure you feel 100 percent sure about doing an MA, know who you are as a designer (what you like and dislike) and what you want to achieve at the RCA because it's a very self driven course.
If you could sum it up in one word, what would it be? Exciting!