KU alum bags job at The Independent

A Former KU student secured a spot working with The Independent‘s art director.

James Garwood

A former Kingston University student has talked to The River about his role with The Independent newspaper.

Sam Falconer, a 2011 illustration and animation graduate, has produced work for publications including The Norwegian Medical Journal, Reader’s Digest and New Scientist since leaving university.

Unique portfolio

He said: “My ambition throughout university was always to try and develop a unique portfolio where someone could identify my work as mine, quite quickly.”

After promoting himself heavily, Mr Falconer attracted the attention of the art director at the Independent and now produces the weekly ‘5 minute memoirs’ that feature in the Saturday magazine.

For the Norwegian Medical Journal he worked with the art director in order to create a shocking cover surrounding the topic of malaria.

He said: “I was given a lot of freedom by the art director along with some really helpful and constructive feedback which I think improved the outcome. I do look back on it as a highlight.”

Varied work

Full of variation, Mr Falconer’s work has covered a vast amount of subject matter including the spice trade, speech and language therapy and dismembered hands.

“This keeps it nice and interesting, especially if you enjoy reading and learning about new things,” he added.

Mr Falconer expressed that working for well-known clients has been “surreal” and that he prefers to focus on the work, finding that the big names only help to secure other big names in the future.

Sharing his advice with KU students, he explained that it’s key not to be disheartened by rejection.

No room for divas

He said: “If you’re a diva, you might not get very far.”

He also told students that the support of his peers has encouraged him to aim higher and keep busy with freelancing work.

“Being freelance itself can be a daunting experience, but for me I’ve always quite liked the idea of failing or succeeding on the merits of my own work which I think in itself can be quite inspiring at times,” he said.

In his free time, Mr Falconer works on a number of personal projects, often science based, helping to build up his portfolio and skills.

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