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Art College was the foundation to success for two former students

Two former students have used their foundation studies as a stepping stone to success with an illustration and fashion photography business.

Jamie Kirk, 24 from Redcar and 31-year-old Ben Benoliel from Saltburn both studied for their foundation diploma in art and design at Cleveland College of Art and Design’s (CCAD) campus on Green Lane in Middlesbrough, before going on to further study and developing successful careers in the creative arts.

Jamie attended the specialist art and design college in 2010, and after graduating from the University of Huddersfield with a first class degree in graphic design, has gone on to achieve further success by winning the prestigious D&AD (Design and Art Direction) New Blood Pencil Award last year. The New Blood programme inspires the next generation of creative talent, stimulating the creative industry to work towards a fairer more sustainable future.

Using the concept of tarot cards, Jamie designed a series of self-promotional, hand-lettered illustrations which portray aspects of his past, present and future interests and ambitions. After winning the award and ‘Best in Show’ at the New Blood Festival 2015, Jamie was selected for the D&AD New Blood Academy, an exclusive boot camp for New Blood Pencil winners which is dedicated to finding new talent; nurturing, equipping and guiding young creatives into their future careers, and where he collaborated with creatives from all over the world.


Jamie credits his time at CCAD which has helped him on his creative path to success said: “The D&AD New Blood Academy was an unbelievable experience and CCAD helped give me the platform to explore all areas of design, as well as being encouraged to experiment with different styles and methods of making work.

“I truly believe going to college is a great way to not only develop your work but connect with other creatives, learn new skills and along the way make mistakes that help define what you want to do and where your place is in the industry.”

Specialising in hand lettering and illustration, Jamie has now set up as a freelance designer, working on projects such as illustrating and animating a video for US professional skateboarder, Mike Vallely, and seeing his work turned into stickers after contributing to the ‘Stick It’ sticker book alongside other illustrators.

  • Date published: 16th May 2016



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