‘On trend’ Hartlepool art college student earns national recognition

'FABULOUS DRAWING SKILLS': Helen Williams with some of her artwork
'FABULOUS DRAWING SKILLS': Helen Williams with some of her artwork

A TOWN student has earned national recognition for her art skills after beating competition from thousands of designers from across the UK.

Cleveland College of Art & Design student Helen Williams was presented with a certificate and cheque for £500 after being awarded first runner-up prize at the British Interior Textiles Association (BITA) Emerging Talent Awards 2013.

The third-year surface and textile design student, at the specialist art college in Hartlepool, had her work selected from hundreds of entries from across the UK in the competition set up to identify the most talented furnishing fabric designers in the country.

A delighted Helen, 21, from Seaton Carew, said: “My tutor, Lianne Hubbart, submitted my second year final project designs into the BITA awards but with so many designers across the country entering the competition I never expected anything to come of it.

“When I got the call saying that I’d come runner-up I was totally overwhelmed. It’s a massive achievement for someone who is still a full- time student especially as the overall competition winner was a professional design graduate.”

Inspired by graffiti art, Helen’s designs, based on her favourite holiday destinations of New York and Paris, caught the eyes of the judges for their up to the minute imagery, colour and commercialism.

Commenting on her work, vice chairman of BITA Diane Harding noted Helen’s fabulous drawing skills and original designs. Fellow judge and director of Prestigious Textiles Limited Trevor Helliwell added that Helen’s graphics were “very much on trend, well constructed and commercial”, with David Yorke, the managing director of Simpson Interiors, agreeing that they were “totally up to date and well thought out for today’s market”.

“It’s great to be able to get my name out into the design industry so early in my career,” added Helen.

“Part of the prize is for all the winning designs to be displayed at a range of BITA venues across the country so hundreds of people will get to see my work, which is amazing.

“It feels very special to win such a prestigious competition while still at college and vindicates all of the hard work and long hours that I put in.

“The tutors here at CCAD have been incredible with their help and support. They give you your space to work independently but are always there to offer advice and encourage you to push yourself.

“The facilities are also incredible, especially the new print rooms and dye labs which have some of the most amazing up to date industry equipment in them.

“I’ve had a small taste of what it would be like to make it in the industry, which has just increased my desire even more and with the backing of CCAD I really hope to go on and fulfil my ambition of becoming a professional interior designer.”

For more information on opportunities at CCAD contact (01642) 288888 or log on to www.ccad.ac.uk.