Kellis Reid - BA (Hons) Communication Design, Illustration and Photography

Kellis Reid
Moray based graduate, Kellis Reid, feels proud to have accomplished their degree in Communication Design and is looking forward to supporting the local economy and the creative offering in the North-East of Scotland.

With one day to go until the application deadline, 21-year-old Kellis Reid from Buckie, applied to Gray’s School of Art, just on time. It was a decision that Kellis hasn’t regretted and they’re now graduating with a 2:1 BA (Hons) in Communication Design, Illustration and Photography.

Whilst in 6th form at Buckie Community High School, Kellis researched art courses across Scotland and discovered that very few offered Photography as part of the degree. This was an area they were interested in and the course structure and excellent facilities at Gray’s School of Art, convinced them that Gray’s School of Art was the best choice for them. The proximity to their hometown of Buckie and accessibility by car, train and bus also made Gray’s School of Art a good option.

Looking back on their experience at RGU, Kellis says: “My time at University has had its ups and downs. Lockdown had an impact on my mental and emotional health, but my lecturers and friends really helped me pull through. I also knew I had the support of the University’s Counselling & Wellbeing Support & Advice team if I needed it during my studies.

“During my course, the staff and technicians at Gray’s were great and I relished the freedom to explore themes and ideas. This led me to create an innovative collection of illustrations and graphics exploring concepts such as personal identity and emotional health, as well as leaning into the campaign side of things when creating a project about bringing attention to sexual harassment and the stigma surrounding conversations about it. One of the bonuses was being able to continue to do photography at the same time, and although this did not feature as much in my Graduate year projects, it is still very much the driving force behind my creative experience.

“One of my best experiences at Gray’s has to be the talks from graduates in the field as part of Gray’s Creative Future’s Programme and Guest at Gray’s series. These informative, casual chats helped me find out about the different career paths in the creative world and opened my eyes to the opportunities available. They also showed me that creative paths are not always linear and don’t necessarily happen right after University.

“Another highlight for me was our first in person degree show in three years,  ‘Welcome to the real world’. This really helped me and my peers to get excited about the prospects of showing off our work and pushed us further to create work that we’d be really proud of. I’m immensely proud of what we achieved, and it was so rewarding to showcase my work to members of the public and to those in the creative industry.”

As a Moray based graduate, Kellis is keen to support the creative sector in the region as they explain: “I’m so pleased to be leaving university knowing I’ve accomplished something important to me. It’s also rewarding to know that I’m contributing to the creative sector in Moray as traditionally, the region hasn’t supported creatives as outwardly as other professions. This really means a lot to me and I’m looking forward to building on the skills I’ve learnt at Gray’s School of Art and to developing the cultural offering in Moray and the North-East of Scotland.”

Whilst at University, Kellis built up a good group of friends at RGU’s Gaming Society, joining in weekly sessions that helped them get out the house and talk to people. The society had a huge impact on their mental health as well as their social circle, as they  met people out with the art school. The Gaming Society also allowed them to develop their leadership skills as they ran for society positions, succeeding in becoming Secretary in their second and third year as well as Vice President in their fourth year. Through this experience, Kellis helped make a fun, inclusive space for everyone at the society and this helped them positively engage with people from all walks of life.

Now that Kellis is finished University, they plan to take things as they come. “I’m in no rush to find a job that I will be in for the rest of my working life, but I don’t plan on being idle. I want to keep pushing myself creatively and trying new things is the only way to do that.  My degree and the support from Gray’s School of Art has given me the confidence and skill set to achieve this.”

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