'What does the future hold for students!?'
Despite all of this, with determination, hard work and enthusiasm, some students have proved that graduates can have huge success after leaving University. Glasgow-born artist Frank To graduated in Fine Art at the University of Huddersfield in 2004. Since leaving, he has received a lot of success. One admirer of his work is Captain Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek, aka Patrick Stewart, who is also the Chancellor of Huddersfield University. He owns five of Frank's paintings! But how hard was it for Frank to achieve such huge success?
He says "The Fine Art course in Huddersfield is less than ten years old. Out of those ten years, there are only two graduates (including myself) who are gaining national success in the art field. A fine artist's career is very difficult and not many pursue it or they give up due to fear of failure".
Frank has exhibited some of his work alongside well known artists such as Damien Hirst. Additionally, some of Frank's paintings have been featured in many national art fair shows, including London, Harrogate, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. And, to top that, Frank’s work is now exhibited at the prestigious Albemarle Gallery in London. He is one of the youngest artists to achieve this.
""What is a degree without any experience? As the saying goes, it's not necessarily what you know but who you know...""
Frank puts some of his success down to his time at University: "It was mainly my tutors and lecturers that gave me the moral support that I needed to become an artist. They themselves are artists in their own right and have much more experience in this field. Any advice or moral support they gave me was crucial in influencing my decision of being an artist. To this day, I still seek their advice. Furthermore, my time at University allowed me to gain contacts and develop my networking skill to a great extent".
But just how hard does he think it is for other graduates to become successful in any other career? "It really depends how active the graduate is for success. Although luck does play a part in it, one must work hard to gain any success at all. In my personal experience, even luck itself is a result of hard work. Over all, I believe the hardest obstacle to overcome to gain success is the graduates themselves".