Callum Prockter

Studying far away from Glasgow or London hasn’t hindered this Gray’s School of Art student from producing cutting-edge, clean and highly contemporary graphic work.

How would you describe your practice?

It's a mixture of particular aesthetics and a mission to create more interesting and meaningful pieces of design for audiences. I work a great deal with typography because I believe it offers the most accessible and communicative means of visual expression – it's wonderfully flexible and there's something quite liberating about being able to take language and transform it into more interesting and meaningful shapes and alignments. With this in mind, there's also something enjoyable in being able to use simple shapes to represent more complex ideas, aiming to offer what's being said to an audience by means of coherent communication and visual narrative, function and imagination.

What do you draw your inspiration from?

I'm always on the internet – obviously – but the less obvious answer might be from the wonderful camaraderie which exists within the creative industries, especially in a place as small as Scotland. Talking to other designers, finding out what they're involved in and looking to achieve always spurs me on to produce good work.

You're studying for your BA at Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen. What was the course like and what have you taken from it?

Gray's was always going to be an interesting choice – it's by far the most geographically remote of all the art schools in Scotland and the UK, and it's at the heart of a city driven by the energy sector where money means quite a lot. The course is very inclusive. We have a class of just under fifty students, all of whom are unique in how they work, think, conceive of ideas and execute them on paper or on screen. Above all, Gray's is a small art school – it's a local institution, but that hasn't held any of us back from exploring our potential and putting down roots further afield. This size has meant that everyone knows everyone else; I've been lucky enough to work with some brilliant creatives across the disciplines, and we all learn from each other and are always interested in everyone else's practice. It can be a very supportive environment – it'll be sad to leave in the summer.

You've worked on a few exhibition identities, is this an area that particularly interests you?

I don't think I've ever thought about them together as an entity, instead I've focused on addressing each brief individually. Plus I always focus on enjoying the brief itself, rather than on enjoying a particular type of brief. In terms of getting involved in them, it was very much a case of being in the right place at the right time. I really enjoyed working on the identity for the graduate degree show in Aberdeen. It was wonderful being able to get to know a whole cohort of honours students and crafting a show that was about giving them something to remember, something that resonated and something that they could have ownership of. That sense of social involvement in design is something which I think needs to happen more often, simply because it gives both parties a sense of wellbeing.  You as the designer can feel like you're working with people, rather than just for them.

What are you working on now and what's next?

I'm a matter of weeks away from submitting my honours year portfolio, and then I'll be part of our graduate degree show here in Aberdeen. I feel that the diversity of the briefs and ideas I've managed to focus on this year has pushed my practice to new areas, and that's quite exciting. It makes me wonder where my practice is going to go from here, how I’m going to improve, and how I’m going to change in terms of aesthetics and motives. After graduation, I'm looking forward to taking in some new cities and some new creatives as I go, and I'll be looking to work with studios further afield. The plan is to work with a studio in Glasgow, certainly for a while and then see what happens, but it's that potential for spontaneity that makes graduating so interesting.

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