Alumni Stories - Lesley Kelly
'Working with tutors who were experts in their field, who believed in my potential and nurtured my creative choices, and motivated me throughout my studies - that has never left me.'
Name: Lesley Kelly
Current Career: Professional ceramic artist and post primary art, craft & design teacher
Graduation Year: 2012
Discipline: Ceramics & Education (PG)
What career path did you want to follow as a child?
I always wanted to be an artist.
Why did you decide to study at National College of Art & Design?
I wanted to study at NCAD because of the wide range of degrees on offer and the depth of research l could undertake in my chosen discipline. Its location was also important to me.
How did you develop your career towards your current practice?
I began with an undergraduate degree, then a Masters, and I progressed to a Professional Diploma in Art Education to widen my job prospects.
What is the one experience – during your time at NCAD – that has informed you most in your work to date?
To pin it down to one experience would be difficult. Working with tutors who were experts in their field, who believed in my potential and nurtured my creative choices, and motivated me throughout my studies - that has never left me.
If you were chatting with current NCAD students today, what is the one piece of advice you would offer?
Determination and curiosity go a long way.
Given the global turmoil and change, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, what – in your opinion – are the opportunities for those in creative industries?
The opportunity is now here to change how we learn, what we learn, how we deliver our teaching and put emphasis on the creative industries. Art is a tool to make children reflect on how they want to impact their environment.
We have a platform to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and, by extension, economic, social and sustainable development.
Solutions to the turmoil in the world, highlighted by the pandemic, can be met with innovation, curiousity, and an entrepreneurial mindset. The humble face mask is a perfect example of a cottage industry from concerned citizens, going global.
Collaborations within our global communities, brought together by a shared conscience, is necessary. Creative industries are central to a technology and communications infrastructure, as their human-centric innovation and creative value bring a spectrum of skills, perspectives and experiences that can be of real value and solve serious problems in a range of civic, societal and industrial contexts.
The pandemic has forced us to disconnect, isolate and distance ourselves from each other, but the arts has given us the language to reconnect and remain human.
Portfolio Links: www.lesleykellyceramics.com
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