- Laura Blackledge
I'd like to thank the academy...
So, for anyone who doesn't know me in real life, I just graduated last week with a 2:1 Honours in 3D Design from Grays School of Art in Aberdeen. It was particularly poignant completing my studies (for now) this year, as this summer marks exactly 20 years since I finished sixth year, and thought I was heading off out into the world to do a degree in Philosophy and Psychology straight out of school.
As we now know, that isn't what happened at all!
I won't bore you with everything that transpired over the intervening two decades, largely because there are significant chunks of it I'm not entirely sure about myself. I believe I was married at one point.
But I digress (habitually, clearly), I'm writing this post today in order to sincerely, and from the bottom of my heart, thank the people around me today, without whom I absolutely would NOT be shopping around for flattering graduation robes as we speak.
First and foremost, my mum and dad. They haven't always understood exactly what I was doing, but they have ALWAYS supported me unconditionally whatever it was. Without all this support - emotional, practical, financial, I think the list might be neverending - my whole life would be a very different and much darker place than it is today.
For putting up with me on a day to day basis, and giving me the support, understanding, belief, and encouragement that somehow meant I survived and thrived during one of the most stressful periods of my life: my amazing partner Phil, and my beautiful, intelligent, understanding and profoundly patient children, Willow and Logan. No one in the world could ever hope to have a more wonderful team around them, lifting them up, healing, and recharging them every single day.
And obviously I wouldn't have completed this course without the fantastic staff at Gray's, both the endlessly patient teaching staff, and the quite frankly mystically calming, hardworking, and resourceful technical staff. If the whole world was run by workshop technicians, there would be no more war, hunger, or injustice in the world. Just saying. We should give it a shot.
And last but not least, the lunatics who went through the whole course alongside me. Jewellers, ceramicists, product designers, and every possible unholy combination of all three. We laughed, we cried, we ate a fuckload of cake.
3D Design class of 2019, we forking did it guys.
...and if you're thinking about getting back into education after a break for any kind of reason, you can do it too.