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Student Voices

Student Spotlight | Emma Lee

By UALHalls 24 Apr 2024

Welcome to this month’s Student Spotlight! Featuring second year Illustration and Visual Media student (London College of Communication, UAL) Emma Lee. 

Emma lives in the Costume Store and tells us all about life in halls, her current uni projects and where she draws information from. You can find more of her work on her portfolio website.

a print in a frame with famous London landmarks

Hey Emma! Tell us about yourself.

Hello, my name is Emma Lee, and I currently reside at the Costume Store. I'm in my second year studying Illustration and Visual Media at the London College of Communication.

Having lived in the UK for nearly seven years as an international student, I've embraced the opportunity to express my unique perspective through my artwork. My aim is to include humor into my work, offering viewers a fresh and playful way to perceive the world around them.

a print with London skyline drawing

What or who inspires your work?

Living in a big city offers endless inspiration for my artwork. My daily commute to school takes about 45 minutes on the tube, and to pass the time, I always carry my sketchbook to practice drawing the strangers around me. I find people-watching particularly fascinating on the tube, where I enjoy imagining the life stories of those I observe.

Similarly, I apply this concept to objects and buildings; for example, if Big Ben were a person, I imagine he would be a distinguished gentleman. This imaginative approach not only enriches my artwork but also keeps my daily travels intriguing and creative.

Furthermore, being part of a year group with 200 illustrators at school means I would constantly be exposed to new ideas around the clock. During my lessons, I was constantly inspired by my peers, who introduced me to a range of new art techniques and ideas.

Their creativity and diverse approaches to art enriched my learning experience, providing me with a deeper understanding of the vast possibilities within the art industry. This continuous exchange of insights and perspectives not only enhanced my skills but also broadened my artistic knowledge, encouraging me to think more innovatively and push the boundaries of my own work.

drawings of London in a sketchbook

What are you currently working on at LCC?

I am focusing on character design with different style and colour at the moment. This project is named 'Soaked Londoners', I explored a range of art mediums from 2D illustration to laser cut stencil making for lino printing. 

As a traveller who has encountered numerous rainy vacations, I’ve learned to embrace these moments rather than feel disappointed or grumpy.

I chose to romanticise it and see it as the sky’s way to reveal a different facet of the city to me during my visit. My hope is that other travelers can see the rain in the same light.  In this project, I personify London landmarks based on my impression of how they would react to London’s frequent rain. My aim is to convey to tourists that rain isn’t always a negative experience, but rather an opportunity to see a place in a unique and charming way.

a t shirt being pressed with an illustration

What are your future aspirations?

Although I'm quite comfortable with digital painting, I find animation to be a real challenge. I'm currently practicing speed digital painting to improve my understanding of proportions. My goal is to gradually develop the skills necessary to create animations that could meet industry standards, similar to those of Sony Pictures, DreamWorks, or Disney. Meanwhile, I'm also working on cultivating a unique art style that I hope will resonate with and be recognizable to the public.

a rail and table with t shirts and prints on

What do you like about living in halls?

Living in halls really takes a load off my mind, so I can just focus on my studies without worrying about finding a flat or dealing with big bills. The best part is definitely how close-knit our community is—it makes me feel safe and at home even when I'm far from my actual home. And London? It’s never boring! It's not only gorgeous, but I also keep meeting people from all sorts of exotic backgrounds that totally blow my mind.

Want to know more? Get in touch: 


T: +44 (0)20 4586 3219

Instagram: UAL_HallsLife

Header image credits: XXXXXX