Personal Development

Personal Development Recommendations

Name: Maat Akouala

Nationality: Congolese

University: To Be Confirmed

Course: BA Graphic Design

Offers of Acceptance: University of the Arts London – Camberwell, Arts University Bournemouth, University of the Creative Arts, Sussex Coast College and Intuit Lab – France


Maat joined LAP for the Summer 2015 course looking for personal development that could potentially lead to university applications

“When I joined London Art Portfolio, it was my aim to finish my portfolio and apply to university for the coming semester. I started the course in June 2015 and the first week was very challenging. I explored a range of techniques that were new to me and it was difficult to be out of your comfort zone, but when you become comfortable it is a great experience. I learned a lot during this week about hands on drawing.

The following weeks was an eye opening experience for me. We had to do a lot of research and begin the design process. It is good to be with people from different backgrounds because they share many ideas that can help with your project. I had the chance to do what I was really passionate about but knew little about. The project was great and I liked experimenting with collages and packaging to create my final piece.

The 4 week course was very short and I wasn’t expecting to have so much work to show at the end – but I did! I liked Julia’s teaching style, she is so encouraging and had great ideas for each one of my project ideas. The different tutors that would come in were helpful as well because they had a different perspective on the project and it was another opportunity to talk about our work in preparation for interviews.

I applied to different schools and so far I received 4 offers from the University of the Arts Camberwell, Arts University Bournemouth, University for the Creative Arts and Sussex Coast College in the UK and Intuit Lab in France. I feel so confident now and so happy to have had such amazing people helping me to achieve my goals.”


Name: Robin Hinson

Nationality: American/Korean

Profession: Social Worker – New York


Robin joined LAP for personal development and become confident and open to new artistic horizons and directions in life.

“I remember how much fun the class was, one of the best times of my life, really!

I still want to pursue art and I’ve been working on some Korean character inspired designs lately, they are rather geometric and abstract and I was really inspired by the beautiful mandalas in India. I’d like to use them someday as tattoo designs or for t shirt deigns.

Upon my return to New York I had a boyfriend that was a photographer and had worked in the fashion industry which led to being around so many artists that all have their own specialty, from woodcarving to graphic design to animation and painting – so great and inspiring!

I’d like to thank you sincerely for such a fulfilling and wonderful learning experience. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back to London someday and come to visit you and LAP!”


Name: Laura Scheel-Miller

Nationality: American – Dallas


Laura was a complete beginner and after completing a 6 week course and returning back to Dallas, Laura decided to return to LAP to study for a further 6 week course after the Christmas break. It was a pleasure to see and tutor her once again.

“I loved every minute of my time at London Art Portfolio, hope to be back soon! I thoroughly enjoyed my time at LAP with y’all & have learned an amazing amount.  Thank you for running such a great & useful program!”


Name: Patricia Köhler

Nationality: German

Profession: Graphic Designer – Print


As a practicing Graphic Designer, Patricia was searching for fresh ideas and new inspiration. She had previously received thorough training in Graphics on CAD programmes, which meant she was less familiar with more ‘hands on’ drawing and design skills. She was aware that although technology has advanced and is important in the design industry, a designer needs strong ‘hands on’ creative design skills using different papers and mediums alongside the use and application of high end CAD skills.

“Following an intensive course with London Art Portfolio for my personal and professional portfolio development, Julia helped me to bring my design approach to the next level and at the same time to improve my expertise as a graphic designer. Furthermore, and beyond the course working with Julia has been a highly inspiring and enriching experience which truly added to my time in London. Julia has been both to me, a great mentor but also a friend. Her expertise and advise were of great value to me and by sharing her experiences Julia lightened the spark to apply for my Master’s degree. Though I applied frankly last minute, I got my interview right away and will start with my (pre-) master in September.

I am grateful for the time I got to spent and work with Julia and enjoyed every minute in the studio working with her. I absolutely recommend London Art Portfolio and if I ever move back to London I will pass by. For her future, personal life and career I wish Julia all the best”


Name: Annabelle Gee

Nationality: Canada

University: University of Edinburgh

Course: MSc Degree in Informatics


After completing a Degree in Neuroscience, Annabelle still wanted to pursue her deep interest in botanical illustration and wanted to learn some new ideas and techniques for illustration, before beginning her MSc in Informatics.

“Being a science graduate, I was certain that my artistic interests would have to take a permanent backseat. I decided to do this course to explore how far I could go with my art, and where I wanted to take it, and Julia made me realise that I don’t have to “settle”. Artistically I can continue to develop, grow, and complete projects – with the right tools and of course, the right attitude.

Thanks to this course, I began to understand the value of practising and honing your craft. It is important to know how to build a project from the ground up, with time and perseverance, but it is also important to back up your ideas with practiced skill. We went on trips to museums in order to draw, draw, draw. My favourite pieces of mine come from things that I drew on these trips.

Of course, practical benefits aside, the course itself is great fun. I met lovely and interesting people in the course, and Julia herself is fantastic and encouraging. When you see other people at work, it is a stimulating creative environment, and there is so much you can learn from each other.

Now, I will be starting a MSc in Informatics at the University of Edinburgh, but I have gained the knowledge and confidence to take my art seriously and work on my projects in my own time, including a line of prints based on some of the work I did during the course.

This course helped me rediscover my motivation and passion for art, and my confidence in my abilities. Producing a portfolio of work is immensely satisfying, and even if it is not your intention to apply for formal courses in art, it is a confidence-boosting, worthwhile effort.”