Eleanor Stewart, 21, student in Visual Communications at Glasgow School of Art recently won the Cravendale Future Milk competition with a milk bottle she designed to educate children about milk. The prize was £1000 and a month’s work experience with a London creative agency. She talks about making a design impact, setting up a Mural Society at university and her plans for the future.
"When I found out I’d won the prize I had to listen to my phone message about six times as I just didn’t believe it. Then I screamed and did a lot of dancing. It was really, really exciting.
"My idea behind the milk bottle was to remind children where milk comes from. These days if you ask kids this they will usually say Tesco. So by making a miniature farm that would fit inside a milk bottle, with grass, cows and a farmer, this makes the link with the farm. I was also looking for a way to make a visual impact so I sent Cravendale a handmade model. I think this handmade aesthetic can have more of an affect than sending a polished drawing finished on the computer.
"I am currently studying visual communications at Glasgow School of Art, specialising in illustration. I chose this course because I was really interested in children’s illustrations. I also really like the new handmade aesthetic design that is really popular right now, and through the course I saw the potential to explore these interests.
"I think it is a brilliant course. They really give you freedom to express yourself and to open up and experiment with different things. The lecturers encourage you to have your fingers in many pies. I’ve done tiny sketches, big, exciting murals and made sculptures. On my course, the idea is the key, if you show everyone you’ve got big ideas then this will give you the chance to go far.
"Alongside my degree, my friends and I started the Glasgow School of Art Mural Society. We have used different walls around Glasgow to create big murals and have held days for people to try using mural materials like spray paint and big paint brushes. It’s given lots of people the chance to try new stuff and it’s given us the chance to get some private commissions. I’ve since done some work for local cafes and have been commissioned to do a mural on the side of the arts school of a giant, flying barn owl, which was really fun.
"My advice is when you are at university you should really try and get involved in clubs and societies; if they aren’t there, then create them yourself. From having enthusiasm things can really kick off and you can get work from it too.
"I’m going into final year of university now, which is quite scary as you really get to show people what you are made of. When I leave I’ve been offered a placement at a London creative agency through winning this competition. It’s going to be really exciting to see London. I just want to show that I’m full of ideas and I’m really enthusiastic. I think you just need to really grab these opportunities, and get as much experience as possible along the way."