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Students chat with BBC History Magazine commissioner ahead of big project

21 December 2023

Brighton MET students have been set an important challenge, which could see their work featured nationally in the BBC History Magazine, as well as featured online by BBC History Extra.  

The college has partnered with BBC History Extra & BBC History magazine offering students the chance to create an illustration for the upcoming article on Mikhail Romanov and his ascent to the Tsar of Russia.

Susanne Frank, the commissioner of BBC History Magazine, gave an in-depth online presentation to students, which gave an insight into the world of art and design, as well as advice on things such as what she looks for when she is looking for a free-lance artist, as well as on how to build your own portfolio.

She described how the decision is a team one, saying how the “whole the whole art team and probably also Danny (who looks after the anniversary section), will decide which ones were going to put in the magazine”. 

She also revealed that the features will be collated in January and February, with a view to using them in the March issue (which goes out at the end of February).  

Laurie Avon, art and design course tutor, was the one to make the connection with Susanne, and he has “maintained a collaborative relationship with BBC History, working on a range projects and narratives”.   

He went on to say how big of an opportunity this is for students. He said:  “This project allows students to gain insight into the industry, showcase their work to esteemed commissioners, and, if chosen, witness their illustration come to life in print.” 

Fin, one of the students taking part, shared how “I was thinking about using the family crest for the Romanov family, so it’s got an interesting design of a two-headed bird, I was going to work with that somehow,” he also stressed how useful his research into the topic had been.  

Max, another student, expressed: “It is a really huge opportunity”, adding “It’s quite nice we have an opportunity to do something like this, given our age and experience.”  

Sebastian, another student partaking in the project, described the importance of making sure students differentiate their work, saying “I think just make sure it’s got really interesting aspects, make sure you’re filling the page with interesting things so the viewer can keep looking round and can engage with it.”  

One student’s work will be chosen for publishing in the magazine, and a few more students’ work will be published online.