Spotlight on Talent : Kyra Cleeton
Studied: Level 3 Graphic Design
Progression: Game Art and Design degree at The Limerick Institute of Technology
The freedom to create is important to Kyra Cleeton. It’s one of the key things that encouraged her to study at Walsall College.
“I was persuaded to enrol here by a friend of mine. I’m very glad that I chose the college over sixth form. It was the best decision I’d ever made,” said Kyra. “It was a rough and rocky start at the beginning but my tutor, Natalie Ali, really pulled things together for not only me, but my whole class too.
“Having a change of scenery was important for me and my work. In this field it is important to explore new areas because this allows you to have so much more inspiration. ”
Kyra has used her Level 3 course to gain additional practical and technical design skills.
“The course itself takes you beyond hand drawing to using software that you don’t get in school,” she said. “I’d never used Photoshop, Illustrator and In Design until I came here. Using this software became my ‘go-to’ with my work and I wanted to learn more.”
Kyra’s willingness to push herself creatively recently led to her winning the Lexus Design your own Tattooed Car competition. Natalie, her tutor suggested she take part in this. Using Native American tribal symbols Kyra came up with a concept called Tribal Art.
Her artwork gained the most votes in a poll hosted on Lexus’s official Facebook and Instagram pages. It will now be faithfully recreated in a full-body vinyl wrap that will applied to a Lexus UX urban SUV.
“I’m always looking for new and innovative ways to display my work, so being able to say that I designed a car for a Lexus has really opened up doorways for me,” continued Kyra.
This isn’t her first experience of tattoo art as Kyra was briefly an apprentice tattooist during college.
She is now using her skills and experience to pursue a career in games art.
“Games design has always been a passion of mine, particularly since high school,” Kyra explained. “I achieved an A* in Art at GCSE and I was very proud of myself that I was now able to use this to expand my skills at Walsall College and beyond.”
At the moment, Kyra is particularly inspired by the ‘exceptional’ environmental art conjured up by concept artist, Aaron Limonick, who worked on Unchartered 4 with game developers, Naughty Dog.
“It’s an amazing game by an amazing company,” she said. “It’s advanced game mechanics and talented artists bring games like this to life.”
Having so far completed a journey that has taken her from freehand to 2D art and then 3D art, Kyra is looking forward to further freedoms on her university course and beyond.