BM Art Application Outcomes 2022

This year’s applications for art, design and architecture programs saw 13 of our current BM Art clients apply to foundation, degree and MA courses, with a total of 57 individual course applications being made. World-renowned institutions who accepted our clients include The Royal College of Art (annually the top ranked art and design university in the world), and some very hard to gain offers, such as several fashion specialist BAs at Central Saint Martins. All 13 clients achieved good offers, the majority for their first choice course. 

These offers include:

The Architectural Association (AA) London for their degree course

Goldsmiths University for BA Fine Art

Central Saint Martins (CSM / UAL) for BA Graphic Communication Design

CalArts and the Pratt Institute, in the US for BA Photography

Central Saint Martins for BA Fashion Print

Central Saint Martins for BA Menswear

Westminster University for BA Fashion, and BA Architecture

LCF (London College of Fashion) for BA Menswear

LCF (London College of Fashion) for BA Fashion Womenswear

Central Saint Martins (UAL) for their foundation diploma (diagnostic and specialist modes)

Camberwell (UAL) for their foundation diploma (diagnostic and specialist modes)

LCC (UAL) for BA Illustration and BA Graphic Design and Media

Kingston University for their foundation diploma

City and Guilds School of Art for their foundation diploma

Recent feedback we have received includes: 

– Thanks again and I hope we/he can stay in touch, he owes you a lot and wherever he lands, you and Anthony have been a critical part of his journey, I’m certain he’ll credit you with that for the rest of his career.

– We can’t thank you enough for your support and work in helping Louis achieve the below. We can’t believe how far he’s come over the last two years and there’s no way he would be in this position without your help.

– Once again, I wanted to thank you for your support, I know I wouldn’t have had the options which I have if it weren’t for your mentorship. 

– Finally!!!! I cannot believe it. It hasn’t sunk in but it’s incredible I’m so surprised.

– Just amazing. This is crazy!!

– I know he’s happy, as are we! Thanks again

– I have worked with Darren several times, and both were successful; I remember that the preparation for the BA application was fun and exciting, Darren was very supportive, and we did extra work for my portfolio. However, when the application got more serious (RCA), Darren did as well. He is very professional and be ready that he will be straightforward with you, but I believe harsh comments are always better than  “oh, it’s fine like that”. I really enjoyed my experience with Darren, even though I had to rewrite my personal statement a thousand times!

– I just got an update that I have received offers from both LCC and Camberwell with the condition that I pass foundation! Thank you so much for all your help with the applications and portfolio making and everything!

– I wanted to share with you that I’ve now received offers from City and guilds, Kingston, Ravensbourne and Camberwell for foundation, and I’ve received offer from all the bachelors: GSA: graphic communication design, Edinburgh: graphic design, UAL, CSM: graphic communication design, UAL, LCC: graphic and media design, UAL, LCC: graphic branding and identity. I wanted to thank you again for the support, help and advice that you provided me throughout the mentoring process and beyond, as this wouldn’t have happened without your help. 

The students behind these results represent multiple nationalities, diverse characters and many different levels of artistic experience and ability. Student ‘A’ is an interesting example of the kind of journey a client can go on with us. On deciding he wanted to pursue a creative subject at A-Level, his school would not allow him to study art as he had not done so at GCSE, only offering textiles as an option. He found his textiles teacher hostile to his relative lack of experience in the subject, and was struggling to see a direction for his creative interests.

Our first sessions with him found him lacking in confidence, and frustrated by the limits of his technical abilities. I recall an early life drawing session and the exasperation he felt trying to render a likeness, but then gradually his focus and enjoyment sharpening as we tore up and collaged fragments of multiple drawings to develop dynamic, expressive responses that were no less successful for loosening their grip on realism.

Our message was simple – we are going to find a way to play to your strengths and make art that is personal to you. Slowly but surely a confident voice and vision emerged. In time a portfolio was developed which lead to an offer from the foundation diploma at Central Saint Martins, and during this course we assisted with his preparations for degree applications. As one after another of his fellow foundation students were rejected by CSM’s famous fashion degrees, he was offered not one but two degree courses there.

Some very talented, gifted individuals are rejected by the top institutions every year, and I truly believe that a student has to get every little aspect of their preparations and submissions right to gain an offer. Their portfolio of course plays a huge part, as does the personal statement, but I think that what can really edge it is the students conduct during their studies, both on their current course and in their extracurricular activities. The authenticity their hard work, humility, honesty and desire lends to their work can really be seen by a trained eye, and felt in conversation by an experienced tutor, such as those assessing portfolios and interviewing candidates. Alongside our guidance, this student exemplified this kind of commitment to his studies and was rightly rewarded with some amazing offers.

As new clients join us this summer, I will be showing them his work as well as that of other previous clients, and using their stories as an example of how our work together can raise their abilities and connection to art and design, and set them on a life-changing path.

Words by Darren Marshall, Head of Art at Bonas MacFarlane.