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Fifth Expo excels at college

Posted: 07 March 2022

Students and members of the public have been impressed by industry experts’ success stories and talents during West Nottinghamshire College’s fifth Create Expo.

Guests were able to meet with specialists from the digital games and 3D design industries, as well as meet those in top careers within music and graphic design, on Friday 25 February.

Jade How, head of fashion at Lockwood Publishing, was the first guest speaker on stage. Jade graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a BA in Fashion/Apparel Design and now works on creative direction for the mobile platform Avakin Life, using her background of design and product management.

Jade’s talents now stretch to working on creating clothing and accessories for characters on a live online game. She says she thinks it’s “great to be part of the content train in this exciting world.”

Creative director Steve Bjorck, who runs his own business, Eggbox, spoke passionately about his experience in the sector which started with him working as a screen printer before moving on to work on TV commercials, CGI, animation and motion graphics as well as photography and music production.

Award-wining composer and music producer Pav Gekko presented to a packed theatre about his skills in audio direction, music composition, sound design and mixing. He detailed how music within films can change the mood and feeling and the viewers’ perception of the scenes. The University of Derby graduate’s latest credits include fantasy role-play game Dawn of the Dragons 2 and Tintin Match.

Veteran in film, commercials and TV visual effects Mark Harrison highlighted his work on the virtual effects for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which won a BAFTA. Mark’s resume also includes work on Star Trek, Assassins Creed, Thor Ragnarok and Mission Impossible: Fallout, where he took on the role as a CGI supervisor.

Illustrator and concept artist Fred Gambino detailed his experience of working in oils and acrylics using a traditional paintbrush as well as in modern digital art. Fred began working in publishing, creating covers for authors such as Arthur C Clark but now works as a concept artist in the film and game industry, having worked on the Guardians of the Galaxy film.

Ashley Bradbury, a former student and employee at the college, who now works at Nottingham-based Remit Training in a role encompassing multimedia production attended the Expo.

He said: "My overall experience at the Expo has given me inspiration - looking at how you can bring new skills into the workforce. My specialism is 3D design and I’ve seen some amazing examples of such professional work.

“It’s been good to have chats with the guest speakers about their work and to hear the other artists’ talks. It’s great to hear about their long and varied careers. I’ve enjoyed coming back into college too and see my former study and work space still thriving and putting on a really worthwhile show such as the Expo.”

Design and media specialist and the event’s organiser Tony Hall said: “One of the main outcomes of the Expo is seeing the guest speakers inspire our guests, showing them what they can go on to achieve. 

“From fashion design in games to visual effects in films, with the right determination and skills anything is possible, and the students see this.

“It was great to see so many people attend the event from both inside and outside the college and each guest speaker had over 100 people in the audience. The event itself is completely run by our great creative students, from the filming and editing to the greeting and hospitality, and they were brilliant.”

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Rebecca Howarth
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