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An example of Peter's work.
Meet Peter Smith
By Blast arts reporter Rala Kawas
Peter Smith is one of Coventry's raw talents in the visual arts sector. Still an undergraduate, Peter has achieved a lot in the world of visual arts, and is only at the start of his climb up to the top.
Imagine being able to call yourself a freelance visual artist, with your own company before having finished your degree. Well Peter Smith from Tile Hill has done Coventry proud by doing just that.
Peter creates customised artwork for businesses and the public and uses his skills in graphic design to produce stunning visuals and installations and has set up his own company, Kartina, to cope with the work load.
He is about to begin his final year of a BA (Hons) degree in graphic design at the University of Coventry.
But before he does that, Peter has a lot to look forward to. He has recently been approached by Royal Birmingham Society of Artists (RBSA) to show some of his work at their current exhibition, “Imaginative Portraits”.
I caught up with Peter and grilled him with some questions about his work. And then, so we can get to know him a little better, I asked Peter some more personal questions about himself.
Why did you choose to study graphic design for your degree?
Like all kids I used to draw (doodle more like) a lot when I was younger, but wasn't really interested in art at school. I studied graphic products at GCSE level, which made me realise that someone designs everything we see around us - from a table, to a motorway sign. I enjoy being creative, and this enjoyment feeds into my work.
How did you go about designing for businesses?
By accident! I left home and needed to find a job, so I went out and pitched to different agencies. I worked in the exhibition industry prior to studying for my degree, so I had some experience in the Graphics industry. With that in mind, I was able to show them what I was capable of (and more importantly, what I still needed to learn).
How did you manage to set up your own company before you've even finished your degree?
Coventry University has opened many doors for me. Apart from studying for my degree I have been involved in a number of different areas. There's always pressure with studies, so it's difficult to balance everything.
How did you feel when RBSA got in touch with you about exhibiting your work in Birmingham for the public to see?
This is a great privilege. It took a lot of effort, and fortunately my artwork was nominated to be exhibited. The exhibition, 'Imaginative Portraits' is held at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, St Paul's, where many of the country's top artists & photographers have the opportunity to showcase their skills. There are some fantastic pieces on display, so it's a great honour to be amongst them. It's nerve-racking seeing my work on show - I'm never too sure how the public will react, but it felt great being nominated.
How do you feel that the exhibition will affect the rest of your career?
I'll take it as a stepping stone for now. From a career/business perspective it's an influential statement to make, and is a good selling point to customers - letting them know that your work is exhibited in a top art gallery will certainly add a lot of depth to my portfolio.
Have you got any career plans for the future?
I'm working for top agency in Walsall at the moment, constantly practising and learning all the time. I'd like to get involved in multi-media (animation, web design, advertising) in the future. In the mean time I hope to finish my degree on a high, successful note and continue studying at Coventry University for a Masters.
And now something a little more about yourself: