For today’s Student Spotlight we’re joined by Kit Malone, former BA Illustration student and current MA Graphic Novel student to talk about her journey from Foundation to MA, and why Christmas is the best time to get creative!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Hey Kit, It’s great to be speaking to you today! Tell us a bit about your journey from BA Illustration to MA Graphic Novels, and how it has influenced the style of work that you do?
KIT MALONE: I started uni four years ago at Vernon Street where I did a foundation degree, experimenting with everything in the hopes of developing a distinctive style. As the course progressed, I was still just all over the place; using different mediums, and veering between photorealism and more stylistic stuff, I just couldn't settle. Rather like my sexuality really, I just couldn't plump for one. One thing I did notice though, was all my work was quite narrative, even when the brief didn't demand it, so it's all worked out quite well now that the uni offers a Graphic Novel course which is perfect for me. It’s meant that I can adapt my illustrative style to serve the story, which is the most important thing to me: telling the story in the best way possible.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s quite the journey! That’s what I love about creative courses, they give you the opportunity to not only explore your practice but to also explore who you actually are. It definitely sounds like you’ve done a lot of exploration and might even still be on that journey, which is great! Who or what would you say has inspired you and your practice along the way?
KIT MALONE: I read a lot, particularly fantasy novels! I grew up adoring The Hobbit and learning about myths from all around the world. For my second-year COP project, I studied the Grecian Muses and I've just finished a gif of one that I'm finally really pleased with. For my FMP, I did a comic with characters based on different stories and spirits, like Inari from Japan, Xi Wang Mu from China and Melusine from France among others.
STUDENTS’ UNION: It sounds like your inspirations are far and wide. I sometimes find that there’s a hidden message that we can all relate to in some way in fantasy novels and myths, would you say that your own work carries a similar message of some sort?
KIT MALONE: I wouldn’t say so, my work is very message-less. Any level of seriousness or sincerity makes me uncomfortable because I'm profoundly aware of my own idiocy. If I tried to make a statement I would probably fuck it up.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s funny and it’s true, not everything has to have a serious meaning behind it. What can you tell us about your working process?
KIT MALONE: I usually get an idea snagged in my autistic, obsessive brain, and it remains there until I've exorcised it on to the page. At which point something else will come along and it all starts over again. My life happens in the interlude between these obsessions.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Sounds like a pretty straightforward process to me. With you saying that your life happens in between these moments, when do you feel like your creativity hits best?
KIT MALONE: Irritatingly, I think I might be at my most creative just as I'm dropping off to sleep, as it's the only time I really let my brain relax and wander around untethered. This often means that most of my ideas are forgotten by the next morning! They usually just become a vague recollection of a thought with no specifics attached to it. Other than that, Christmas. For some reason, I'm really productive around Christmas, particularly in that lovely time between Boxing Day and New Year or uni re-opening. Maybe it's the shared extension of disbelief around Father Christmas, maybe it's the lovely decorations and fairy lights everywhere or maybe it's because there's sod all else to do when it's dark twenty hours a day. Maybe it's because I'm drunk! Who knows?
STUDENTS’ UNION: The days between Christmas Day and New Year often feel like quite a blur and eventually all merge into one, that’s why it’s so often called the ‘Chrimbo Limbo’, so creating art is a great use of your time! What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about studying at LAU?
KIT MALONE: Come here, it's great! Our staff are better than other staff, they're really really nice people. The IT staff help me all the time because I'm useless and they're eternally patient!
The print staff have also been extremely helpful to me, they realised I was having a really hard time during a project in my second year because of all the noise and I was scared I would break something; so the next morning when I went in, miserable and certain I was going to fail, they'd allocated me my own ear-defenders! I genuinely cried a bit, it was so kind. They gave me a place to keep them safe in the print room, but I keep them on me at all times instead and they've changed my life.
STUDENT UNION: That’s a really sweet story and what I think is a lovely place for us to end this interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak to us today Kit, it’s been a pleasure.
If you would like to see more of Kit’s work, you can find it at, @kitmaloneillustrations on Instagram!