Student Spotlight | Raise and Give Week Special | Erin Jones-Tarling

We thought Raise and Give Week was the perfect opportunity to sit down with your Raise and Give Officers! In this interview, we sat down with Erin, level 5 Vis Comm student to talk about her love of problem-solving when she doesn’t have all the pieces…


Students’ Union: Hi Erin, thanks for joining us today, lets kick off with what type of work do you produce?


Erin: A little bit of everything! I’m really into photography and illustration. I have been exploring moving image more recently.


Students’ Union: Oh interesting, who and what inspires you?


Erin: I find being around creative people every day inspiring. I find that inspiration comes when you’re not trying too hard to look for it.


Students’ Union: Well then LAU is a great place to be! When do you feel like you’re at your most creative?


Erin: I like to tell real stories, usually experiences I’ve heard of from my friends and family. It’s always a bonus when you make people happy through your artwork! I feel most creative when I don’t feel under too much pressure to produce work and when I don’t have all the resources I need - so I make the best out of what I’ve got!


Students’ Union: Yeah, creative problem solving is always something that gets the cogs turning, what are your plans for the future?


I feel like I still have so much to learn! I might do a Masters, I might go travelling, I might do both! Long-term I see myself going freelance - I haven’t decided exactly what field yet though!

Students’ Union: well, there’s lots of time to figure that out. What are the motivations behind the work that you do?


Erin: I don’t see myself doing anything else. Creating art has been the one consistent thing that has brought me joy in my life (well, most of the time). I love learning from other people and learning about the world through art. Even if one person connects with something I’ve made it makes it all worthwhile - and if that one person is me then I’m happy with that!


Students’ Union: That’s such a lovely sentiment, what was the last piece of work you created for yourself specifically and how did that make you feel?


Erin: The last piece I created for myself was a painting of me and my little niece holding hands. It made me wonder why I ever stopped painting, as I hadn’t done an oil painting in two years. It made me feel more connected with my work, using a paintbrush and a canvas, as I have been making a lot of digital work lately. I feel like spending too much time staring at a screen can take the fun out of creating. It’s now my favourite piece I’ve ever made. I like how not a lot of thought went into it, but a lot of feeling did.


Students’ Union: That sounds wonderful! I’m glad you found that time to step back from your current digital practice to connect with your passion for oil paints. Thanks so much for sharing with us today Erin!


If you want to check out more of Erin’s work you can find her @erinjonestarling on Instagram and make sure to follow @LeedsArtsRAG to keep up to date with everything Raise and Give.