From Kingston to AVA
The Barter Archive, having garnered much media attention, industry awards and funding, opened doors for Pat who went on to teach at the Kingston School of Art and the Royal College of Art upon her Master’s degree graduation. That is until 2022. Armed with a thought, “Why not Hong Kong?”, she decided to come home in 2022 and joined AVA.
“The fact that illustration is an art discipline in itself at HKBU is already a bold statement. What I love even more about AVA and my role here, is we do so much more than teaching art; AVA encourages its faculty and students to have a dialogue with the community, show them our empathy and get up close with our objects. I used to focus on the outcome of my work. Now, my focus has shifted to also making sure that I enjoy the process and empower my students along the way.”
Since joining AVA, Pat has devoted herself to sharing her experience and skills with her students. “My first advice to students is that while having a passion for what you do is important, you must be committed enough and hone not just your artistic skills but also your problem-solving skills.
“Second, find your unique voice and tell your story through your work. And to tell interesting stories, don’t limit yourself to just illustration. Equip yourself with more than one skill, look for opportunities to collaborate with other disciplines and experiment with different art forms, be it design, documentary or film making and editing,” she says.
In order to increase the visibility for her students’ work, Pat has gone the extra mile to create an AVA illustration community on Instagram called spread_pages. In an upcoming collaboration with Hong Kong Shifts, a social impact storytelling platform, students will get to introduce social context into their work, as they re-interpret the stories of the shift workers and create a series of comics based on their engaging stories. Other projects in the pipeline include student projects with the Asia Art Archive and some local art spaces.