Category: Education

Making the most of the OCA community


At the OCA, our main way of connecting with each other is online which can feel more distant to meeting up face-to-face. But, if you’re a modern-day-human embracing social media, then how much of your social life is conducted and organised online now anyway? Whilst there’s plenty of debate to be had about whether this way of communicating is more beneficial, there’s no denying its popularity.

You’re an Eee Aye Dee Ot Babe….


I went to the kind of school where you could give up history early on to concentrate on your sewing. My conceptualisation of history is roughly ‘Vikings, the Bayeux Tapestry, Henry VIII and WW2’. The near complete absence of women in the world, not to mention the absence of most of the world according to the history I was taught left me distrustful of it at an early age.

To cite, or not to cite…


That is the question…. of plagiarism!
One of the issues that crops up repeatedly around assessment time is referencing academic writing. What do I reference? How do I reference? How do I know if it needs referencing? – all these are perfectly valid questions and frequent concerns.

Keeping things simple

Keep it simple

Ironically, as a writing student (or as a student of creative arts who needs to write), you may not find simplicity easy to attain. First drafts often result in spontaneous explosions of writing which feel very good to get down on paper, but perhaps disappoint when you read them through.

From here to there


In March I went to a talk by Alec Soth at The Photography Show in Birmingham. Having visited his exhibition Gathered Leaves at the Science Museum, I was keen to hear him talk about his work process as I am currently very interested in photographers working processes on a project.

Soth spoke about his work in an open and direct way. It is clear that he has been asked questions about how he started many times and had a well prepared format to answer each section. The talk was titled ‘From here to there’, this process is fundamental to his work as he explained how one picture may lead to the next.

Personal voice

Anthony Carey

This a term that comes up from time to time in assessment criteria at OCA and most other art schools and has been the subject of a thread in the Student forums. The difficulty is that it is one of those phrases that is extremely difficult to explain even when one has quite a deep understanding of what it means.

Well…here goes…