Julian wild speaking with other worker

“One of the many perks of studying here as an academic student is the access to free spaces on evening/short courses – and I have completely immersed myself in this unique opportunity!”

Student Story


Sometimes, feeling stuck and seeking an alternative answer to the same question is a imposing yet challenging condition towards change. And this was the way that I felt before starting my journey at Art Academy London.

I studied BA (Hons) Architecture at Manchester Metropolitan University and after my graduation I decided to relocate to London for my Masters in Architecture. After attending Open Days at selected universities, I realised that there was a missing link between my personal and creative expression. And this was a challenging moment.

Reluctantly, I put my studies on pause until I could understand what it was that I was looking for. Time passed by and eventually on a day out in the city I found myself having an epiphany. I was reminded of a sketching short course I took at the Academy a few years before, and so I decided to pop in for a visit.

It just happened that particular day was the private view of the Certificate Graduation Show. I believe that this was serendipity at its best and most accurate moment!

I researched the available courses and enrolled in the Monday Mix evening class, which teaches a different medium every evening. During the sculpture class, time stood still as a residue of peacefulness settled in. Although I have previously worked in 3D, through digital renders and architectural maquettes, this was a completely different language – one that I was suddenly keen to know more about. And so, I followed with the Introduction to Sculpture evening course where I found an insightful understanding in my path: sculpture is not about doing, it is about being, in that very present moment, with who you are and the materials that you choose – a microcosm of self-reflection.

With the support of my wonderful evening class teacher Zoe Toolan, I applied for the Certificate in Sculpture and it has completely changed my life. The freedom of thought, and the inspiration and encouragement from tutors who are practising sculptors, have all taught me to let go of precision and explore my personal artistic language, from the exact to the abstract and to playfully juxtapose these worlds.

Although my course is part-time, one day per week, I find that the Academy offers a multitude of development options. One of the many perks of studying here as an academic student is the access to free spaces on evening/short courses – and I have completely immersed myself in this unique opportunity!

From art history, sketching and printmaking to stone carving, kiln-formed glass and so much more, I am tailoring my studies between evening and day classes as I am accumulating a vast variety of technical and artistic skills. With the consistent support and advice of the incredibly helpful office staff, I feel guided every step of the way.

Support through change is a theme at the Academy, and with the exciting renovation process taking place, I found myself interested in revisiting my architectural skills. Contacting Principal Rob Pepper has presented me with the opportunity to help redesign the new reception office space. To see my concept taking shape from a fragment of imagination into a space that I now physically walk into is by far one of my highest achievements.

For me, the Art Academy is a place where reality shifts and transitions into a new perspective of seeing and understanding oneself and the surrounding world. As I enjoy every moment of being part of the Academy’s diverse community, I equally find comfort and confidence in my redefined expression of identity.

With sculpture as the discovered missing link and the integral part of my creative and personal language, I am now looking forward to exploring the art of making architecture.