Art and Design: Sixth Form Students Visit HiFest


Sussex is a hugely creative county that is spoilt with great galleries including Pallant House in Chichester, Del la Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, Towner in Eastbourne and The Jerwood in Hastings.

People are drawn to Sussex because of its landscape, creativity and exciting cities like Brighton. Hasting and St Leonards are ‘on the up’ and have a great Art scene that give the area the feel of Brighton 25 years ago. Hastings has a particular connection to illustration with both Quentin Blake John Ryan (creator of Captain Pugwash) associated with the town.

On Saturday 5th December Mr Jordan and I therefore took a group of Sixth Form Art and Design students to HiFest (Hastings Illustration Festival).

Now in its second year it is a showcase for young Sussex based illustrators and Graphic designers, it shows Hastings as a fantastic hub for illustration and the creative industry in general.

The festival is vibrant with over 50 stalls, workshops, seminars and the opportunity to meet and talk to the next generation of designers and illustrators.

Jake Vine, a current Bede’s student interested in becoming a Graphic Designer said on the day – “Hifest is great event and gives you a chance to talk to practicing illustrators and Graphic Designers - to learn from them and get excellent advice.”


Bede’s has a particular interest in the festival because one of its main organisers is Ali Graham who is an old Bede’s alumni and the son of David Graham, the previous Head of Art.

Ali studied GCSE Art and Photography and went on to study Graphic Communication at A Level before becoming a freelance illustrator.

When he is not organising HiFest he is the creator of viral online illustration projects 99 Problems, Beyoncé vs Zombies and Lil’ Ye and has worked on projects with Hyundai, IFC, The Who and DKNY.

Bede’s has a long established tradition of producing young talented artists, graphic designers, set designers, architects and photographers with a third of all A Level Art students continuing to study Art based subjects at University.

Many go on to make careers in these areas and, hopefully like Ali, encourage others to follow a similar path.


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