Five recent graduates from a leading specialist art and design college are the new business tenants at an innovative workspace developed to boost Teesside’s creative industry.
The artists and designers from Cleveland College of Art Design (CCAD) are now commercial residents of the Creative Hub within the Hartlepool Enterprise Centre – developed in partnership with the college and Hartlepool Council.
Alan Vest, Mae Owens, Sophie Babur-Puplett and Callum Griffiths were all students on the Illustration for Commercial Application course at the college and graduated in July this year.
Joining them is photographer Rachel Deakin, who graduated with a first class degree in photography last month, and photographer Emma Scott, who graduated in 2000 and now runs Inspired Portraits.
The Creative Hub consists of studio spaces for creative business, with a wide range of benefits including a single weekly charge of £25, furniture, easy terms and access to business planning, marketing and mentoring support.
The workspace, which will also serve as a gallery space with original artworks and commissions available to purchase directly from the artists, forms part of long term collaboration between CCAD and Hartlepool Council around supporting creative business development in the town and across the region.
Illustrator Alan Vest, 22 from Eaglescliffe in Stockton, has already had his first brush with success as an illustrator for a weekly column in The Guardian, as well as recently featuring as a ‘rising star’ in the top ten graduates by Creative Review with his work showcased on digital screens all over the UK.
On joining the Creative Hub, he said: “It’s brilliant to have the opportunity to move in to a creative space straight after graduating.
“We’re all really happy to be working in a creative environment and we’re looking forward to collaborating, hosting exhibitions and selling work together.”
Sophie Babur-Puplett, 21 from Newham Grange Park in Stockton is a mixed media illustrator and is looking forward to working alongside her former classmates.
She said: “It’s fantastic because we all studied together in the same room at CCAD and are great friends, and now work collaboratively in the hub.”
• Pictured above (left to right): Alan Vest, Callum Griffith, Sophie Babur-Puplett, Emma Scott and Mae Owens in the studio at the Creative Hub.