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July 24th, 2012

Plans for the future

Ohh my goodness, I cant believe it’s the end of Lives Online 2011/2012 already!  This has definitely been the fastest year of my life so far (I say that every year) but it really seems like I was recording my first video just a couple of months ago.

Graduating and starting my new job has put me in a reflective mood, so here is a little list of what I plan to do with my graduated self in The Real World.

  • Get kept on at my job
  • Pay off my overdraft
  • Go traveling – Greece/Europe
  • Move somewhere that isn’t damp
  • Eventually go freelance/self-employed as an illustrator
  • Do my Masters in illustration

I also missed off the video that I’d like to save up and buy a decent car.  Not that i’m ungrateful – my car is lovely – but the boot fills up with water when it rains, the passenger door doesn’t shut sometimes, the engine has an impressive rattle to it, and it struggles up hills when I have passengers.  It only *JUST* passed it’s MOT by a whisker, and it generally feels like it’s about to break down any minute whenever I’m driving it.  The garage said that i’ll need to get new suspension, new breaks, new hand break and also something in the gearbox has broken… so we all know where my money will be going in the next few months. Bah.

I’m still basking in the novelty of working full-time and having a job.. I cant wait for my first payday! I won’t really have any left over to spend for a few months (thanks, overdraft) but by Christmas time I should be able to start saving 🙂  Perhaps i’ll have enough money to go travelling NEXT YEAR!  You never know.  I’d also like to get healthy again – the student lifestyle has taken it’s toll this year in particular and i’ve not exercised or looked at a vegetable in months.

So here’s to being a grown-up and working 9-5 and thinking about things like saving up my money and being healthy.  Times have changed!  Gone is my bright pink/red hair and my “this overdraft is just free money” attitude. Au revoir, student life, hello Real World.


July 23rd, 2012

Looking back at 3rd Year


Things wot I gone and did in my 3rd year of university…

  • Volunteered at Freshers Week (if you get asked to do this, SAY YES! I had so much fun and I got to see S Club 3)
  • Somehow became student rep for Illustration & Design…
  • Lived in Sunderland.  It was brief, but my time living in the Milfield area was nice. I could cycle to uni and Aldi AKA the cheapest supermarket ever, was a stone’s throw from my house.
  • Tried out freelancing.  Had a few good clients! “Got my name out there” as they say, and made some extra pennies while I was at it.  Good experience and preparation for The Real World.  A good portion of rejection mixed in with the good times to ensure a steady ego.
  • Went to a Bestival on the Isle of White.
  • Got a 68 for my dissertation AND my FMP.  Spooky to get the exact same marks on both, I thought.
  • Moved in with my boyfriend, Jay.
  •  Got a kitten (Pooki) who then had four kittens. Eesh. Someone call Jezza Kyle.
  • GOT A JOB!!

I’m sure i’ve missed out a million things but this year has been so JAM PACKED with exciting amazing things that I cant even remember them all.

All in all, I think my time at Sunderland uni has been epic – for want of a better word – and I don’t think I would be where I am now without the education and confidence that uni has given me.  My tutors supported me, whilst letting me do my own thing, and whenever I needed help someone was always able to give advice and suggest improvements to my work.  I’ve been showered with opportunities to do amazing things; exhibit in London & Sunderland, start up an illustration magazine for students, do a Final Major Project which has kind of turned into a business Craft Markets Newcastle *cough, shameless plug, cough*. There has also been the opportunity to use all kinds of equipment in the design centre, which is something I wish i’d taken advantage of more, now that I’m out of uni and cant just pop downstairs and use a laser cutter for a laugh.

But yes. University has been marvellous and I am still in denial about the whole thing being over.  *clutches student discount card protectively*


July 15th, 2012

Pooki & her Kittens

Pooki had her kittens! She had four little balls of fluff over a 9 hour period, which is quite long for cats. (I’d read that 7 hours was the usual maximum time, so we thought she was finished after kitten #3)

Here’s a little video of her cleaning herself while all the Pooklets are asleep…


July 2nd, 2012

Degree Results

EEK. Mum phoned this morning saying that a letter looking suspiciously like my results had arrived, and could she open it?  I agreed and she read every single thing on the paper, in true Mum style. After listening to the address of where it had come from, the results of every module i’ve ever done at uni, FINALLY she got to the good bit.


Final Major Project: 68

Dissertation: 68



A solid 2:1!!  2 marks off a first, but a MINT result nonetheless. I’d have been happy with anything – I just wanted a job that was somehow related to my degree, and I now have one.  Happy faces all round!.

Just one week until the graduation ceremony at the Stadium of Light now. The tickets arrived for that this morning, too. Behold:

Sunderland Uni graduation tickets

I bought guest tickets for my Mum and Jay, and I think my big sister, Dad, Step-Mum and little sister will be coming to have a meal afterwards.  I have to be there for 7.30am. 7.30!? WHAT!? As if I haven’t done enough work, they want me to wake up at that time just to get my scroll. Yeesh.

My gown and hat is hired, a dress has been bought and I have even had my hair cut by an actual hair-dresser (instead of me just hacking at my hair with some kitchen scissors when it gets too long).  I hope it’s a wee bit sunny at least.


July 1st, 2012

Video Update June


June 29th, 2012

Crack Magazine (again)

After doing last month’s illustration for the Tongue & Groove article in the Crack Magazine, I was pretty chuffed when they emailed me to ask if i’d like to do it again for the July issue.  Apparently it went down a storm and they liked how it looked with the article.  Not one to pass up an opportunity I said yes and here is the final result.


Leveson Enquiry illustration

Jeremy Hunt flashing his BSkyB knickers at James Murdoch (of course).  I’m a bit ashamed to say that I knew nothing about the Leveson enquiry other than that it was to do with newspapers and a wrinkly man called ‘Murdoch’… not having a TV and ignoring the radio means you miss out on these things. I am now enlightened after a bit of research.

All in all another nice addition to the growing portfolio, and a bit of knowledge about politics and media for the brain 🙂

June 29th, 2012

Crazy Floods and Stormy Weather


Oh my gooooodness. The weather here has been completely insane!! I drove into Newcastle to meet up with a friend for a cup o’ tea and a chat, completely unaware that the sky was about to freak out.

While we were drinking tea the sky went really dark and the cafe was almost pitch black, then rain started hammering against the windows. It was hailstoning really hard and then there was the LOUDEST thunder and the brightest lightening I had ever seen.  I tried to do that thing where you count to see how far away the storm is… but didn’t get a chance because we were literally IN the storm so there was no gap.

I’m so glad we were indoors. The rain lasted 3 hours apparently, and most of Newcastle was flooded. People were swimming in Wallsend, cars were floating around, electric cut out. Needless to say the Metros were off and replacement buses got stranded in the water. My car was safe in the 2nd level of a multi-story carpark so I waited in town until the storm had completely passed and the worst of the flooding had drained away. Jay’s brother was stranded in town after work so together we braved the gridlocked traffic.

We had the radio on for updates, and spoke to his Mum on the phone to find out which roads were safe to drive on.  Luckily we didn’t have to drive through any water, and it ‘only’ took us 3 hours to drive home.  (A journey which normally takes 15 minutes. Hah!)

Traffic jams ahoy!

Unfortunately my phone was dead so I didn’t get a chance to take any photos or videos of the carnage but a quick google search will unearth some incredible images and videos.


June 22nd, 2012

Final Show Opening Night

Here’s me at the final show, grinning like an idiot.  🙂  It was a great night, alas I didn’t take ANY photos because I was too busy worrying about people taking the guide.  I forgot to put a notice saying that they weren’t free, so by the time I got there most of them had been taken *sob*.  In the end I just left one out for people to flick through. Lesson learned! People assume things are free if there are a few of them.

Anyway it was a great night. The brochure this year was a kind of newspaper design, with a ‘belly wrap’ (just a bit of shiny paper wrapped around the folded newspaper to stop it looking as cheap) and the free wine was horrific.  All wine that is free at degree shows tastes horrific – it’s part of the experience. There was also a fine selection of crisps. Cheese and onion, salt and vinegar – you name it! Hah.

None of my family came because it was a Friday night and they were all tired, but Jay was there and we celebrated with a bit of Chinese at the Panda buffet afterwards. Mmmm. I hadn’t had an all-you-can-eat buffet in YEARS so it was very nice.

It was great to see everyone’s finished work in one place. Even though we all work in the same studio, most people do most of their work at home and are super secretive so it’s a bit of a surprise when all these books and grand projects are unveiled. Other courses’ work is especially interesting. I was particularly impressed at some of the fashion and jewellery work.

June 20th, 2012

Pooki’s Nesting Box

Pooki is due to have her kittens in the next fortnight so we have made her a little nest to have them in 🙂



Also, that music is Laura Marling playing in the background… not all of her songs are that depressing, honest.

June 15th, 2012

The Olympic Torch

Who wants to see someone you don’t know run past in the rain carrying something that looks like a golden cheesegrater?  I DO!!! Apparently it’s a once-in-a-lifetime-experience.  Not to be missed.


Being shouted at by Samsung and Lloyds TSB was great.

Nah, i’ll be honest I was a bit disappointed by the whole affair. Firstly, I thought ‘The Olympic Torch’ was just that, ONE olympic torch. Alas, there are hundreds of torches, and i’ve been told that the runner gets to keep the torch after they have run. Secondly it was tiny. Boo. I wanted a great big shiny torch, lighting up the street and a little runner struggling to carry it along the street. Thirdly, it was raining and grey and everyone had a faces like slapped bums. In my mind we would all be wearing little sun dresses (not the boys) and sunglasses and grinning as the massive torch jogged past.

Dear Olympics, please adhere to my specifications next time.

Kind regards,


Student Profile:

  • Name: Katie Chappell
  • Age: 22
  • Studying: Illustration & Design BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Northumberland
  • Ambitions: To move to London and become a successful illustrator

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