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Samantha Gilliam-Scott - The Open College of the Arts - OCA Showcase

To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.

Samantha Gilliam-Scott

BA (Hons) Textiles

Samantha Gilliam-Scott

At 18 I studied Fashion Design at an arts college in West Sussex. After getting good grades, I was accepted at a traditional university to study a BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree, but at that time my life, circumstances meant that I didn’t get to go.

I’m now 44 with grown up children and disabilities which are severely limiting to me. I have never given up on my love of design, drawing and textiles. I was looking online at workshops and courses to further my abilities, and that is when I came across the OCA. I dismissed it at first as I felt I couldn’t possibly study for a degree at my age, but my family supported me and told me to go for it!

The OCA is perfect for me as I can study from home, at my own pace, which is ideal. There is a very supportive student community online at OCA and on social media so I am able to talk to other people studying the same course. OCA Student Services have been amazing in their support and my first year tutor gave me the encouragement and feedback I needed to push myself further.

Having a guideline and brief to work to has enhanced my experimentation of materials and processes, something I wouldn’t have achieved on my own. It has led me to new areas of study and has pushed my creative boundaries, allowing me to create work that has depth and meaning, rather than just looking pretty.

Although only a year into the course and I am pleased with how much I have already learnt and am looking forward to the rest of my OCA journey.