Name and job title
Kevin Potter, Specialist Technician, Digital Print
What's your background?
I studied Fine Art at Coventry School of Art & Design specialising in sound and installation, but also doing computer graphics, video and interactive artworks. I was trying to encourage people to interact with works of art rather than just look at them.
I then spent around 10 years in a number of graphic design agencies/consultancies. I specialized in interactive design and moving image graphics but also worked in other areas; branding, corporate identity, print etc. I started life at Central Saint Martins at Back Hill supporting Foundation and other courses, MA and postgrad photography (LCC) and Theatre Design.
Last year I was tasked with ‘managing’ the new Digital Print area and was gifted Awesome Anne and Super Suzie, the ‘unmanagable’. Against all odds we have had some very positive feedback from staff and students and continue to strive to make this a lively place for students to work in addition to offering support. As well as digital print we also do a lot of cross-media work with students who sometimes don't even use it for digital print, but for making work.
What do you love most about your job?
I think a lot of it is the unpredictability of it. We rarely have structured courses and projects here - we do, but it's not all we get. We don't know what might be coming through the door - it might be anything. And making a difference - the normal things you do this job for.
What are your favourite things about Central Saint Martins?
The people: within the technical team there are so many wonderful people - they just know their specialism inside out. They're more than happy to sit down with people and share their knowledge. We are essentially on one site - for me that's been really good, being at Back Hill, it was a very small team. Now there's a bigger group of people to share thoughts, skills, etc, etc. with.
Do you have a favourite part of your day?
It's when you leave at the end of it, knowing you might have made a difference to - not just someone's day, but possibly even their career - an extra half hour could be the thing that gets them the job, internship, a place on another course or whatever.
Who's your favourite artist/photographer/fashion designer/director etc?
Duchamp and probably John Cage. Duchamp for his humour and the way he's changed modern art. Design-wise I'd choose Tomato, a collaborative group of artists, designers and technicians.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Mandela or Ghandi.
What advice would you give to new students?
Don't take yourself too seriously. Take advantage of the position you're in with creative people from all disciplines from all corners of the world. Absorb as much as you can. That opportunity doesn't come round too often.
Communicate and collaborate with people who work in different disciplines - it will broaden your perspective on things. It might challenge your view of different working practices. So for example a graphic designer and product designer will go about things in different ways, you can take things from the way other people approach their work, the processes they use, the ways of thinking up ideas as well. Once you leave there will be plenty of opportunities to work in isolation or very small teams!