Leonidas is from Athens, Greece, and graduated from BA Graphic Communication Design in 2022. Whilst at CSM, Leonidas was also a Changemaker, working alongside students from different disciplines to implement positive change across UAL.
Why did you choose to study BA Graphic Communication Design at Central Saint Martins?
I have previously studied womenswear design back in Athens, though I quickly begun taking up graphic design work within the industry until I finally joined a graphic communication design studio, as a junior graphic designer. Graphic design felt liberating as it is a vast field that is constantly being re-defined; I loved the versatility of it. So when I decided to take a step back and study it, it made absolute sense that I would do it in a place that is challenging what graphic design is and what it can be.
What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on so far?
It would have to be my final project, 'The Boy Is Beautiful Magazine', as it was not only a thorough exploration of my country’s queer-erased history and heritage, but also a realisation of my calling. It showed me how my publishing practice can become a point of conversation and a way in which I can affect the lives of other people through design that does not drive sales but rather connects communities. With its first issue reaching people in over 11 countries, I witnessed the power that 64 pages hold when designed with passion and a purpose to affect change.
Have you completed any work placements / internships whilst being on the course?
Parallel to studying and running my studio (working mainly with fashion businesses around the world), I volunteered at the London Centre for Book Arts, in Hackney. There, I acquired further printmaking and bookbinding skills which helped me tremendously in realising my projects. I also became part of an amazing, vibrant and hyper talented community of printmakers, engaging with work that was both creatively and technically inspiring.
What important piece of advice would you give to students thinking of studying this course?
Every student’s journey is personal and I do not think there are recipes for success, if there is such a thing as success. I will however relay Paul Finn’s (Information & Systems Platform Leader) favourite rule by Sister Corita Kent: The only rule is work.
What has been the highlight of your Central Saint Martins experience?
Launching my “Coming Out” publication with Arts SU as part of LGBTQIA+ History Month, with all profits donated to Stonewall UK as well as being awarded the Jo Brocklehurst Prize 2022 for “The Boy Is Beautiful” during the Graduate Showcase in June.
What are your career aspirations?
I want to see The Boy Beautiful grow, and with it my ability to use design as a tool for positive change. I want to keep working with and for ethical brands driven by their love for design rather than their love for profit. I also want to get into teaching, keep helping my peers and spend more time around the minds that shape the future of the creative industries. It's an exciting place to be!
What is the most important thing you learnt on the course?
To truly listen to others, help out and ask for help. These might seem like simple things, but they do make creative work, and life in general, a lot more fun.
Follow Leonidas on Instagram
Read The Boy is Beautiful magazine
View more of Leonidas' work on his website
View the BA Graphic Communication Design course page
Photo taken by: Katya Kabaktchieva
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