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Maja Quille: MA Drawing

MA Painting student Maja Quille in her studio.
MA Painting student Maja Quille in her studio.
Photography by Alys Tomlinson.
Written by
Content Team
Published date
05 February 2020

Having already worked as a sculptural artist for many years, Maja was seeking new ways to expand her practice. As a mother of two, returning to study wasn't an easy decision. She talks about why UAL felt like the right place to experiment with her practice and how the structure of her course has allowed her to study alongside being a parent.

“I’ve been working as an artist since 2012 while also raising two small children. After finishing my undergraduate degree in sculpture I quickly began specialising in public commissions, but soon started to feel restricted within my particular area of practice. I realised that I’d never had a chance to fully develop my studio approach and working methodology, or try out new things.

“Returning to university was a very big decision for me, but speaking to the tutors and visiting the university gave me a sense that the MA Drawing course would be a place where I could truly develop and grow as an artist.”

I first became interested in Camberwell College of Arts because an artist friend of mine, whose work I admire, had studied there and recommended it to me. Having a background in sculpture, I was a bit worried that the courses weren’t suitable. But after UAL looked over my portfolio, they actually recommended the MA Drawing course at Camberwell! Since beginning my MA, I can now understand what the tutors saw in my portfolio and the course has been influencing my work in all sorts of new and creative ways.


I have two kids and sometimes it can be a struggle to fit everything in. But as a parent, you’re already an expert at working efficiently! You don't have the luxury of sitting around thinking and worrying, so you have to just get on with things. It also helps you to keep things in perspective and not let the studies take over. Having a physical studio to go to is so important - it means that when I’m at home I can focus on home life, and when I’m at university I can immerse myself fully in my studies.

“My course is intensive but well-structured. We get an incredibly high degree of quality 1-2-1 tutorials and support, as well as a varied program of visiting artists, workshops and lectures.”

Postgraduate study is helping me make the shift from hoping that I will continue working as an artist to knowing that no matter what, I will continue to work as an artist - and helping me understand what kind of artist that might be.

My advice to anyone would be that you can absolutely go back to studying at any age - kids or no kids! I’ve found that being a bit older, I can get so much more out of the course; I have the security of knowing more or less who I am and what my priorities are, which means I can dedicate myself 100% to studying.”