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Life after NUA: BA Fine Art graduate Luke Hickman

Luke Hickman graduated from BA (Hons) Fine Art in 2015, specialising in printmaking. We chat to him about life after NUA and what he’s currently working on. 

What drove you to study BA (Hons) Fine Art at NUA?

After I finished school and an art foundation course, I wanted to get a deeper understanding of Fine Art printmaking. After researching various universities I thought that NUA offered the best facilities for learning printmaking. This was complemented by the low cost of living in Norwich.

Why is printmaking important to you?

Printmaking is great if you want to experiment with the same design in lots of variations. You can gradually make changes depending on what inks or materials you decide to use, or if you add to or subtract from the design. 

My main focus has been lino printing and etching, both of which are more time-consuming techniques but can produce stunning results. I also occasionally dabble in screen-printing which is great for making posters and custom t-shirts. 

Luke Hickman

What have you been working on since graduating?

Currently I work in digital marketing, specifically search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising. Prior to this, I worked in the commercial printing industry for two and a half years. 

Outside of work, I’ve set up my own home studio for printmaking. I currently own a nipping press, 8 colour screen printing carousel, and a 10ft vacuum screen printing bench.

How did your time on BA (Hons) Fine Art prepare you for working professionally?

Some of the skills I learnt at NUA helped a lot, such as research and planning, as well as self-directed study and organisation skills. 

One of the main things that helped to overcome any challenges in my role was being prepared to make mistakes and learn from them to help build a better process for the future.

Can you tell us a bit about your current printmaking and illustration projects?

Recently I have been focusing on building two websites. The first is my portfolio website Hickman Design – Printmaking & Illustration which hosts a selection of my work.

My second project is Printmaking Guides, which was inspired by my studies at NUA. The site will be a central resource for people to learn about printmaking techniques and printmaking history. Leaving university, I found it challenging to learn more about printmaking. There is a lot of outdated information online, which spurred me on to create this site.

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