Ones To Watch: Laura Mayall
We caught up with Laura, a talented art department trainee who has worked on various exciting shows. Read about her passion and what she wants to do next.
Can you introduce yourself and your creative work/interests?
As a recent graduate in Art and Design from Birmingham City University, I am currently exploring and experimenting with my work and creative interests outside of my studies.
While at University I undertook a number of work placements in the Art Departments on television dramas and developed an interest in Production Design, specifically props and set dressing within television.This interest and experience, I decided to tailor my final two years of University to learning and developing skills that would be useful to this career path (building/construction, decorating, set dressing, prop buying etc).
In my final year, I created a set design for a short story that I created for an elderly man who had a World War Two secret. I took the story from ideas and sketches to building, buying, making, designing and finally filming and editing. This enabled me to work with a variety of processes and mediums and discover what I enjoy most.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on BBC Doctors as a Standby Art Director.
BBC Doctors is a daytime television drama and my job is to work on set during filming with the set dressing and props. Prior to filming I read the scripts and prepare everything needed for each episode with the Designer and other Standby. We work out all the action props we need, extra set dressing and any graphics.
It is a really exciting role, as we get to experience different storylines and a combination of location and studio shoots which gives us a range of challenges to overcome.
What are your future creative ambitions?
In the future, I would love to work on more period dramas as there is so much to explore and I am really interested in how objects and decor has changed over time. I find it intriguing that through the set decoration and dressing of a room, the audience instantly connects with the story, themes, characters and time period.
I also would like to work on some short films with small groups of people, as this would allow me to explore different themes and eras and gain more experience designing and art directing.
I think it is really important to keep working on small creative projects outside of work as it is a great way to learn and discover new things and expand my knowledge and practice.
What advice would you give people aspiring to work in a similar creative field?
My advice would definitely be to take every opportunity you can in gaining experience and make the most of any opportunities you do get.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and get as much advice as you can. Speaking to people and taking interest in their work is a good way to make contacts. Forums and social media are also great resources for finding placements and daily work.
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there, you won't get responses from every email, but keep writing them as you never know which one will lead to work.
What do you most like about November?
I love Bonfire Night and going to see fireworks displays. It always feels so magical and I think it starts the run-up to Christmas. I can't wait for cosy film nights by the fire and festive outings at Christmas markets. I love this time of year!
Wow! Laura has provided fantastic advice and insight into her creative career journey. All the best of luck in working in TV drama and film.
To catch up with Laura's work, you can follow her on Instagram: laurastacydesign and Hii-Five her Hiive profile.