Kirklees College

Kirklees College / News / Tue 05 Jun 2018

College to Career - Mel Elliot

College to Career - Mel Elliot

College can be just as impactful as attending a university for a degree and there are many examples of people who have gone on to prove that right. Mel Elliott is one of those people, now an owner of her own company, showing that there’s no limit to what you can achieve.

A past student of Batley School of Art, Mel studied BA (Hons) Fine art for Design as a means to start a journey to improve and find a direction for her artistic skills. After graduating in 2005, her college experience meant she was able to fulfil her childhood dreams by attending and completing a Master’s Degree at the Royal College of Art, London.

On a course such as Art and Design, you can expect to learn key concepts and practical skills within the broad realms of fine art including, painting, sculpture, ceramics, digital applications, installation and performance, the exhibition of artwork and development of a fine art identity.

Throughout her time at Kirklees College, she was able to channel her interests and finely tune her artistic practice to a place where she was focused, in control and highly confident of her abilities.

Mel shared with us her experience of when she first attended college:

“When I started at Kirklees College I arrived feeling slightly lost, knowing I was highly creative but without a clue as to what direction to go in. Originally from Barnsley, I actually arrived in Dewsbury for a temporary job at the College in enrolment. I witnessed a talk from some tutors and instantly knew I wanted to be the one on that course!”

College can be a great way to help you find a direction, with so many courses to choose from, it’s likely you will find a niche one that fits your specifications and helps guide you along the path you need to take, Mel credits her time at Batley School of Art partly to her success.

“It had been a childhood dream of mine to study at The Royal College of Art. I honestly believe that if I had chosen a different course at another college I would never have made it. My tutors at Batley School of Art were so supportive and could not have been more encouraging. They gave me the confidence I very much needed in my life and in my creative abilities.”

With the portfolio she developed, in addition to graduating from The Royal College of Art, Mel has gone on to become the owner of her own business, I Love Mel. She uses this brand to share her work as an artist, writer, designer and publisher with the world. She is known now mostly for her contemporary colouring books such as the Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Gosling colouring books, which was recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres show with Ryan himself!

On Graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007, Mel began designing fun, printed products such as colouring books and paper dolls.

"My work has always been influenced by pop culture, celebrity, fame, glossy magazines and the aesthetic perfection that goes hand in hand with all that stuff. The colouring books and paper dolls were developed when I realised that the things we enjoyed doing as young children, such as cutting out and colouring in, would still be enjoyed by adults, if only the activity books had 'grown up' with us."

Not only does she have a website (, but a shop that is open in St Leonard’s-on-Sea, East Sussex, selling her products such as books, gifts, apparel and games. Two of her products were amongst the top ten selling gifts at Bloomingdales this last Christmas.

One of Mel’s latest project is a children’s book Pearl Power and the Girl with Two Dads that addresses the subjects of gender equality and same sex parenting. She has just sold the world publishing rights to Pearl Power and is also working on illustrations for Sali Hughes’s next book Pretty Iconic.

I love Mel has been featured in endless magazines, newspapers, blogs and websites and her products and books are stocked throughout the UK and worldwide.

If you put in the work and develop a great portfolio, then going to college can be just as effective as getting a degree from University, as long as you have the work ethic to succeed, you can create whatever you want.

News Location

Kirklees College

Waterfront Quarter
Manchester Road

News Details