Ewan White always had an ambition to be involved in the art industry, but it wasn’t until his time at Eastleigh College that he realised the specific profession he wanted to pursue: Illustration. Less than four years after completing his course at Eastleigh, he has produced illustrations for some of the world’s most read publications including The Financial Times, Politico EU and The Post Internazionale. With his portfolio continuing to grow week by week, it is an exciting time of career growth for the 23-year-old.
Ewan was 18 and searching for creative freedom when he began his Art and Design Level 3 Foundation Diploma at Eastleigh College. He had studied the subject at Sixth Form but had found the rigid structure of the curriculum to be restrictive and was now after an environment that could help him explore his creative expression in greater depth. It quickly became apparent that the activities on offer were resonating with Ewan.
“The teaching direction was very different to what I’d experienced before,” said Ewan. “They always prioritised idea generation over the final product and this helped me to push worries and expectations aside and follow my intuition.”
One of the more memorable projects Ewan undertook was a twenty-four-hour drawing marathon, which involved producing drawings every ten minutes on receipt paper, based on any ideas that would pop into his head. He would take a new photograph after each drawing, leading to a chain of over 100 drawings that could tell a unique story. Another exercise he fondly remembered was creating a 3D model of perspective art that, when lined up correctly, would allow you to see the image.
"My year at Eastleigh College was one of the best times I’ve ever had creating art. When I graduated from the College, I remember thinking that I wish I’d started there when I was younger and that still rings true today. I encourage anyone on the fence to absolutely go for it!"
Upon completing his year-long Foundation Diploma, Ewan finally felt prepared to study Illustration at Higher Education level – a goal that had been first established at a young age. In 2021, he graduated with First-Class Honours in Illustration at Falmouth University and was eager to leap into the world of work. He began to reach out to specialists in the field, utilising the connections he’d formed with industry experts during a special ‘Professional Practice’ week in the third year of his degree. However, despite his excellent academic performance, it still proved a challenging process.
“It’s true when they say the hardest part is getting your foot in the door,” said Ewan. “At one point I was sending out 60 emails a day. But I wanted to show I was keen and committed - which I believe was a key part of what happened next.”
Ewan’s first commission was for The Financial Times, a one-off illustration that quickly developed into contributing to a regular weekly column by Associate Editor Stephen Bush. With a publication-wide readership of 26 million a month, Ewan’s work was reaching vast audiences which in turn opened up a stream of further opportunities. Little over a year since his initial commission, he has produced illustrations for Politico EU, The Philosopher’s Magazine, ReThinking Schools and The Post Internazionale among others. He has grown to specialise in editorial and book cover work, and is not setting limits on his growth in the future.
“My major goal is to build on the steady progress I’ve made over the past year and branch out into advertising and poster design in addition to my roles at present. I would also love to get into some more foreign-language newspapers as I particularly enjoy the infusion of new languages and cultures into my work.”