We had a chat with one of our resident graphic artists Laura Palmer. Laura has been the brains behind much of our visual artwork, including the posters for our event at Old Red Bus Station and the video graphics in our interview with KOKOROKO as part of our Crowe’s nest interview series. We had a chat with her about how she came to be involved in BabyStep, and about some of the other Leeds based projects she has been involved with.
How did you first get into graphic design?
I’ve been gripped by design for as long as I can remember – I used to spend hours making posters in school, fretting over which font to use and how best to tell my 11-year-old classmate that comic sans looks shite. But it wasn’t until I moved to Falmouth to do an art foundation that I realised that graphic design is so much more than typefaces and making posters. I specialised in Fine Art during that year but ended up making a short film where I taught myself basic motion graphics. Since then, I’ve been pretty much self-taught. I’ve found graphic design a great way of putting my creative skills to daily use.
How has moving to Leeds really helped you pursue graphic design?
I think moving to a city where the student population is not only so vast but incredibly diverse in terms of interests has given me the confidence to pursue graphic design pretty much from scratch. There was an element of competition at art school that doesn’t seem to exist in an environment like that of Leeds uni where everyone’s studying such different things. Since coming to Leeds, I’ve felt like I’ve been able to pursue graphic design without this competitive element. On top of that, the music scene in Leeds is been the main thing that’s driven my interest in graphic design. Making posters and banners for events has been my main creative outlet recently and pretty much how I’ve taught myself what I know.
You’re involved with Papa Nugs events- could you tell us a bit more about that
My housemate wanted to put a night on in Leeds and called on me for some creative advice. I got involved, taking charge of the graphic design/creative side of things. Working together as mates, it all started as a bit of a joke (hence the name ‘Papa Nugs’ which was actually called out on twitter for sounding like a ‘night run by year 9 boys’!) but it ended up taking off and since last year we’ve worked together to put on 8 sell-out nights, hosting the likes of Dr. Banana. Joe (Papa Nugs) is about in Leeds next year and has some exciting plans for a weekly event so keep your eyes pealed!
What other projects have you been involved with in Leeds?
I’ve been on the writing team for The Whip for a couple of years. It’s a student-run, online satirical magazine (it’s actually how I met Rob who got me involved in Baby Step!) Other than that, I’ve worked on the design team for Lippy (Leeds Uni’s magazine) which has also been a lot of fun.
Is there anything you’ve recently watched/listened to/ attended that you think our readers should check out?
George the Poet’s ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’ - if you haven’t already, listen to this podcast. It’s a gripping fusion of of storytelling, current affairs, spoken word and music (and more) delivered by George Mpagna (George the Poet). I often zone out during podcasts but this one strikes the perfect balance between being personal, theatrical and educational. Addressing topics including the Grenfell tragedy, the modern slave trade, and racist policing, through spoken word, this podcast is a unique resource on institutional racism within the UK.
What’s an album that’s been helping you get through the lockdown?
Gut’s ‘Paradise for All’. My friend played this album to me a couple of years ago and its crept back into my music library over lock down. Also Moomin’s ‘A Minor Thought’ – a nice electronic lyric-free album for working to - this one helped me through the grueling months of dissertation writing.