Sunderland designer cuts out career at paper crafts company

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A WEARSIDE design student is set to take the craft world by storm after she was taken on by a global art emporium.

Leigh Spencer, from Sunderland, is now creative designer for Kanban Crafts, a Yorkshire-based manufacturer of paper crafts.

The firm is also a leader in the supply of products and also creates merchandise for the Create and Craft TV channel.

Leigh, who only recently graduated from Cleveland College of Art and Design (CCAD), in Hartlepool, is the first of the class of 2012 to be offered a full-time job.

 “I never expected to get a job straight after leaving college – especially doing something I love. It’s just amazing,” she said.

 The 23-year-old, who studied a BA in textiles and surfaces design at CCAD’s Hartlepool campus, started designing at a young age.

 “My nana taught my sister and me how to draw and throughout school I always did really well at art,” she said.

Leigh decided on her future career after she completed a Btec in art and design and an A-level in textiles at college. It was then one of her tutors told her about CCAD.

 “After going along to one of their graduate shows, in Church Square, Hartlepool, I knew instantly that that was where I needed to be,” she said.

 “Studying surface design and textiles has enabled me to look at all areas of design, from fashion fabrics and interior furnishings to wallpapers, textile artwork, greeting cards and gift products, giving me a perfect grounding for my new job.”

 Leigh’s role as creative designer will involve overall responsibility for designing the elements for embellishments on the company’s handmade cards.

 She said: “CCAD really supported me, giving me the confidence in my own work, identifying my design strengths, even helping to improve my CV and there were always tutors available to talk to, even out of hours.

 “My new job is fantastic and one day I hope to start my own business designing gifts, cards and bed linen.

 “Until then I’m going to enjoy every moment of working in an industry I love.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho