Aleysha McQuade | TrinityTalent 2020

Aleysha McQuade was selected by Trinity College London for Artistic Achievement and is the Youth Choice for her Arts Award achievements. 

17-year-old Aleysha was nominated for TrinityTalent 2020 for her achievements in visual arts for her Gold Arts Award. Her art focus was on portraiture and portrait photography and she impressively completed her Arts Award at home during 2020 due to national restrictions. 

Aleysha was selected by the Youth Choice panel to feature as a Youth Choice for the Arts Award category. They said: "Aleysha impressed with her artistic flair and originality, especially during this challenging year and additional difficulties of social communication. She overcame her obstacles by using art."

She was nominated by her Arts Award adviser, friends and family members. They said: "During her Gold Arts Award journey, Aleysha progressed both personally and artistically. She ploughed forwards to engage with the award whilst also studying for her GCSE's and finally she refused to let Covid and the national pandemic stand in her way, especially when it threatened to turn her Unit 2 leadership project upside down. She approached this hurdle creatively and developed a distance learning programme in visual arts for a local young person with additional needs. She succeeded in gaining the acclaim of the young person's family through the tasks she set and the support that she offered."

The Trinity judges said: "Aleysha impressed the judges with her creative flair, originality and achievements despite the obstacles she faced. She has paved the way for her fine art journey."

How has your Trinity qualification influenced your artistic achievement? 

Throughout Arts Award my confidence has grown, I am able to socialise with people with more ease, which was needed of me to be able to strive for opportunities and to become a leader in the arts industry. Through the Arts Award qualification, I have been encouraged to use confidence and determination to aim for things to progress in my own work and artistic achievement. For example, since finishing my Gold Arts Award I have joined an arts university and had the confidence to approach a charity I admire to discuss my artistic journey!

Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills?  

I have always been entirely self-taught from a really young age, so I was used to traditional ways of making art - drawing, painting etc. Through the wonderful opportunity of Arts Award, I discovered photography and how creative and diverse the subject is. I used my love for spirituality to create fantasy images based on the seasons/sabbats of the Wiccan year. By doing this I was delving into photography and how 'out of this world' the end results can be as well as gaining further knowledge in spirituality and in both artistic and self-expression.

Would you like to tell us anything about the challenges you’ve faced this year, and how you’ve overcome them to achieve your qualification? 

I am diagnosed with autism which sometimes creates its own challenges, mix that with the struggles of Covid-19, things have been very different from my normal routine. However, I challenged myself not to give up on Arts Award and going to university but instead to make sure I achieve these things, produce more art and push myself to be as motivated as I possibly can be. I am so pleased I challenged myself as I have achieved my Gold Arts Award, earned a place on my art course, been published in magazines and am now part of Trinity’s Class of 2020! It shows what can happen from looking at the positives in life. 

What are the next steps for you following your qualification? 

My next steps following my qualification are to finish the course that I am currently studying whilst working on my own independent projects that I have decided to set myself, such as producing a colouring book which is allowing me to practise and learn about illustration and perhaps some written books around various spiritual aspects. After my course, I would like to go onto an undergraduate degree course. I look forward to publishing these books and to my career in the creative arts! 

What are your career aims? 

I am an ambitious person with ambitious aims. I am driven to be extraordinarily successful in my career and go from strength to strength. I aim to be a multidisciplinary artist, business owner and author. 

Have you got any advice for other young people working towards an Arts Award or Trinity qualification? 

Arts Award involves a lot of work, however, I would recommend sticking with the course right until the end as it is extremely rewarding and beneficial. Your Arts Award qualification will take you on to the next part of your life. 

More from Aleysha

Instagram: Autistic_Artist_xx

Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2020.


Trinity Talent

Trinity Talent

TrinityTalent celebrates talented young people achieving Trinity’s music, drama and Arts Award qualifications in the UK.

Teachers and students can nominate young artists aged 13-25 who have shown excellence in one of the following categories during 2021: CREATIVE FLAIR | PROGRESS | LEADERSHIP

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