Where are they now? with Hattie Hignell, Arts Award 15th birthday

Hattie Hignell did her Gold Arts Award around 8 years ago and now works as a Senior Print Artist for a children's retailer. We catch up with Hattie to celebrate Arts Award 15th birthday. 

Where are they now? with Hattie Hignell, Arts Award 15th birthday
Current job title
Senior Print Artist for large children’s retailer in the US

When did you complete your Arts Award?
2007 at Bodmin College

What are you up to in your creative work at the moment? 
I have just relocated to a different state with my current job which has been a lot of adjustment on top of these already uncertain times. However, in my personal work, I have recently been greatly inspired by the allegory and concepts around still life painting in a modern context. In a time where our homes have become our literal safe spaces, and myself personally being so far from home, the objects around me have heightened sentimental value and meaning which I have interested in.

What are the highlights of your art career to date? 

I have been lucky that I have always been in a role where I have been able to paint by hand and see my designs from paper to garment. One of my favourite things about what I do is seeing my designs on real people, whether it’s someone walking down the street or a kid on their first day of school. I love knowing that my design meant something to them and hope they contain the same sentiments I remember from my favourite outfits as a child.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your creative work or career since completing your Arts Award?  

My biggest challenge has always been navigating my ambitions in an environment that can often be only rewarded to the loudest in the room. I have had some incredible mentors in the industry that have taught me leadership can look like many different things, and I hope from these experiences I am now the leader that I have benefitted most from.

What do you hope to be doing in five years?  

I certainly hope I will be travelling! Jokes aside I also hope that no matter where my career continues, I am able to make time for my personal painting and growth. It’s something I have neglected in past years and I believe it’s so important as creatives to make space to experiment and explore our craft.

Which level of Arts Award did you do, and how did you use it to develop your creativity or skills? 

Gold Arts Award. I used it to develop my portfolio and experience in arts events as I was interested in Pursuing a degree in Fashion Design.

Tell us a little bit about what your Arts Award entailed? 
My most memorable, and I would say the proudest experience was organizing a fashion and show/ performance. I used models from ages 5 to 50 showcasing local businesses as well as students‘ designs. I also collaborated with another student who choreographed parts of the show, and I remember loving the multidisciplinary aspect of pulling different passionate young creators into the project from fashion to dance to lighting design. I couldn’t believe how many people were willing to help and get involved - all you have to do is ask sometimes.  

What advice would you give to young people doing Arts Award who want to follow in your footsteps

I would say to use the Arts Award as a great opportunity to do something outside your comfort zone. Utilize all the talent and resources you have available! 

Where can people find out more about your work? 

Arts Award 15th Birthday!

Arts Award has been supporting the development of creativity and leadership skills for all young people for 15 years. Arts Award has championed creativity, nurtured talent and offered insights into the arts world, together with a taste of creative careers.Across the UK there are over 4,000 centres and an impressive 521,455 Award achieved.

Arts Award alumni news

Read more interviews with Arts Award alumi or visit the Arts Award Voice Community Hub for exclusive alumni updates, support and discounts. If you've recently finished your Arts Award and want to let us know what you're up to, drop Nici the Arts Editor an email


Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, anything creative, and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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