Being naturally creative, art was my favourite subject at school and I knew that I wanted an artistic career of some sorts. After leaving school I went on to do a one year foundation art course at my local college which introduced me to costume design. Combining my love of sewing and creativity, I soon realised that this was the career route that I wished to pursue.

On completing the course, I took a year out and spent it working with local amateur dramatics groups to gain more experience in costume – but I wanted to pursue my studies further in this area. I was unsure whether I wanted to be a costume designer or a maker, but the course at QMU was unusual: it allowed me to study both design and construction together and that was why I chose it.

I most enjoyed the teamwork aspect of the course. I not only worked with fellow costume students, but I also got to work with students on QMU’s other performing arts courses as you work together to put on real shows. This gave me a taste of what I would face in the real world and developed my practical and teamwork skills in ways that a paper-based course would never have done. The lecturers were enthusiastic and very knowledgeable – although I did enjoy the latter years of the course too when learning became more independent.

"Since graduating I have worked on ‘Treasure Island’, a two part TV feature film starring the comedian and actor Eddie Izzard and Rupert Penry-Jones. One of the cutters that I worked with on that production put my name forward for the George Clooney and Sandra Bullock film ‘Gravity’. This fantastic recommendation enabled me to work as a stitcher alongside a team of cutters and designers to develop the space suits worn by Clooney and Bullock."
Ruth George

In Year Three I went on two placements: working as a costume trainee on a film in Ireland and working in the hire department at Angels, a large well known costumier in London. In Year Four, I costumed a musical for the ‘Bohemians Lyric Opera Company,’ which was performed at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. I also got myself a part-time job as a dresser at the King’s Theatre and the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh, so I managed to gain lots of useful experience.

Since graduating I have worked on ‘Treasure Island’, a two part TV feature film starring the comedian and actor Eddie Izzard and Rupert Penry-Jones. One of the cutters that I worked with on that production put my name forward for the George Clooney and Sandra Bullock film ‘Gravity’. This fantastic recommendation enabled me to work as a stitcher alongside a team of cutters and designers to develop the space suits worn by Clooney and Bullock. The backstage and teamwork skills I developed at QMU gave me the confidence and ability to work in a professional environment and instantly fit in, despite being newly qualified.

During my time at QMU I decided that my ultimate job would be as a costume cutter and maker and focused my studies to help me develop skills in this area. I was exceptionally lucky in getting my dream job so soon after graduating: an assistant maker on a film, costuming principal actors! The construction methods and sewing skills I learnt during my time at QMU were invaluable in enabling me to do this work.